What is the EYFS? This stands for the Early Years Foundation Stage and is set by the Department of Education. It is a guide that sets the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to 5 years.
The core aims of the Early Years framework are to ensure that children from all backgrounds:
- have the opportunity to learn and develop well,
- are equipped with the knowledge and skills to thrive in school and later life, are kept healthy, happy and safe.
All early years settings in England – including childminders, nurseries, playgroups, and private, independent and local-authority-maintained schools – must follow the EYFS statutory framework, which is split into three sections:
- Learning and development requirements
- safeguarding and welfare requirements
There are no regulations set that a Nanny should be using the EYFS in the home
For me this is surprising. Most nannies have knowledge on development and how to encourage children to their milestones, but having that in depth knowledge of what stage a child should be at by the time they go to school I feel is extremely important.
If you are a full time Nanny and looking after children 0-5 years, in my view, you should have the knowledge and be following the core aims of the EYFS. You can download the booklet “Development Matters” which is an excellent guide on what you should be doing daily with children 0-5 years.
There are also lots of short courses you can access to learn about the EYFS, which will give you a good understanding of what the aims are.
The main areas of development that have been highlighted are:
- Communication and Language
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Physical development
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
The EYFS is about how children learn as well as what they learn. Opportunities need to be given to children to develop their play and exploration. Between 0-5 years children learn and develop more than any other time in their lives. If children are struggling in a certain area, the best time to help them catch up is in this period.
As a Nanny working with 0-5 years, it is important to have knowledge of development of children in your care as well as recognising where they might be falling behind, and providing support and extra emphasis on activities to enable them to catch up. As babies and young children do not learn in a fixed way, it is important to have this knowledge to try different approaches in a varied and fun way. Whilst in regulated settings the children will be assessed and progress reported, in the home this is not essential. However, as a Nanny, you will have a certain responsibility to fulfil parents expectations on developing their child, have communication and respect on the parents thoughts and concerns and be working together to make sure the child is happy and needs are being met.