The Early Years Foundation Stage is the stage of development from birth to 5yrs (or the end of reception year at school).
The Government has issued a framework which guides all practitioners involved with children at this stage of development, and this includes childminders. We have fully implemented this framework and monitor the pre-school children through regular written observations as they play and explore. We fill in diaries to keep parents informed of day to day activities and developments, and complete regular, more formal, written observations, which we share with parents. At the age of 2 years we complete a written summary of the child’s development in the 3 prime areas of development. The framework also provides guidance on how we can ensure a safe and healthy environment for the children in our care, as well as how we can work together with school and parents to provide every opportunity for each child to develop to their full potential. It states that there are 7 main areas of learning and development. The first 3 areas are their “prime areas”, which mostly develop first during a child’s very early years.
Communication & Language
We encourage competent communication, speaking and listening throughout all our daily routines and outings, role-play, small world play and group activities.
We help children to improve and develop their physical skills of co-ordination and movement, as well as control and manipulation, through our range of toys and resources, both indoors and outside. We encourage them to make healthy choices in their day to day lives.
Personal, Social & Emotional
We help the children to develop a positive sense of themselves and of others and promote social skills and mutual respect. We also encourage emotional well-being, independence and self care. (e.g. toilet training, dressing themselves etc) Our facilities are designed to encourage these skills.
As children grow, these prime areas will also help them to develop skills in the following 4 areas:-
We value the importance of reading and writing, and have a separate book room where children can relax and pursue literacy and communication activities through stories, poetry, rhymes and songs.
We support the children in their understanding of problem solving, reasoning and numeracy, via a wide range of toys and resources which encourage exploration and investigation. We support their development through counting, sorting and matching activities and provide resources to encourage them to explore numbers, shapes, space and measures.
Understanding of the World
We promote the children’s understanding and awareness of the world through exploration of the community, and their surroundings. We provide a wide range of resources which provide a strong basis for the science, technology, history and geography which they will go on to develop later during their school years. They are encouraged to use a wide range of tools, and through outings are able to encounter the creatures, people, plants and objects in their natural environments.
Expressive Arts & Design
We support the children as they explore and express their feelings and creativity. We provide a wide range of media, art, music, role-play activities and design and technology, through which they can use their imagination to share their ideas.