What is the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)?

The EYFS is a framework for the care and learning of all children from birth to the age of five years or until the end of the Reception year at school. There are four main guiding principles that shape the EYFS and apply to all children in Early Years Education. These are:

  1. Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  2. Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
  3. Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
  4. Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Following on from these principles there are seven areas of early years learning that EYFS concentrates on, the first three of which are identified as being particularly important for younger children:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding of the world
  • Expressive arts and design

You can find out more about Early Years Foundation Stage here.

How does the EYFS fit with the Montessori Philosophy?

The principles of the EYFS are expressed in terms that are very familiar to Montessorians: that each child is unique; that positive relationships form the basis for personal respect supporting learning; that the learning environment is important in extending learning and development; and that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The Montessori approach is at one with the EYFS view of learning and both see observation as the key to promoting children's learning and development.