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A Rough Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The EYFS is a complete framework for early years education and careIn our ‘Why Choose Us’ section, we give a brief outline of our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum and roughly what it includes. However, the EYFS is not just a  curriculum. It is actually a fully-fledged ‘framework’ — an entire approach to early years education and care. It is used at Leaps & Bounds Day Nursery and other registered childcare settings throughout England. In this article, we explain how it’s used, what it consists of and what its key aims are.

Why use the Early Years Foundation Stage framework?

All UK Registered Childcare settings are mandated by the UK’s Department of Education (‘DoE’) to implement what’s known as the Early Years Foundation Stage (‘EYFS’) framework. This is a legal requirement for early years settings under the Childcare Act 2006. The framework includes a comprehensive set of rules, a series of excellent guidelines and additional legally-binding guidance for early years settings in England. These have been shaped by best practice approaches to education and care, which have been tried and tested over the course of many years.

What are the key aims of the EYFS?

The key educational aim of the EYFS framework is for children’s learning and development to progress in the most successful way — and a way that best suits each individual child. After all, every child is unique. This aim is critically important in order to nurture and help maximise their skills and abilities while also recognising that children learn and develop in different ways and at different rates. Achieving this will help give each child the best possible start in life, whatever their abilities or disabilities. This will, in turn, give them the best chance to fulfil their own personal potential later in life. Study after study has shown that children’s early years of learning and development have a huge impact on lifelong outcomes, so achieving personal bests is incredibly important.

“The Early Years Foundation Stage … ensure(s) children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.” ( DoE, March 2017)

The EYFS aims to forge a partnership between early years settings and parentsThe EYFS framework aims to ensure:

  • the safeguarding, happiness and welfare of children in early years settings;
  • high quality and consistent early years education and care;
  • equal opportunities for every child;
  • that children build a wide range of skills and knowledge as a foundation for the future;
  • that children are ready and fully prepared for school by the time they leave early years care;
  • the nurturing of a partnership between early years childcare settings and parents/carers in order to achieve the aims.

What does the EYFS framework include?

The EYFS framework has several key components:

  1. Learning and development programmes that are implemented by the early years setting. These form the basis of the curriculum.
  2. A set of learning goals for the children to work towards. Their primary aim is to ensure each child’s readiness for school.
  3. Continual assessment of each child’s progress and tailoring of their learning and development programmes as appropriate.
  4. Safeguarding and welfare requirements. These prescribe the steps needed to keep children safe and well at early years settings like nurseries and pre-schools.

We’ll go into a little more detail about each one.

What are the EYFS programmes?

Communication, language and literacy are key programmes within the EYFSThe EYFS learning and development programmes cover a total of 7 areas. In real terms, these programmes form the basis of the core curriculum in place at early years settings like Leaps & Bounds Day Nursery. They are implemented, in a structured way, through playing, exploring, active learning, creating and critical thinking. Of the seven, there are three prime areas or learning and development. These are:

  • Communication and language
    (listening, understanding, speaking etc.)
  • Physical development
    (movement, co-ordination, health, self-care, exercise, diet, hygiene etc.)
  • Personal, social and emotional development
    (self-confidence, self-awareness, speaking in groups, behaviour, management of feelings, making relationships, etc.)

In tandem with those are the four remaining areas of focus for the children, being:

  • Literacy
    (reading, writing, vocabulary, comprehension etc.)
  • Mathematics
    (counting, numeracy, problem-solving, simple arithmetic, comprehension, of shapes/space/volumes etc).
  • Understanding the world
    (Awareness of different people, communities, cultures, nature and the world around them etc.)
  • Expressive arts and design
    (being creative and using imagination including in art, music, dance, technology etc.)

Learn more about the 7 key learning and development programmes in our separate post, here.

What are the EYFS goals?

For each of the seven areas of learning and development is a set of goals for the children. These are present to ensure each child’s successful progress towards the ultimate aim of being ‘school-ready’ by the time they leave early years education and begin school. Programmes are adapted, as appropriate, to accommodate the individual needs, abilities and progress of each child as they work towards each goal. The EYFS learning and development goals are very detailed and are covered in a separate post here.

What about EYFS assessments?

The EYFS has a set of goals for each childThe EYFS includes continuous assessment of each child and their progress towards each goal. It is this assessment that allows key workers and other childcare professionals to tailor programmes to suit individual rates of progress. Parents are also engaged and kept informed so that the child’s learning and development programme is supported and continued, where possible, whilst at home. Part of the assessments process is an important ‘Progress Check‘ report when children reach the age of two.

A final ‘Early Years Foundation Stage Profile‘ (EYFSP) will eventually be completed in the year in which the child reaches the age of five. The EYFSP is used to inform school teachers about each child’s progress once they start Year 1 following Reception. An EYFSP must be provided for every child, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities. These inform the school teachers about each child and are useful as a way to gauge the possible need for additional support, for example.

What are the EYFS safeguarding & welfare measures?

The EYFS also includes an important framework for the safeguarding and welfare of children. Clearly, early years education and care settings need to keep children safe and well, so the EYFS contains several provisions to ensure that this is the case. These measures include:

  • The EYFS includes detailed guidance on child welfare, health & safetySafeguards to ensure the suitability of those in contact with children;
  • Minimum training and qualifications for staff;
  • Provision of a ‘key person’ who is assigned to each child;
  • Minimum staff-to-children ratios;
  • Various measures and safeguards to promote good health, including in relation to use of medicines;
  • A healthy eating/drinking approach;
  • Adequate provisions in place in the event of accident or injury;
  • Adequate steps to ensure that premises are safe, that Healthy & Safety protocols are suitable and that risk assessments are made as and when appropriate;
  • Minimum indoor space and outdoor activity provisions;
  • Suitable protocols are in place to prevent unauthorised people from entering premises or contacting children;
  • Provision for the support of children with special educational needs or disabilities;
  • And much more.

Our Safeguarding policy is available here to read or download.

You can see from the above that the EYFS is incredibly far-reaching. It is an excellent framework and one that really works to maximise the personal potential of each and every child. Along with that, it ensures the best possible attention to the happiness, health, safety and wellbeing of the children.

Leaps & Bounds Day Nursery, Edgbaston, Birmingham

Leaps & Bounds Day Nursery, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16

If you would like your baby or child to benefit from everything the EYFS has to offer, Leaps & Bounds Day Nursery would love to hear from you. We’re a nursery and pre-school in Edgbaston, B16, so are very convenient for those parents and carers looking for outstanding weekday childcare services near Birmingham, Harborne, Ladywood, Bearwood and Smethwick. We even have our own Forest School! Call 0121 246 4922 for to discuss a nursery place with our team or click any of the bold links in this paragraph for further information.

COVID-19 safety measures as the nursery eases out of lockdown

Leaps & Bounds Nursery and pre-school is fully open again for childcare services. So, if you have any little ones who require a nursery or pre-school place in or around Edgbaston, Birmingham, please get in touch. We’d be delighted to tell you more and hopefully soon welcome your child to the nursery.

Stringent health & safety measures to safeguard your child

Social distancing protocols in placeIt goes without saying that the health and safety of our babies, children, parents and staff is our absolute top priority. That’s why we have put in place stringent measures to keep everyone safe and well as we welcome families back to the nursery following lock-down. We are also delighted to confirm that we have had zero cases of COVID-19 at any of our nurseries or within staff and families who have been attending. That’s a testament to everyone involved — the children themselves, parents, key workers and staff alike. Thanks to everyone involved for their efforts in making this possible and for adhering to the safety protocols that have been necessary to date.

That said, some parents or guardians may have concerns about their children going back to nursery or pre-school. We completely understand this. We can hopefully put your minds at rest, though, as we have some excellent anti-virus measures in place across all our nurseries. These meet and far exceed Government guidelines and are designed to keep everyone as safe as possible. It’s also worth noting that our nursery owners are practising medical professionals, with the most up-to-date information, so know the very best approach to safeguarding everyone’s health and wellbeing.

Our Safeguarding policy is available here to read or download.

Our anti-virus measures:

  • The biggest safeguarding measure at our nurseries is much greater use of our very large outdoor spaces — outside, there are much lower transmission risks. So, we are utilising our outdoor areas very actively at the moment and are moving significant parts of the curriculum out there. We are, of course, ensuring that our outdoor spaces have more sheltered areas where children and staff can play, learn and work undercover, in comfort.
  • The nursery is sticking to small ‘bubble’ groups of 3, 4 or 6 children, depending on age group. This greatly minimises the chance of any virus spreading.
  • We’re also not taking our nursery to full capacity. This ensures that there is enough space for children to maintain good social distancing.
  • Parents now have staggered drop-off and collection times. They are asked to remain outside and to maintain a minimum of 2m social distancing from other parents and children.
  • We’re using alcohol wipes liberally around the nursery to keep hands, surfaces, toys, equipment etc. all exceptionally well sanitised.
  • United Nations COVID-19 posterWe are very active with hand washing around the nursery, encouraging children to do likewise and spend sufficient time and attention to detail when doing so.
  • We take extra special precautions when cooking meals. For example, the chefs wear masks and face visors when cooking, to absolutely minimise any risk.
  • Staff change clothes when they arrive at the nursery and regularly wash them at 60 degrees.
  • When nappies are changed, staff wear a face shield and are ‘double-gloving’.
  • We have the very best FFP3 face masks and use these whenever needed.
  • We check temperatures of staff and children, whenever appropriate.
  • We are also following the Government’s new Track & Trace policy to the full. This would include asking children who develop symptoms to have a test. Should they be found to be positive, they would then have to isolate. Their house ‘bubble’ would have to self-isolate too.

If your child develops possible symptoms

We are, of course, asking families of anyone who has high temperatures or other possible symptoms of COVID-19 to please stay away from the nursery – and to self-isolate.

Government advice is for you to call 111 if you are worried about a baby or child under five. If they definitely seem unwell, are getting worse, or you suspect something is seriously wrong with them, call 999. Trust your instincts and do not delay. Further advice about coronavirus in children can be found at the NHS site here.

Looking for a nursery place for your child? We’d love to hear from you

If you’d like to know more about a possible place for your baby or child at Leaps & Bounds nursery and preschool, please get in touch. Call 0121 246 4922 or email us here and we’ll be very happy to help. We are a nursery and pre-school based in Edgbaston (Birmingham, B16), near Harborne, Ladywood, Bearwood and Smethwick.

Nursery childcare places for Key Workers (Edgbaston, Birmingham)

Are you a key worker? Do you need childcare for your baby or toddler during the COVID-19 lock-down? If you’re in the Edgbaston or Birmingham area, we can help. We’re a childcare nursery and pre-school located there and are currently taking on babies and children aged from 3 months to 5 years of age. This includes children of key workers during the coronavirus lock-down. They are eligible if they are unable to care for their children at home e.g. due to the need to continue working.

So, what’s a key worker?

If you’re wondering whether you are eligible, the Government has issued guidelines regarding exactly what constitutes a ‘key worker’. Roughly speaking, the term refers to anyone who is essential as part of the emergency efforts during the coronavirus crisis. This includes people from what they are calling ‘critical sectors’. While the rest of the public have to stay at home with their children, key workers are being prioritised for education provision. Indeed, nursery staff themselves are deemed to be key workers in order to offer the childcare service to other key workers (NHS staff, for example).

The Government states: “We are grateful for the work of teachers and workers in educational settings for continuing to provide for the children of the other critical workers of our country. It is an essential part of our national effort to combat this disease.”

The full list of key workers includes people working within the following ‘critical’ sectors:

1. Health & social care workers

including …

  • NHS staff (doctors, nurseries, midwives, paramedics etc.).
  • Front-line health & social workers.
  • Care workers & those maintaining the social care sector.
  • Those supporting the supply chains for medicines and PPE.

2. Education & childcare workers

including …

  • Childcare workers including nursery staff.
  • Teachers.
  • Social workers.
  • & all the support staff who are required to keep the education & childcare sector active for the key workers.

3. Key public service workers

including …

  • Those working to keep the justice system running.
  • Those who work towards the delivery of key front-line services including religious staff, charities and other support workers.
  • Those working in the management of the deceased.
  • Those providing up to date news and key information including journalists and broadcasters.

4. Government workers (local & national)

including …

  • Those workers who are essential as part of the emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic (e.g. who deliver public services or organise benefits payments etc.).

5. Food & key goods providers

including …

  • Those involved in the production, processing, sale and delivery of food and key goods like medicines and medical goods.

6. Public safety & national security workers

including …

  • Emergency services including police, fire fighters etc.
  • The armed forces where they are essential to defence and national security or to the coronavirus emergency response.
  • Prison & probation staff and similar.
  • Those involved in national security including MoD staff & support workers.

7. Transport workers

including …

  • Anyone working to maintain the smooth running of transport systems and routes during the emergency response to COVID-19.
  • These include air, road, rail and water routes, where they are used by supply chains operating during the crisis.

8. Utilities, communication & financial services workers

including workers and staff who are essential for the continued provision of:

  • Financial services (banks, building societies, financial markets, payments providers etc).
  • Utilities including electricity, gas, water, sewage, oil, nuclear energy etc.
  • IT, telecommunications & data infrastructure.
  • 999 and 111 emergency services.
  • Postal & delivery services.

Are you eligible?

Do you fall into one of these ‘key worker’ categories? And are you unable to safely look after your children while you continue to work? If so, Leaps & Bounds Day Nursery would be pleased to offer your children a childcare place at our nursery and pre-school in Edgbaston, Birmingham. That’s subject to available places, of course, but at time of writing we have some capacity at the setting. We’re located in Gillot Road at B16 0ET, so look us up on our map and see whether we’re a good fit for you and your young children. We hope so.

Contact Leaps & Bounds Day Nursery, Edgbaston, near Birmingham

If you are a key worker who would like to enrol your child for childcare in our nursery and pre-school, please contact us. Also contact us if you’re not sure if you are eligible and we will try to help clarify things for you. Call 0121 246 4922 or and we’ll be happy to assist.

Leaps & Bounds is a day nursery and pre-school offering childcare to babies and children aged from 3 months to 5 years of age. We are located in Edgbaston (B16 0ET), very close to central Birmingham – ideal for parents who are looking for childcare in and around Edgbaston, Harborne, Ladywood, Bearwood and Smethwick.

Coronavirus & COVID-19: temporary measures at Leaps & Bounds Day Nursery

As many will have seen in the press, the Government has announced new guidelines and directives relating to Coronavirus and educational settings. That includes childcare nurseries and pre-schools. As such, Leaps & Bounds Day Nursery in Edgbaston is affected, so is obligated to make some temporary changes.

Temporary changes in the fight against Coronavirus & COVID-19

As directed by the Government, Leaps & Bounds Day Nursery will temporarily close to the public from 20 March 2020. However, it will not be completely closed. The Government asks that all nurseries and early years settings remain open for ‘vulnerable children’ as well as for children of ‘key workers’ who cannot work unless they have childcare in place.

What is a Key Worker?

Broadly speaking, the Government sees ‘key workers’ as anyone who is essential in the fight against, and recovery from, the virus outbreak. This includes front-line NHS staff, emergency services, supermarket workers, delivery drivers and pharmacy workers. It also includes members of the judiciary, essential financial service providers and transport workers. Charities and journalists are also included, along with many others. The list of those who can still send children to nurseries, childcare providers and pre-schools covers 8 core categories:

  1. Health & social care workers.
  2. Education & childcare workers.
  3. Key public service workers.
  4. Local & national government workers.
  5. Food producers/suppliers/distributors.
  6. Public safety & national security workers.
  7. Transport workers.
  8. Those working in utilities, communications & financial services.

Take a more detailed look at the list of key workers, in full, here.

Not on the list? Talk to us

We know how disruptive our partial closure will be to those parents who require nursery placements, but don’t fall into an eligible category. While our hands are tied by the Government directive, we promise that we will thoroughly consider individual circumstances.

Is free childcare funding affected?

One piece of good news is that the free childcare funding for 2 year olds and children aged 3 or 4 is not affected. The Government have confirmed that this is the case in the following statement: “…we will continue to pay for all free early years entitlements […] and we will not be asking for funding back from local authorities.

Contact Leaps & Bounds for further information

If you need further clarification or have any concerns whatsoever, please do contact us at Leaps & Bounds Day Nursery. We’ll be happy to answer any queries and to discuss anything related to Coronavirus and your child’s place at the nursery. Call 0121 246 4922 or email us here and we’ll be happy to help.

Stay safe and please be careful. If we work together, things should be back to normal before long.