Government launches consultation on EYFS review

Catherine Gaunt
Monday, August 2, 2010

The early years workforce is being urged to submit evidence towards the independent review of the EYFS, with a consultation launched online today.

Nurseries, childminders, parents and experts have until 30 September to contribute to the EYFS review.

Announced last month by children’s minister Sarah Teather, the review will cover four main areas: the scope of regulation, learning and development, assessment and welfare.

It will consider whether the EYFS is too bureaucratic and how to shift the focus to getting children ready for school and improve the attainment of children from deprived backgrounds.

The consultation launched today includes specific questions for parents, as well as early years practitioners and providers.

Dame Clare Tickell, who is leading the review, said, ‘I hope those with a passion for early years education take the opportunity to respond to this call for evidence. I want to hear from parents, professionals, carers and other early years experts about their experiences and views on the EYFS. I particularly want to hear from those who are delivering the EYFS on a regular basis and can advise on where we could make improvements.

'These views will help shape the future of the EYFS and will be invaluable in helping me to identify the best parts of the EYFS, as well as the parts that may have to change.’

Parents are asked about their views on their children’s learning and development, including the sort of information they would like to receive from their child’s early years provider and whether early years practitioners could work with parents to help improve children’s learning and development at home.

Providers are asked to consider whether there should be a single framework covering both welfare requirements and learning and development, and whether there should be ‘lighter touch’ regulation for some providers, for example some childminders and the play sector. The consultation also asks whether providers receiving nursery education funding for three-and four-year-olds should be required to deliver the EYFS.

There are also questions about the six areas of learning and the Early Learning Goals, whether some welfare requirements could be removed, and what could be done to narrow the gap in development between the most disadvantaged children and their peers.

Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of the National Day Nurseries Association, said, ‘It is crucial that all nurseries share their views, even if they do not believe anything needs to be changed – this will ensure that Dame Clare Tickell receives a variety of views, which she highlights as vital to the success of the review. We would encourage nurseries to also tell parents about the review, as it is vital that responses are as representative as possible.’

She added, ‘NDNA is pleased to see that the questions all focus on reviewing and improving aspects of the EYFS rather than questioning if the entire framework should be abolished. Children have really benefited from the EYFS, and nurseries themselves would not want to see something new being introduced.’

She added, ‘The questions around recording and planning may elicit some very useful and innovative suggestions, as this is one area that nurseries have reported can be a cause of red-tape and administration. However, we still believe that it is important that childcare providers follow one single framework to ensure high-quality and a level playing field, and to make sure parents can be confident in comparing provision and reassured that their choice is based on the same quality factors. We firmly believe that all providers in receipt of funding, such as nursery education funding, should be required to follow set standards.’

NDNA said it would be holding consultation events for its members.

Dame Clare will provide a final report on the EYFS review in spring 2011. The Government will then consult on any proposed changes to the EYFS, which would take effect from September 2012.

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