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Update of EYFS

In March 2017 the DfE published a revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework – the third revision to the original 2008 edition. The revised EYFS (DfE 2017) incorporates new legislation and statutory guidance introduced since the last update in 2014, including:

  • the ‘Prevent duty guidance for England and Wales 2015;

  • Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015;

  • the DfE’s Early Years Qualifications List;

  • Small Businesses and Employment Act 2015;

  • Early Years Workforce Strategy 2017.

The changes and clarifications are exclusively contained in the safeguarding and welfare section of the EYFS; there have been no changes to the learning and development requirements since the 2012 revision when the early learning goals were considerably reduced.

In brief the 2017 changes are:

  • Clarification on the position for providers who exclusively offer out of school care

  • Reference to the Chief Medical Officers guidance (2011) on physical activity (primarily, physically active for 3hrs per day)

  • Updated references to Prevent and Working Together

  • The new GCSE requirements which were announced on the same day as the updated EYFS

  • Clarification of the ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ in the document, namely that where a requirement states ‘should’ providers are required to adhere to it, unless there is a valid reason for not doing so, where it states ‘must’, they must not deviate.

  • Paediatric First Aid requirements – with guidance

  • Ratios for provision run by schools governing body – clarifies what has already been communicated to Ofsted and LAs (autumn 2015)

  • Further clarification of when childminders can make an exception to ratios (continuity of care)

  • Prescription medicines – clarifies the position over certain medicines having to be prescribed before a provider can give them and ‘over the counter’medicine.

  • Reference to guidance for checks on job applicants who have lived or worked abroad.

The 2017 changes are certainly not onerous, because they are primarily driven by legislation that providers are already working with. Additional guidance issued to Ofsted Inspectors confirms that they should not have to look for new or additional evidence during a scheduled inspection in most cases. However, as always practitioners must familiarise themselves with the current content of the EYFS and the underpinning legislation and guidance on which it is based.

  • Further information can be found in the mini guide on the Alliance website that lists each amendment and its exact location in the document.

  • Melanie Pilcher (Quality and Standards Manager)