Revised EYFS: a guide to the changes

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The Department for Education has released the new version of the Early Years Foundation Stage, which will be effective from September 2014.

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Main amendments are to the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements, with the requirements for several policies removed. The learning and development aspects are largely unchanged, however.

 Here is our summary of the new EYFS.

General

  • References to childminder agencies have been added throughout, telling childminders registered with an agency to inform the agency about staff information, and saying that the agency is responsible for checking suitability of childminders, for example.

Learning and development requirements

  • The paragraph stating that wraparound and holiday providers should be guided by learning and development requirements, and seek to complement learning in settings in which children spend more time, has been removed.
  • The Characteristics of Effective Learning remain
  • A sentence about providers regularly considering the training and development needs of all staff has been moved to the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements.
  • The Early Learning Goals remain the same.

 

Assessment

  • Progress Check at Two – ‘Practitioners must discuss with parents and/or carers how the summary of development can be used to support learning at home’ – removed. Reference to sharing information with ‘a teacher (if a child moves to school-based provision at age three)’ has been changed to ‘the staff of any new provision the child may transfer to’. The requirement to do the Progress Check in time to feed into the Healthy Child Health and Development Review has been loosened.
  • The EYFS Profile – still referred to as mandatory, as the baseline check will not come in until 2015.

 

Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements

  • Providers’ responsibilities under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 has been expanded to say they have, ‘a duty to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service where a member of staff is dismissed… because they have harmed a child or put a child at risk of harm.’
  • Disqualification – this section has been enhanced to clarify aspects of disqualification or living with a disqualified person.

 

Staff qualifications, training, support and skills

  • References to local authority training for childminders and in first aid have been removed.
  • To count in ratios, staff holding an Early Years Educator qualification must have English and Maths GCSEs at grade C or above.
  • References to ensuring staff appraisals and supporting staff to improve qualification levels have been removed.

 

Staff: child ratios

  • Staff working as apprentices can now be counted in ratios from the age of 16.
  • When graduates are working with children on a 1:13 ratio, the reference to ‘a full and relevant’ level 6 qualification has changed to a ‘suitable’ one.
  • A new footnote says that the teacher (or equivalent) is expected to be working with the children for the vast majority of the time when the 1:13 ratio is applied.

 

Before/after school care and holiday provision

A new paragraph spells out the loosening of regulation for these providers in terms of ratios, qualifications and learning and development – ‘sufficient staff as for a class of 30 children’; ‘for providers to determine how many staff are needed… and to determine what qualfications, if any, the manager and/or staff should have.’

 

Managing behaviour

  • The requirement to have a behaviour management policy and a named practitioner responsible has been removed, now saying ‘Providers are responsible for managing children’s behaviour in an appropriate way’.

 

Safety and suitability of premises, environment and equipment

  • Safety – The paragraph about premises being fit for purpose has been slimmed down, with requirements for a health and safety policy removed.
  • Smoking – the requirement for a no smoking policy has been removed.
  • Premises – the need to ensure that ‘facilities, equipment and access to the premises are suitable for children with disabilities’ has been removed and reference to the Equality Act 2010 added.
  • Premises – Reference to provision being made for ‘children who wish to relax, play quietly or sleep, equipped with appropriate furniture’ has been removed.
  • Risk assessment – the requirement for a risk assessment policy has been removed, in favour of ‘take all reasonable steps to ensure staff and children in their care care not exposed to risks’.
  • Outings – the requirement to obtain written parental permission to take children on outings has been removed.

Special educational needs

  • Changed from ‘equal opportunities’. Need for a policy for equality of opportunity, spelling out how inappropriate attitudes and practices will be challenged and children encouraged to value and respect others, removed. Maintained nursery schools must have a SENCO; others are ‘expected to identify a SENCO’.

See the full document here.