Personal, social and emotional development
This information will help you understand what personal, social and emotional development in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) involves and what it means for children. This can help you support them as they form relationships with others and begin to develop an understanding of right and wrong.
Children must be provided with experiences and support that will help them to develop a positive sense of themselves and of others, respect for others, social skills, and a positive disposition to learn. Providers must ensure support for children's emotional well-being to help them to know themselves and what they can do.
Aspects of personal, social and emotional development
Personal, social and emotional development is made up of the following aspects.
- Dispositions and attitudes – how children become interested, excited and motivated about their learning.
- Self-confidence and self-esteem – children having a sense of their own value and understanding the need for sensitivity to significant events in their own and other people's lives.
- Making relationships – the importance of children forming good relationships with others and working alongside others companionably.
- Behaviour and self-control – how children develop a growing understanding of what is right and wrong and why, together with learning about the impact of their words and actions on themselves and others.
- Self-care – how children gain a sense of self-respect and concern for their own personal hygiene and care and how they develop independence.
- Sense of community – how children understand and respect their own needs, views, cultures and beliefs and those of other people.
What personal, social and emotional development means for children
- For children, being special to someone and well cared for is vital for their physical, social and emotional health and well-being.
- Being acknowledged and affirmed by important people in their lives leads to children gaining confidence and inner strength through secure attachments with these people.
- Exploration within close relationships leads to the growth of self-assurance, promoting a sense of belonging that allows children to explore the world from a secure base.
- Children need adults to set a good example and to give them opportunities for interaction with others so that they can develop positive ideas about themselves and others.
- Children who are encouraged to feel free to express their ideas and their feelings, such as joy, sadness, frustration and fear, can develop strategies to cope with new, challenging or stressful situations.