Early Years Foundation Stage guidance updated

Early Years Foundation Stage guidance updated

Prospect negotiator Claire Dent reports on the new guidance issued by the Department for Education on Early Years.

Early Years childcare

On Friday, the DfE amended Early Years Foundation Stage guidance to include the temporarily disapplied, and modified certain elements of the EYFS statutory framework.

The most important changes, including paediatric first aid, which members have asked about, are summarised below:

  • Learning and development requirements: During the COVID-19 outbreak early years providers should use reasonable endeavours to meet the existing learning and development requirements, instead of this being something they ‘must do’. In practice, this means that the most important thing is that children of critical workers and vulnerable children are cared for within settings.
  • Progress check at age 2 will not need to be undertaken during the COVID-19 outbreak. Providers should still remain alert to any emerging concerns about any child in their care and endeavour to provide or seek additional support if needed. It is expected that the checks will take place once the COVID-19 outbreak ends, so if a child is still between the age of 2 and 3 once the temporary measures are lifted then the progress check should still be completed before the child turns 3.

  • Assessment: the Early Years Assessment Stage Profile will not need to be undertaken in the academic year 2019/20.

  • Staff qualification and ratios: ratio requirements stay the same in the majority of cases but, during the COVID-19 outbreak, exceptions can be made to the qualifications that staff hold in order to be counted in the ratio requirements. Providers should use reasonable endeavours to ensure that at least half of staff (excluding the manager) hold at least a full and relevant Level 2 qualification to meet staff: child ratio requirements, but this will not be a legal requirement. Providers still need to ensure that there is always a member of staff in a setting which is open and providing care, who holds at least a full and relevant Level 3 qualification.

  • Paediatric first aid: The requirement for at least one person who has a full paediatric first aid (PFA) certificate to be on the premises at all times when children are present remains in place where there are children below the age of 24 months. However, if children are aged 2-5 within a setting, providers must use their ‘best endeavours’ to ensure one person with a full PFA certificate is on-site when children are present. If after using best endeavours they are still unable to secure a member of staff with full PFA to be on site then they must carry out a written risk assessment and ensure that someone with a current First Aid at Work or emergency PFA certification is on site at all times children are on premises.

The full guidance can be found on the DfE website:

Early years foundation stage: coronavirus disapplications