The Department for Education (DfE) has recently launched a consultation to explore removing unnecessary burdens the childcare sector face. The consultation has been designed to gather views about proposed changes to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework, to enable the Department to reach well-informed decisions on changes that could support settings. These proposals include:

  • Amending the requirement for practitioners to hold a Level 2 maths qualification to count in the Level 3 ratios, introducing a new route to achieving Level 3 approved status through work-based supervision, and relaxing qualification requirements outside of peak learning hours. These are based on things settings have called for the DfE to look at.
  • Creating two separate provider-specific versions of the EYFS framework (one for childminders and one for group and school-based providers) which aim to make the EYFS easier to navigate and implement whilst maintaining parity between provider types.

The EYFS framework sets the standards early years providers must meet to ensure that children aged 0-5 learn, develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It gives parents confidence that regardless of where they choose for their child’s early education, the same statutory commitments and principles will underpin their child’s learning and development experience.

We know that a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances, providing the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities. High-quality childcare is a major part of this picture, and the EYFS framework plays an instrumental role in maintaining these standards. At the same time settings and sector bodies have fed back to the DfE that some EYFS requirements are disproportionately burdensome and are creating barriers for providers running their settings well.

As the childcare changes announced at Spring Budget take shape, the DfE wants to hear from all those involved in the delivery of early education or with an interest in childcare, including childminders, childminder agencies, parents and carers, early education and childcare providers, early years and childcare practitioners, nurseries, preschools and schools, charities, local authorities, early years and childcare sector organisations, Ofsted and colleges, universities and suppliers of qualifications.

As the people involved in early years on a daily basis, providers and practitioners know what works and what doesn’t. The proposed changes aim to offer providers more flexibility, reduce known burdens and make it easier for practitioners to progress their careers. Providers and practitioners play an invaluable role in supporting childhood development, and it is essential that their voices are heard.  .

Foundation Years strongly encourages our community to get involved in this consultation and share your views. The consultation presents a great opportunity to express your opinion about the proposed changes and get your voice heard at an important time for early years. This input will help to ensure that children are given the best possible early education.

The consultation closes on 26 July, and you can respond here: