Every Child Matters

Huggie Bears Family Childcare follows the government’s Early Years Foundation Stage Framework to ensure that parents can be confident that their child will receive a quality experience that supports their development and learning.


The Early Years Foundation Stage – is a central part of the ten year childcare strategy:

- Ensuring a consistent approach to care and learning from birth to the end of the Foundation Stage.
- Has a play-based approach
- Focuses on stages of development rather than chronological, age based teaching and learning

The overarching aim of the EYFS is to help children achieve the Every Child Matters five outcomes:

1. Staying safe
2. Being healthy
3. Enjoying and achieving
4. Making a positive contribution
5. Achieving economic wellbeing

The EYFS aims to help children achieve the 5 outcomes by:

1. Setting standards
2. Promoting Equality of opportunity
3. Creating a framework for partnership working
4. Improving quality and consistency
5. Laying a secure foundation for future learning and development

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a Government framework that sets out minimum standards of care and learning that all childcare providers are expected to deliver. This includes schools, preschools, nurseries, children's centres and of course Childminders. Its purpose is to ensure that children are provided with a rich learning experience tailored to their individual needs whilst being cared for in a safe and secure environment. The EYFS principles are grouped into 4 themes:

What are the 4 Themes and Principles of the EYFS?

The Unique Child: Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.

Positive relationships: Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.

Enabling Environment: The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.

Learning and Developing: Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of Learning and Development are equally important and interconnected.

The EYFS contains a series of “Early Learning Goals” that set out what most children are expected to achieve by the end of their reception year. These goals are grouped into seven areas of learning and development:

There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the Prime Areas, are:

  • communication and language;
  • physical development; and
  • personal, social and emotional development.

Providers must also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:

  • literacy;
  • mathematics;
  • understanding the world; and
  • expressive arts and design.

Educational programmes must involve activities and experiences for children, as follows:

  • Communication and Language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
  • Physical Development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
  • Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
  • Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
  • Understanding the World involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
  • Expressive Arts and Design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

The revised EYFS becomes Statutory in September 2014. The Statutory guidance and  associated documentation is available to read and download in full on the Foundation Years website.