Childcare choices

Parents guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a document for early years childcare providers, to help them support children’s learning and development from birth to five years. It is followed by childcare providers offering funded early education entitlement for 2, 3 and 4-year-olds.

It sets out what all early years childcare providers must do to make sure that your child learns and develops as they should. The key person assigned to your child will make sure that their learning and care is tailored to meet their individual needs. They will give you progress reports on your child and you can also share what you see your child doing with them. They can also give you ideas on what you can do at home with your child.

As a parent, you are your child’s first and most important educator. It’s really important that you continue in this role, supporting at home what your child is learning through your childcare provider.

Progress assessments

Your child’s learning will have ongoing assessments including two key assessments: 

  1. The first is when they are between two and three years old and is called a 'progress check'. This is a short summary of your child’s development in the prime areas of learning and development when your child is aged between 24 and 36 months. 
  2. The second assessment is in the final term of the year in which they reach the age of five, using the EYFS Profile. This will assess your child’s development against early learning goals between the ages of 40 and 60 months. These are included in: "Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage"

Your child's school or early years provider has to share the results of the profile with you. A copy will also be given to your child’s reception or year one teacher to help plan activities which meet the stage of their development and learning needs.

If you're worried about your child's progress, talk to your early years childcare provider and together you can agree how to support your child.

Further reading

You can find out more about the Early Years Foundation Stage on