Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure 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.
The EYFS seeks to provide:
- quality and consistency in all early years settings, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind
- a secure foundation through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly
- partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers
- equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that everychild is included and supported
The EYFS specifies requirements for learning and development and for safeguarding children and promoting their welfare. The learning and development requirements cover:
- the areas of learning and development which must shape activities and experiences (educational programmes) for children in all early years settings
- the early learning goals that providers must help children work towards (the knowledge, skills and understanding children should have at the end of the academic year in which they turn five)
- assessment arrangements for measuring progress (and requirements for reporting to parents and/or carers)
The safeguarding and welfare requirements cover the steps that providers must take to keep children safe and promote their welfare.
Putting the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework into practice has been an evolutionary process and one that is constantly reviewed and updated to ensure that we cater as best as we can for all of the children falling within the outlined criteria.
In the first instance, as soon as Registration at the Club is confirmed, we request ‘Getting to know you’ information as part of our complete Registration Forms. This enables us to gather information on your child’s interests, favourite games, likes and dislikes. We use the information to ensure we have suitable activities for your children before they attend the Club. This then helps to ensure all children feel interested and fully inclusive from the moment they attend and also helps us to extend their development opportunities.
Each child is allocated a KeyPerson who is responsible for ensuring that the child settles in well and that their needs are fully met.
When required, KeyPersons conduct written observations documenting each child’s progress. Photographic evidence may also recorded along with narrative commentary specific to the skills being identified and developed. Observations and photographs, specific to each child, are kept in confidential files. The level of record keeping is determined by the level of support each child needs; as identified by the school.
Throughout the school year we liaise with the school in order to formally review each child’s progress. From here, we work to support the areas of development for each child, which again, are identified by the school.
All records are shared, following receipt of parental consent, with each child’s Reception Teacher or Pre-school Leader to ensure continuity of care.