24th January 2024 Early Years Foundation Stage All Posts

EYFS Updates 2024: Webinar Takeaway’s

We recently hosted a webinar featuring The Childcare Guru, Jamie, a distinguished professional with over 15 years of experience in various Early Years roles. Jamie’s diverse background, including roles as a Nursery Manager, Forest School Manager, Deputy Head, and even an Ofsted Inspector, uniquely positions her as an expert in the sector.

In this blog, we have outlined the key takeaways and insights discussed throughout the webinar, focusing on the changes in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) for 2024.

Essential documents to refer to regard the EYFS changes

Key Changes made to the 2024 EYFS:

Separate EYFS Framework for childminders and group providers

There are now two versions of the EYFS Framework: one with childminder-relevant content and one with group and school-based provider-relevant content.

Supporting children speaking English as an Additional Language

The wording has now been changed from ‘must’ to ‘may’ throughout the learning and development requirements (section 1). For example: 

P.17 Paragraph 1.14

“For children whose home language is not English, providers may take reasonable steps to provide opportunities for children to develop and use their home language in play and learning, supporting their language development at home.”

You will find this from pages 9-19 in the EYFS framework for group providers.

Clarification around ‘physical evidence‘ in relation to assessments

“Assessment should not involve long breaks from interaction with children or require excessive paperwork. When assessing whether an individual child is at the expected level of development, practitioners should draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgement. Practitioners are not required to prove this through collection of any physical evidence.”

Child protection

Section three of the EYFS directs changes to safeguarding policies to include all electronic devices with imaging and sharing capabilities. This can be found on P.23 paragraph 3.6 in the EYFS framework for group providers.

“Safeguarding policies must include: The action to be taken when there are safeguarding concerns about a child. The action to be taken in the event of an allegation being made against the member of staff.

How mobile phones, cameras and other electronic devices with imaging and sharing capabilities are used in the setting.”

Changes to the level 2 mathematics qualification

Level 3 practitioners will no longer be required to hold a level 2 maths qualification to count within staff:child ratios. However, this requirement will now be applied to certain setting managers. Managers appointed on or after 1 January 2024 must have already achieved a suitable level 2 qualification in maths or must do so within two years of starting in the position.

Read more on P.30 paragraph 3.38

It is important to note that the DfE has confirmed that “the change impacts the requirements set out in the EYFS framework only, and has no bearing on apprenticeship End Point Assessment requirements”.

Students and apprentices

Students and apprentices can count in staff:child ratios at the level below their level of study.

This decision is based on the discretion of the setting manager. It is for them to consider the staff in question and determine whether they meet the needs of the children and to ensure their safety. This would depend on the individual students and their level of competence, as well as parental concerns and the length of time they’ve been on a placement.

You can find this information on P.33 paragraph 3.49.

Paediatric first aid

The wording of the paediatric first aid (PFA) requirement in the group and school-based provider version of the EYFS has been amended to make it clear that all staff who have obtained a Level 2 and/or Level 3 qualification since 30 June 2016 must also hold a valid PFA qualification to be included in the required staff:child ratios and this must be renewed every three years.

You can find this information on P.29 paragraph 3.31.

Physical copies of qualifications

Clarification has been made that while qualifications must be verified, employees do not have to provide physical copies of their qualifications. This is to “tackle the known issue of some settings refusing to accept digital copies of certificates”.

You can find this information on P.24 paragraph 3.9.

New guidance on early years qualifications and requirements

P.30 paragraph 3.38 now outlines that

“To count within the ratios at level 3, staff holding an Early Years Educator qualification must also have achieved a suitable level 2 qualification in English. An approved qualification is defined by the Department for Education as meeting the criteria set out in the Early Years Qualification Requirements and Standards document. Approved qualifications will be published on the Early Years Qualifications List published on gov.uk.”

Early Years Ofsted Inspections:

Jamie suggests refreshing your understanding by refreshing your knowledge of the Ofsted inspection handbook, emphasising its value as a comprehensive resource for navigating the inspection process. What better way to grasp the inspection process than by utilising the same handbook employed by Ofsted inspectors?

The handbook is organised into three key sections:

Part 1: Provides insights into the inspection of Ofsted-registered early years providers.

Part 2: Outlines the evaluation schedule.

Part 3: Guides the application of the education inspection framework (EIF) in various contexts.

Regarding updates related to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), the Ofsted inspection handbook has undergone some slight adjustments. Notable changes include:

  • Introducing new avenues for providers to reach out to Ofsted.
  • Enhancing on-site professional dialogue during inspections.
  • Implementing new procedures for finalising reports and addressing formal challenges.
  • Allowing direct escalation to the Independent Complaints Adjudication Service for Ofsted.

Ongoing updates to the handbook are underway, stemming from a consultation carried out by Ofsted. These modifications, encompassing all four phases, are set for implementation starting April 2024.

We hope you found this brief summary informative, but we strongly recommend catching up on the webinar if you missed it. The webinar offers a deeper dive into the changes in the EYFS and the Ofsted Inspection Handbook. Additionally, you’ll uncover valuable insights from Jamie’s top tips for navigating an Ofsted inspection. Access the webinar for free here.

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Content Marketing Executive at Connect Childcare