Steps to take to get ready for September EYFS reforms
There’s lots of sector-wide conversation at the moment about the EYFS reforms that are due to come into force in September – with early years professionals across the country reading up on the updated guidance and planning for the new term.
As a childcare professional, you’re likely turning to support documents – such as Development Matters and Birth to 5 Matters – to help you prepare for the new strategy. But aside from reading up on the EYFS framework and your preferred resource, what other steps can your setting take, to ensure it’s all ready for September 2021?
Re-evaluate the paperwork
One of the key changes to the framework centres around reducing practitioners’ admin workload and increasing the time they have to spend dedicated to child development.
Therefore one quick way early years professionals like yourself can get ahead of the curve is to review all the paperwork you and your practitioners currently complete – for both assessments and planning.
Once this has been established, managers should reassess it and make sure by completion, it’s something that will make a big difference to the children. And this applies to everything including observations, photos, and work samples.
Ofsted has already made it clear that there is no set quota of paperwork it expects to see during an inspection. In fact the EYFS framework clearly outlines:
“Assessment should not entail prolonged breaks from interaction with children, nor 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 and should not be required to prove this through collection of physical evidence.”
So, a simple way to figure out if the paperwork really is necessary is to ask: ‘What are we doing?’ ‘Why are we doing it?’ and ‘Who are we doing it for?’ If the answers aren’t related to the children and their development – and they’re not significant and useful – then it’s probably worth getting rid of this admin step.
It’s in this sense that a quality over quantity approach should be adopted.
Explore the support available
As well as digesting the EYFS framework and your choice of guidance, there are also many other streams of support and training out there which nursery leaders, childminders, and early years practitioners should have a look at over the coming weeks.
For example, the UK government has devised a ‘help for early years providers’ hub, where you can discover all seven of the areas of learning within the new framework and get inspiration for activities.
It’s not only the perfect time to improve your existing child development knowledge but also to get clued up on all the documentation driving the EYFS reforms forward.
And it’s worth taking advantage of the tips and tools at your fingertips not only prior to the updated EYFS framework coming into effect but also throughout the course of the coming years too.
Here at Connect, we’ve partnered with some of the industry’s most trusted experts to bring you our ‘EYFS reforms hub’ – bursting with advice-led blogs, a bank of commonly asked questions, training webinars, a community forum, countdown timer, and a quiz (where you could win a Virgin Experience spa break for two, worth £250!).
Ultimately, it’s vital for all providers to feel confident, have a good understanding of child development, and know how to use assessments effectively to support children’s learning across all key learning areas. When they’re combined, implementing the EYFS framework will not only be easier but early years professionals will feel less overwhelmed and more relaxed about this new chapter.
And as always, while there may be some teething issues at first as you find your feet, through knowledge sharing and collaboration, we believe the sector will stand strong and proud together both in September and well into the future.