Early years foundation stage

The early years foundation stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old.

All schools and Ofsted registered early years providers must follow the EYFS including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes.

Early years learning concentrates on 7 areas split between prime and specific areas of learning.

The prime areas of learning are:

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

The specific areas of learning are:

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

Teaching is often done through play, where the child learns about subjects and other people through games.

You can read more about the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Page last updated: 19 March 2019
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