The Department for Education (DfE) have published a revised version of Development Matters, government’s non-statutory curriculum guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), to reflect feedback received from the Early Adopter schools that have adopted the EYFS reforms over the 2020/21 academic year.

Please note that changes to content are minor and you will not need to alter any planning based on the September 2020 version that you may have already made.

These changes include:

  • Updated links, making minor tweaks to wording for clarification purposes.
  • Updates to the Introduction and Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning sections to ensure the wording is aligned with the aims of the reforms and reflects the most recent research and evidence.
  • Ensuring the document is accessible, inclusive, and easier to navigate. This includes a new design, layout and colour coding.

No major changes have been made to the curriculum guidance under the seven areas of learning, therefore this update should not impact planning based on the early adopter version of Development Matters.

‘Development Matters was originally road-tested with over 200 early years practitioners, who gave extensive feedback. Their input changed the document for the better. Since then, over 3000 schools have been ‘Early Adopters’ of the revised EYFS. They have been overwhelmingly positive about the revised Development Matters, but their experience has highlighted some minor areas for improvement in the document. I would like to thank all those teachers and early years educators for being so generous in giving this time and sharing their expertise.’ – Dr Julian Grenier.

DfE hope that the new design will make it easier for practitioners to navigate and use for curriculum planning.

If you have any questions on the updated Development Matters, please send them to

Read the revised Development Matters