16th November 2020 Early Years Foundation Stage All Posts

Changes to the EYFS

Changes to the EYFS

The revised EYFS Framework will become statutory from September 2021 which means you have just over 10 months to prepare yourself for the changes. 


Unless you’re an early adopter, Julian Grenier suggests that it’s best to stick to your existing approaches during the months ahead. There is no real need to make any big changes right now – but you should begin to prepare your setting and staff for the changes. 


If you haven’t already, you can begin the process by understanding the updated documents.

You can view the EYFS Statutory Framework which is being used for early adopters here – this document is likely to be virtually the same as the one which becomes mandatory in September 2021.

The Department for Education (DfE) has also published Development Matters, new non-statutory curriculum guidance to support the delivery of the revised early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework. 

The new Development Matters has been developed by Dr Julian Grenier, in consultation with a range of professionals across the early years sector. It is in line with the main aims of the reforms to the EYFS – to improve outcomes for all children, especially disadvantaged children, and to reduce teacher and practitioner workload. You can read more about that within Julian’s blog here.


The 3 main changes to development matters include...

Broader age bands:

The revised guidance is formatted differently. Children’s development was broken down into quite small bands in the previous document, it is now broken down into three larger bands. This is to recognise the actual learning of young children is not so neat and orderly. The new bands are:

  • birth to three
  • threes and fours
  • fours and fives (Reception year).

The aspects of learning are threaded together:

The guidance threads together the different aspects of development under the seven areas of learning and development, rather than separating it out. E.g, Communication and Language is no longer broken down into the three different sections of ‘Listening and Attention’, ‘Understanding’ and ‘Speaking’.  This is so the child can be assessed more holistically.

The Early Learning Goals have been removed:

That decision was taken because of concerns that the whole early years phase can be dominated by ‘top-down’ pressure driven by the goals. You can read more about this here.

We’re Updating iConnect to reflect the new Development Matters

Julian Grenier expresses the importance of settings developing their own approach to the curriculum they offer, using Development Matters to support this, rather than using it as a tick list.

If you use iConnect, you’ll probably be wondering how you will continue to track development within the system when the changes come into place.

Please rest assured that we have this in hand. Our team are working hard to ensure that the new Development Matters ‘framework’ will be available in iConnect prior to September 2021 when the new EYFS becomes mandatory for nursery settings. The reports and frameworks within iConnect will be updated to include the changes so you can continue to use the system to log your observations and assessments.

Check out for updates on the Connect Community over the next few months so you know exactly what to expect, and when to expect it. As always, you will have the opportunity to feedback on our proposed changes. If you are an Early Adopter, we would love to hear from you! You can email our product team on feedback@connectchildcare.com 

Other helpful resources relating the EYFS reforms:

‘Working with the revised Earl›y Years Foundation Stage: Principles into Practice’ – With Julian Grenier

Julian Grenier led on the revision of Development Matters for the Department for Education. He has independently written guidance to support practitioners, teachers and settings in understanding and implementing the updated Development Matters. 

Julian has been kind enough to share this article with our readers.

How can real-time data help nurseries track and engage underperforming children more effectively?

Child engagement and development are at the heart of what every great nursery does – right through from its observations and assessments to parental engagement and staff training sessions. But when it comes to monitoring child progress and ensuring an enriching learning experience, real-time data can help practitioners to do this more effectively – especially in relation to handling the ‘under-performer’.

Our head of new business and management software expert, John Pickup, recently explored this in greater depth with NMT Magazine.

What makes a good observation  – With Kathy Brodie

Records will always be needed in Early Years, but there’s now a real focus on reducing the amount of administrative work that early years educators need to complete – and rightly so. 

The new Development Matters document encourages early years practitioners to use their knowledge to facilitate holistic learning and development and help children make progress without generating unnecessary paperwork. We have always believed paperwork has been a huge burden on the sector and spoke to Kathy Brodie, way back in 2017, to get her thoughts on ‘What Makes a Good Observation’. She gave us some brilliant insights and a list of questions to ask yourself before recording anything – so your time is really put to best use. 

Shining the spotlight on parental engagement in the Early Years sector – With Jan Dubiel

With the nation slowly recovering from months of lockdown, there has never been a better time to look at the role parental engagement plays in narrowing child development gaps.

For the past few months, home-schooling was a part of people’s everyday lives, parental involvement is the thing that drove children’s education outside of the traditional classroom setting. So, it should not be overlooked.

Coincidentally, we recently chatted to Early Years expert, Jan Dubiel, about this very topic. Here, we share his thoughts, as well as our own…

Book a call with our team to discuss how software can be utilised to improve outcomes for the children at your settings.
  • This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Share this article
About the Author

Marketing Lead at Connect Childcare