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childcare matters

important changes in

early years eduation

As an early years practitioner I have seen many changes to the early years curriculum content come and go over the last few years.

The guidance we used to follow was embodied in two documents called Birth to Three framework and the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum which referred to three year old children until the end of the academic year of their fifth birthday.

The most recent change to early years

curriculum is with the introduction of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This new legislation was made compulsory from September 2008, which means any childcare provider be it a school, pre-school, full day care nursery or childminder must follow the guidelines laid out within this document.

It applies to children from birth up until the end of the academic year of their fifth birthday, which now makes it more straightforward for practitioners to follow a single document for all ages.

It has encompassed the previous practice and standards and has built on them, which means it is not completely new – most practitioners will recognise continuity with principles, pedagogy and approach to the delivery of the curriculum.

By

Lucie Hazell

nursery manager at Pixieland Day Nurseries

The Early Years Foundation Stage is a central part of the ten year childcare strategy Choice for Parents, the Best Start for Children and the Childcare Act 2006. EYFS is central to the delivery of improving outcomes for children and reducing inequalities.

A further aim of the EYFS is to help children achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes of staying safe, being healthy, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic well being.

This new document highlights the importance of every child deserving the best possible start in life and supports them to achieve their full potential.

A child’s experience in the early years has a

major impact on their future life chances. As many parents chose to use early years services they want to know that the provision they chose will keep their children safe and help them to thrive, the EYFS ensures this is the case.

The Early Years Foundation Stage identifies children as competent learners from birth and acknowledges that they develop and learn in a wide variety of ways. No two children are the same.

All practitioners should look carefully at the children in their care, consider their interests and stage of development to ensure they plan a wide range of enjoyable and challenging activities across all the areas of Learning and Development. There are six areas covered by the early learning goals and educational programmes they are;

- Personal, social and emotional development - Communication, language and literacy - Problem solving, reasoning and numeracy - Knowledge and understanding of the world - Physical development - Creative development

None of these areas of learning can be delivered alone as they all link to each other and are all equally important. A good practitioner will be aware of this and make sure all areas are being covered to ensure a holistic approach to child development is used within their childcare provision.

To ensure a practitioner is providing the best learning opportunities for the children in their care the child must be observed and assessed. This will ensure the children are being supported in the development process which enables them to progress from birth towards the early learning goals.

The assessments made on a child’s stage of development should be carried out across a wide range of learning activities and based on practitioner’s day-to-day observations, all adults who have contact with the child should contribute to the process.

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Which is why parent partnerships are a crucial part of assessment. Information gathered from parents is very important as a child’s learning begins at home. Parents should be kept informed of their child’s progress and information regularly shared between the parents and childcare provider.

From an early years practitioner point of view the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is a superior document to work from and is much more child centred.

It gives the children the chance to be fundamental in their own learning and development, which I for one think is definitely the way forward.

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Pixieland Day Nurseries have facilities in Mannamead, Stoke and Saltash. For further information call 01752 770550 or visit www.pixielanddaynurseries.co.uk Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64
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