Find out more about the new Development Matters document and watch our vodcast with the Department for Education and Dr Julian Grenier who answer your questions on the new document.


The Department for Education (DfE) has 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.

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


Development Matters vodcast

In our latest vodcast, Gill Holden, Principal Officer – Early Childhood Unit at NCB, was joined by Ada Simpson, Head of Early Years Quality at the Department for Education, and Dr Julian Grenier, Headteacher at Sheringham Nursery School and Children’s Centre, to answer your questions on the new document.

We also hear from Lindsey Foster, Deputy Headteacher, and Tania Choudhury, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator, at Sheringham Nursery School and Children’s Centre, who talk to us about forest school and inclusive practice.

You can also access an audio-only version of the vodcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

If you have any further questions or comments on the new Development Matters, please submit these to [email protected].

We will continue to pass these on to the Department for Education and will provide updates on how your feedback has been used.

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