Government confirms EYFS relaxations for coronavirus outbreak

The Government has put into force temporary changes to the Early Years Foundation Stage framework for early years providers remaining open in the coronavirus outbreak.

The relaxations were put in place on 24 April and will be applied during the crisis. They will be reviewed on a monthly basis and providers will be notified through official channels when this comes to an end.

Most of the exemptions will end immediately at that point, except for disapplications on staffing qualifications in ratios, where there will be a two-month transitional period for settings to restore full staffing levels.

As flagged up on 16 April, early years settings will not be required to meet the learning and development requirements of the EYFS, although they should use 'reasonable endeavours' to do so.

Other changes include:

  • No progress check at age two, although if relaxations are lifted before a child turns three then the check should be completed.
  • No need to undertake the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile in 2019/20.
  • A relaxation of the need to have someone with a full Paediatric First Aid certificate on the premises at all times for those caring for children aged two to five, although providers are expected to take various steps to meet this, and requirements remain the same for those caring for children under 24 months.
  • A range of exceptions on staff qualifications within ratios in different settings. Overall ratios remain the same as usual for PVI settings, but exceptions can be made during exceptional circumstances as the EYFS already allows.

The guidance 'Early Years Foundation Stage: coronavirus disapplications' can be found here.

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