Early years settings are governed by the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundations Stage (EYFS). This framework is mandatory for all Early Years Providers in England and Wales. The EYFS specifies requirements for learning and development and for safeguarding children and promoting their welfare.

There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape the educational programmes in early years’ settings.

These three fundamental areas, known as the prime areas, are:

  • Communication and Language;
  • Physical Development;
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development.


Building on the prime areas, children must also be supported in four specific areas:

  • Literacy;
  • Mathematics;
  • Understanding the World;
  • Expressive Arts and Design.


Staff receive training on the implementation of the Early Years Foundation Stage, both through attending external courses and during in-house training and supervision sessions.  Using our knowledge of individual children, their level of development and their interests, practitioners plan activities and experiences to ensure that good or excellent progress is made by each child in reaching the early learning goals.


OFSTED expect early years’ settings to promote the characteristics of effective learning:

  • Playing and Exploring
  • Active Learning
  • Creating and Thinking Critically