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Early years foundation stage (EYFS)

The early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework is the statutory guidance that school and childcare providers must meet for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5.

You can find the EYFS framework on the EYFS page (opens link in new window)

The EYFS framework:

  • sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well
  • ensures children are kept healthy and safe
  • ensures that children have the knowledge and skills they need to start school

This statutory framework is for:

  • school leaders
  • school staff
  • childcare providers
  • childminders
  • out of school providers

It relates to:

  • local authority-maintained schools
  • non-maintained schools (schools not maintained by a local authority)
  • independent schools
  • academies and free schools
  • nurseries
  • private nursery schools
  • pre-schools/playgroups
  • childminding

Statutory guidance is issued by law, you must follow it unless there’s a good reason not to do so.

Changes to the EYFS framework become law in September 2021. Help for early years providers to prepare for these changes is available.

Supporting material is available on the Foundation Years website.

Last updated: 21/05/2021