We all know that findings from early childhood studies and neuroscience have shown that children’s early experiences are important in affecting health, behaviour and developmental outcomes.

In their first three years, children develop physically, cognitively and emotionally at a faster rate than at any other time in their lives. All professionals need to respond to this by supporting children as they learn to walk and run, speak and communicate, relate to others, play, and explore their world.

As a foundation years professional you need to provide the children in your setting with the balance of child-initiated play, focused and structured learning to ensure that they enjoy learning to read, write, use numbers, think mathematically, explore their world and make creations.

The principles and commitments of the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework are rooted in child development, effective pedagogy and learning and development.

Early language

It is widely agreed that early language development is critical for future learning and school readiness. There is a wealth of evidence and research that you can draw on and study to support your understanding of this prime area of learning and development.

In our society children need to be skillful communicators and as a foundation years professional you have an important role in ensuring that children have every opportunity and support to become effective communicators.

Every professional has their part to play in supporting early language development

  • Health visitors– in identifying at the earliest age those children who will benefit from additional support and ensuring that they get that help.
  • Speech and language therapists have a clinical role in supporting those children with identified speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), and increasingly have a role in supporting early years practitioners to manage children’s SLCN through appropriate targeted interventions in settings.
  • Practitioners will be engaged with children in high quality language interactions and monitoring their progress
  • All who work with foundation years children have a responsibility to engage mums and dads in supporting their child’s language development.

Case studies

Flexible Deployment of Graduates to Improve Outcomes for Children

Attention to detail is key in ensuring inspirational teaching across the Centre. Staff deployment in the nursery and working hours allow for practitioners to work beyond contact time with the children. This provides opportunities for daily pedagogical discussion about next steps, children’s interests and provision.