Growing Aspirations to reach Potential

Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is how the Government and Early Years Professionals describe the time in a child’s life between birth and age five.

This is a very important stage as it helps children to develop early skills in ‘readiness’ for school as well as preparing them for future learning and success. From when a child is born up until the age of five, their early years’ experience should be happy, active, exciting, secure and fun as well as supporting their development, care and learning needs.

All nurseries, pre-schools, reception classes and childminders registered to deliver the EYFS must follow a legal document called the Early Years Foundation Framework.

Overview of the Early Years Foundation Framework

The EYFS Framework exists to support all professionals working in the EYFS to help very young children to develop and learn. It sets out:

the legal welfare requirements to keep a child safe and promote their welfare
the seven areas of learning and development
assessments that tell us about a child’s progress through the EYFS
expected levels that a child should reach by the age of five called the Early Learning Goals
Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. Children in the EYFS must have a key person. Children who attend an early years setting when they are two will have a progress check. At the end of reception, all the information is gathered from assessments for the seven areas of learning and form the basis of the child’s Early Years Foundation Stage Profile. This helps the transition to year one in school.

Early Years Framework

What does the Virtual School have in place to support Children in Care in the Early Years?
The Early Years Foundation Stage is as much a priority for the Virtual School as other key stages in education, therefore, general guidance for school aged children also applies to those children in the pre-school years.

  • all children from birth to five must have an Early Years Personal Education Plan
  • all Cheshire West and Chester Early Years settings should have a designated practitioner for Children in Care
  • access to Early Years Pupil Premium for those of the appropriate age
  • guidance for early years settings who admit Children in Care
  • training opportunities for early years practitioners and foster carers
  • the pledge for our younger Children in Care


The Department for Education has published a new guide for parents, produced by Sheringham Nursery School and Children’s Centre – ‘What to expect in the Early Years Foundation Stage’ (formerly ‘What to expect when’) which guides parents through what to expect in their child’s development. It aligns with the new Development Matters to help practitioners engage with parents about their child’s development. Please click on the link below to view this useful document.

What to expect in the Early Years Foundation Stage 

Files to Download

Cheshire West and Chester Virtual School Wyvern House, The Drumber, Winsford, CW7 1AU
Claire Bradley | Senior Business Support Officer 01244 976172