Early Years Foundation Stage

The new Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) took effect from September. It means parents can be confident that all services which are provided for children aged from birth to the 31 August following their fifth birthday (such as by childminders and schools), will be inspected against common standards in care and early education.

Alongside the EYFS the compulsory part of the Childcare Register introduces new requirements for the care of older children. Most providers will be on both of the new style registers and will have to meet the EYFS and the requirements of the Childcare Register.


What is different?

All childcare providers who will deliver the EYFS will now also have to think about the development and early learning of children in their care. This is something many carers already do, but it’s now recognised and set out in a single framework, and considered through a single inspection process. There is more emphasis on self-evaluation and working with other professionals, helping with continual assessment and improvement.


Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage

For full details of the new statutory framework that all providers have to meet, download or read the framework.


Early years self-evaluation form and guidance

The early years self-evaluation form (SEF) will help you reflect on your practice and review your service against the new framework. It is now available for you to complete online and we encourage you to use this: https://online.ofsted.gov.uk/OnlineOfsted/default.aspx.

In order to complete your SEF online, you will need a unique password from Ofsted called an Ofsted Security Token (OST) and the guidelines on how to complete the online form. If you have not already received this, please contact us on 08456 404043. Please have your URN to hand when you contact us.

Alternatively, if you wish to, you can complete the SEF by hand.

Download the form, and read the guidance


Are you ready for your inspection?

We have revised the publication ‘Are you ready for your inspection?’ to help providers prepare for the new style inspections we will carry out from September 2008.

Download the publication


New application forms

This change also means that the following forms; DC1, DC2, DC3 and CM2 have been replaced.

You can find out which forms you now need to complete on the forms to complete page.


Common questions on the EYFS

This document provides key questions and answers about the implementation of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and what providers need to know.

Read the questions and answers


The early years evaluation schedule

Using the early years evaluation schedule: Guidance for inspectors of registered early years settings required to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage


Local authority pre-registration briefing events for EYFS

Pre-registration briefing for those wishing to become childminders

Pre-registration briefing for those wishing to become childcare providers


March 2008 EYFS briefing events

In March 2008 the Children's Directorate held a series of four briefings on the Early Years Foundation Stage for all local authorities in England. This set of four presentations gives the details of briefings and may be used by local authorities to give their own briefings on the Early Years foundation Stage.

Download the presentation