The Department for Education (DfE) has today published Development Matters, new non-statutory curriculum guidance which supports the delivery of the revised early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework.

The new Development Matters has been developed by Dr Julian Grenier, in consultation with a range of professionals across the early years sector. It offers a top-level view of how children develop and learn, and guides, but does not replace, professional judgement.

The guidance sets out pathways of children’s development in broad ages and stages but recognises the actual learning of young children is not so neat and orderly. The document encourages early years practitioners to use their knowledge to facilitate holistic learning and development and help children make progress without generating unnecessary paperwork.

This is in line with the main aims of the reforms to the EYFS – to improve outcomes for all children, especially disadvantaged children, and to reduce teacher and practitioner workload.

Who is the guidance for?

The guidance has been written for all early years practitioners, for childminders and staff in nurseries, nursery schools, pre-schools, and nursery and reception classes in school. To support your understanding, Foundation Years will be hosting a video podcast with Dr Julian Grenier and DfE later this month (see below).

When should the guidance be used?

The guidance can be used by schools participating in the EYFS reforms early adopter year to support changing their curriculum and practice as they deliver the new framework this year. Those who are not early adopters may find some elements of the new Development Matters useful in 2020/21 but they will still need to follow the existing EYFS framework until statutory roll out of the reforms in September 2021.

Find out more about the EYFS reforms


Submit your questions on Development Matters

Foundation Years are hosting a video podcast with Dr Julian Grenier and DfE to answer your questions on the new Development Matters guidance.

Please send your questions to [email protected] by 4pm Monday 14 September to ensure consideration.

Kindly note that we are unlikely to be able to address every question asked. An attempt will be made to ensure a representative sample of questions are posed and that key themes emerging from the sector are covered.

The vodcast will be circulated to this mailing list and uploaded to the Foundation Years website to watch at your convenience.

Submit your questions