EYFS review is welcomed by sector

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The early years sector has given an overwhelmingly positive response to recommendations made by Dame Clare Tickell in her review of the EYFS.

The report calls for a slimmeddown EYFS, with the 69 early learninggoals reduced to 17 and a focus on three 'prime' areas of learning.Early years practitioners will also carry out a check on children'sdevelopment between the ages of two and three years to ensure thatchildren who are at risk of developmental delay or special educationalneeds get support as early as possible.

Early years and childcare organisations said they were pleased that DameClare, who consulted widely with parents, nurseries, practitioners andvoluntary groups, had listened to the views of the sector.

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-School Learning Alliance, saidit was 'a thoughtful and considered review of the EYFS without changingits core structure'.

He said, 'We welcome the review's focus on the prime areas of physicaldevelopment, emotional development and communication, as these are thefocus of early years provision.

'If young children are given the support to develop in these areas, theywill be well prepared to undertake formal learning at school.

'We also welcome the separation of literacy from the communication,language and literacy learning area, as this should ensure that nochildren - especially boys - are introduced to reading and writing tooearly, which could impair their lifelong enjoyment of language andliterature.'

Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of the National Day NurseriesAssociation, said the review team had listened to a wide range of viewsand that the value of the EYFS had been recognised.

'Overall, this is an impressive report that considers all major issues,'she said. 'NDNA and its members were clear that radical change needed tobe avoided and we are pleased the review outlines ways that potentiallythe EYFS can be improved even further.'

The National Childminding Association said it was pleased thatchildminders would continue to be included in the EYFS alongside otherpractitioners. Liz Bayram, joint chief executive, said, 'We welcome therecommendations for greater clarity on paperwork, which, if takenforward by Government, will guide childminders on the appropriatebalance between writing up their observations and supporting thelearning and development of the children in their care.'

Virginia Beardshaw, chief executive of communication charity I CAN,said, 'We are pleased the review has renewed the emphasis on speech,language and communication as the fundamental building blocks tochildren's learning.'

She welcomed the early years check, which she said would help identifychildren who had speech and language difficulties.

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