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“The Government recognises the importance of the foundation years. That is why we are making changes to improve quality of early education and the early years offer to families.

I am committed to improving quality. In March we published a stronger and simpler Early Years Foundation Stage Framework, which will be implemented from this September. The revised EYFS reflects the recommendations from Dame Clare Tickell’s thorough review and has been informed by the thoughtful and helpful contributions that many of you took the time to provide.

The reforms to the EYFS will help to reduce paperwork and bureaucracy, and provide for earlier intervention. There is a stronger focus on the three prime areas of learning; a reduced number of early learning goals, from 69 to 17; simplified assessment at age five; and a new progress check when children are aged two.

To support you in delivering the EYFS, a range of non statutory guidance has been produced by our Voluntary and Community Sector partners. There’s the remodelled ‘Development Matters’ to support daily observation and planning, a ‘Know How Guide’ to help you complete the progress check, and a summary of the EYFS for parents and carers. In the autumn we’ll publish a handbook and exemplification material to support the new EYFS Profile.

But we still need to do more and I’m currently working with the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Maria Miller, to lead a childcare commission which will look at issues relating to affordability and availability, drawing on expertise and evidence from this country and abroad.

We are keen to hear from you and get your thoughts on how policies and practices are working in practice. With your help, we can ensure that foundation years provision is equipped to meet future challenges. It is no less than our providers, our dedicated professionals, and most importantly our children and their families, deserve.”

Sarah Teather MP, Minister of State for Children and Families

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  1. Wendy Collinson on August 15, 2012
    I would just like to ask how can we provide an accurate baseline assessment in September 2012 if the profile handbook has yet to be published? If Ofsted want to see value added we have no benchmark to demonstrate this without seeing the descriptions of the scale points and have no idea what they are at this point in time. It is extremely frustrating to be asked to administer a new framework with only half the information needed. There has always been a huge emphasis on baseline assessment to enable practitioners to provide for each individual child and yet it appears that this part of the information is far too late in it's arrival.