24th February 2024 Early Years Foundation Stage All Posts

The EYFS 2-Year Progress Check

Welcome to an exploration of the 2-year progress check, a pivotal assessment within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), designed to track and support the development of children aged 2–3 years. This assessment serves as a comprehensive snapshot of a child’s learning and growth journey, highlighting areas of strength and opportunities for further development.

In this article, we will cover the significance of the 2-year progress check as mandated by the EYFS. Additionally, we’ll emphasise the vital role of parent and caregiver collaboration in this process. By understanding the purpose and benefits of this assessment, we can better support the learning and development of children in early education. 

What is the two-year progress check?

The 2-year progress check is a fundamental assessment outlined in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) guidelines, ensuring that every child’s development is evaluated between the ages of 24 to 36 months. This assessment involves producing a concise written summary detailing the child’s progress across the three prime areas: personal, social, and emotional development, physical development; and communication and language. With the two-year check, it is crucial to consider observations from everyday learning activities to accurately assess progress, both in their learning environment and at home. The summary highlights areas of strength and areas requiring further development, accompanied by actionable strategies to address these needs.

This assessment, along with the Healthy Child Health and Development Review at age 2, provides a comprehensive understanding of a child’s development. Keeping the progress check on file is essential, as it may be reviewed during an Ofsted inspection and should be retained for a reasonable period even after the child has transitioned from the childcare setting.

Understanding the purpose of the 2-year progress check

The 2-year progress check serves three key purposes, each aimed at collaboration, facilitating early intervention, and supporting optimal development for every child.

1. Partnership with parents:

At the heart of the progress check is the belief that when practitioners and parents work together, they can better support a child’s development and wellbeing. By engaging in open communication and sharing observations, practitioners can gain valuable insights from parents about their children’s unique needs, family dynamics, and cultural background.

2. Action for every child:

Beyond simply documenting observations, the progress check encourages practitioners to actively listen to the child, collaborate with colleagues, and devise personalised plans for each child’s development. By pooling resources and expertise, practitioners can implement targeted interventions early on, addressing any emerging concerns and ensuring that every child receives the support they need to flourish.

3. Early identification:

Recognising that children develop rapidly between the ages of two and three, the progress check plays a vital role in the early identification of potential challenges or developmental delays. Whether it’s addressing communication difficulties, providing additional support for families in need, or connecting children with specialised services, the check enables timely intervention to make a significant impact on a child’s developmental trajectory.

Overall, the 2-year progress check is designed to review a child’s development, celebrate achievements, identify areas of concern, and empower parents to play an active role in enhancing their child’s development both at home and in collaboration with practitioners and other professionals.

Who should write the 2-year progress check?

The responsibility of completing the 2-year progress check falls on the child’s key person, typically the individual who knows the child best within the setting. This assessment is a collaborative effort informed by various sources:

Professional judgement and observation: the key person relies on their professional judgement and careful observation to assess the child’s development accurately. By closely monitoring the child’s interactions, behaviours, and milestones, they can provide valuable insights into the child’s progress.

The voice of the child: every child’s perspective is valued in the progress check process. With the right support, children can articulate their likes, dislikes, challenges, and achievements. Their input, whether expressed through words, gestures, or body language, is integral to understanding their development.

Parents’ views: parents should be regarded as experts on their children and their input is highly valued. Their observations, concerns, and insights into their child’s development provide essential context for the progress check. Collaboration with parents ensures a holistic understanding of the child’s needs and strengths.

Input from other professionals: if applicable, input from other professionals such as General Practitioners (GPs) or health visitors may also inform the progress check. Their expertise and observations contribute to a comprehensive assessment of the child’s development, particularly in addressing any specific health or developmental concerns.

Every child, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), has the right to be heard and valued in the setting. By creating an environment that promotes open communication and supports children in expressing their thoughts and feelings, practitioners can ensure that each child’s unique experiences and perspectives are acknowledged and incorporated into the 2-year progress check process.

Parent collaboration throughout the EYFS 2-year progress check

In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), building trust and encouraging collaboration with parents is paramount, especially concerning the 2-year progress check. Parents and/or carers are encouraged to share information gleaned from the progress check with relevant professionals, such as health visitors and staff from new childcare settings. The EYFS suggests that practitioners should recognise the importance of working hand in hand with parents and/or carers to determine the optimal time to provide a summary of the progress check findings.

It’s crucial to note that providers must obtain explicit consent from parents and/or carers before sharing any information directly with other relevant professionals. This commitment to obtaining consent ensures transparency and upholds respect for parental involvement in their child’s developmental journey. By developing open communication and mutual respect, practitioners and parents can collaboratively support the holistic development of each child.

Communicating with parents and carers in line with the EYFS

Creating diverse opportunities for parents and carers to actively participate in their children’s learning journey is essential. Recognising and addressing potential barriers to their involvement, such as past nursery experiences, separation anxiety, language barriers, cultural differences, or diverse values, is essential for building meaningful engagement. Working collaboratively with parents outlines various ways to involve them in their children’s learning experiences.

The EYFS emphasises the significance of promptly addressing any concerns regarding children’s progress to build trust and ensure parents feel comfortable sharing information. When it comes to the 2-year progress check, parents value clear and easily understandable summaries, it’s good practice to avoid using unfamiliar jargon, acronyms, or terminology. The 2-year check should provide a truthful yet sensitive reflection of the child’s achievements to date, identify areas of slower progress, and incorporate parents’ observations and comments to recognise their in-depth knowledge of their child. Additionally, parents appreciate insights into how their child’s development will be further supported within the setting.

The benefits of using a tool like iConnect to streamline your two-year checks:

We understand the complexities faced by childcare providers when it comes to meeting EYFS assessment requirements, especially regarding the 2-year progress check. Creating a two-year check assessment with iConnect is simple and will help to improve your nursery’s: 

  • Efficiency: By having access to all past observations, creating a two-year check assessment becomes streamlined and less time-consuming. The Two Year Check Report provides a clear list of children eligible for a Two Year Check and their assessment statuses. This efficiency allows staff to manage assessments more effectively and allocate their time and resources efficiently.
  • Alignment with sector guidance: Being able to assess children against sector guidance such as development matters or birth to five matters ensures that assessments are comprehensive and aligned with recognised standards. This can help in identifying areas where a child may need additional support or intervention.
  • Clarity on progress: The two-year check feature enables practitioners to demonstrate what the child is currently working towards and what milestones they have already achieved. This clarity is beneficial for tracking progress over time and communicating with parents or other professionals.
  • Guided assessment: The ability to switch between age range tabs for appropriate development checkpoints guides practitioners during the assessment process. This can help ensure that assessments are thorough and cover all relevant developmental areas.
  • Visual evidence: Including photos and videos as evidence of progress enhances the assessment by providing tangible examples of the child’s development. This visual evidence can be particularly useful for conveying progress to parents and caregivers, enhancing their understanding and engagement in the child’s learning journey.
  • Timeliness: By ensuring that no Two Year Check is late through clear identification and tracking, the reporting feature helps nurseries maintain compliance with regulations and deadlines. Timely assessments are crucial for monitoring children’s development and providing appropriate support when needed.

On the whole, our software contributes to smoother operations and better communication, ultimately supporting the well-being and development of children in the nursery.

Simplify your EYFS assessments with iConnect

Are you ready to streamline your EYFS assessments? Explore how Connect Childcare can enhance efficiency and simplify your childcare operations. Schedule a demo today to witness our software in action. Our knowledgeable sales team is available to answer any questions and provide assistance.

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See it for yourself. We’re sure you’ll love it! Request a demo and our team will show you why so many nurseries choose our software to help save time in their settings.
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About the Author

Content Marketing Executive at Connect Childcare