Children develop more rapidly during the first five years of their lives than at any other time. That’s why they are called the foundations years – the building blocks for life! During these foundation years, children’s health, maternal and paternal, mental health, parenting style, learning activities and early education are all influencing factors that can make a big difference to your child’s future.
Mums and dads are the first and most important influence on their child’s development and future outcomes. What interactions take place in the home environment has more influence on children’s future achievement than innate ability, material circumstances or the quality of early years or school provision. (EYFS Curriculum 2012, updated 2014)
As a mum or dad, you can help
All the activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development, and have a really long lasting effect on your child’s learning as they progress towards and through school. For example, talking, reading, singing nursery rhymes with your child or cooking and baking with them. More ideas can be found at www.earlyhomelearning.org.uk.
Even when your child is very young and is not yet able to talk, you talking to them will help them to learn and understand new words and ideas.
Parents often underestimate what they can do to support their child’s development. If you feel unsure of what to do at home to support your child’s learning, you can find out what is on offer at your local children’s centre. Many offer “messy play” activities which you and your child can join in, and many of the activities they provide are free. Staff can also give you advice about the kinds of books or other
activities your child might enjoy at different ages.
Our local children’s centre is:
Tennyson’s Sure Start Children’s Centre,
The Early Years Foundation Stage
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is how the Government and early year professionals describe the time in your child’s life between birth and age 5. It is a framework setting the standards for learning, development and care for children during this period. Nurseries, pre-schools, reception classes and child minders must follow the legal document called the EYFS Framework which can be accessed at: https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/standard/AllPublications/Page1/DF E-00023-2012.
You can ask for information about your child’s development at any time and there are two stages (the “progress check” at age 2, and again at age 5) when the professionals caring for your child must give you written information about how he or she is doing. The written summary of their progress at age 5 is called the EYFS Profile.
Where can I go for further information?
You may want to find out what is on offer at your local children’s centre. Also visit www.foundationyears.org.uk for a range of resources and contacts.
How does the nursery record your child’s progress?
Using observation sheets, which your child’s key person will complete on a weekly basis. Observations will be made to build up a picture of how your child is progressing and how to take them forward in their learning journey. These will form part of your child’s profile, with progress reports given to you regularly, with an opportunity to meet with your key person to discuss your child’s individual learning journey. At the end of the Caterpillar Group (approx. 3.5 years) you will be given your child’s profile paperwork thus far. As they complete their time with us in the Butterfly Group and progress onto school, your child’s profile will be given to you, with a sample of their most up to date observations and report being passed onto their school to aid a smooth transition onto their next stage of learning.
You will also have an opportunity to contribute by completing a Parent’s view sheet, with your thoughts regarding child’s reported progress.
This exchange of information is enhanced with daily updates at the door on collection. Please feel free to speak to your key worker at any time with any queries or concerns.
Your child’s development will be observed and monitored and you will be able to discuss their progress with their allocated key person. After their term after their first term, you will receive a written report known as their ‘Two Year Check’. We use the Surrey County Council recommended Early Years Foundation Stage documents to plan and implement our curriculum, within the seven learning areas using imagination,
flexibility and a variety of different presentations.
Each half term will have a focus area and children will be observed and their progress will be monitored and recorded, with verbal feedback and written feedback being offered to you.
There will be an opportunity for you to see the nursery and speak to staff at the annual parent information evening, held in the spring term. Parents and carers will be able to see a variety of typical nursery set ups, and staff will be on hand to have any questions or queries that you may have about nursery life.
3 Prime areas:
Personal, social and emotional development:
- making relationships
- self-confidence and self-awareness
- managing feelings and behaviour.
- moving and handling
- health and self-care.
Communication and language:
- listening and attention
These prime areas help children to develop and learn, and become ready for school. As well as the three prime areas, early years providers will also plan activities
in the following areas of learning and development, known as specific areas.
4 Specific areas:
- shape, space and measure.
Understanding the world:
- people and communities
- the world
Expressive arts and design:
- exploring and using media and material
- being imaginative.
How will I know how my child is progressing within the EYFS requirements?
Assessment helps you find out about your child’s progress, understand their needs and plan their activities. Your child will have two important assessments before the end of the EYFS. The first when they are between two and three years old and the second in the final term of the year in which your child reaches the age of five. On-going assessment is also an important part of this. Your child’s early
years provider will look, listen and note how your child plays and then build on this by planning a challenging environment to support your child’s development. You can also share what you see your child doing with your child’s key person.
How can I find out more?
Talk to your child’s key person who will be happy to answer any questions you have. You can also view a copy of the Statutory and non-statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2012 (updated 2014) on the Department for Education website www.education.gov.uk