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What Is The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)?

March 29, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 141

The Early Years Foundation Stage lasts from birth to five years old. This is an official, government formulated, structure which schools and early years providers have to follow. It is a pre-planned, formulated structure of learning and developmental care, which has been designed to assist your child's learning process in his or her earliest years.

The Early Years Foundation Stage was specifically defined in section 39 of the British government's official Childcare Act, which was passed in 2006. This special provision of the act provides for a standardized, nationally enforced, set of Welfare Requirements, as well as as corresponding set of Learning and Development Requirements. These must be followed, stringently and to the very letter, by all providers of care for children below 5 years of age.

These Welfare and Learning Development regulations are not stipulated in the Childcare Act itself, but are defined in a set of separate, officially corresponding, Orders. This legislation, once defined, took effect, beginning in 2008. However, it should be noted that, although the Welfare requirements apply equally, across the board, to all areas of the current United Kingdom, the Learning and Development requirements are binding only in England.

The Learning and Development directives require that individuals who have safely reached 5 years of age should be able to perform all of the following tasks. They should be able to easily use written language in the course of their learning and play activities. They should demonstrate a ready command of phonics, with which to write simple words, as well as take plausible guesses at the phonic construction of more complex words.

They should also demonstrate an understanding of how information can be found by making use of non fiction texts (dictionaries, textbooks, and the like) to discover the answers to simple questions. They should, in other words, be able to use these non-fiction texts to discover about the where, who, why, and how, of a particular subject. Finally, they should be well able to begin to form simple sentences, with a correspondingly simple (but readily discernible) command of their punctuation. Similar expectations apply as well to a 5 year old child's command of numbers.

It should be immediately noted, however, that there has, of late, been forming a small, but increasingly visible and vocal, body of detractors of the Early Years Foundation Stage. This rapidly growing opposition group bases their existence upon claims made by dissenting professionals who claim that attempting to coerce children under 5 years old into becoming literate is simply ineffective - or, worse, counterproductive.

These professionals maintain that such attempts to force children into learning before they are sufficiently able to could produce a syndrome of reading difficulty, as well as apathy toward education, because of the painful experience of early failure. These professionals further point to educational institutions in Scandinavian countries, where children enter the school system at 6 or 7 years of age, as producing far superior results. In any case, the controversy is bound to continue for some time. There is no immediate legislation on the boards for a possible repeal of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Mandy Nable writes for Noble Minder about their range of products for childminders and information about how to become a childminder for anyone looking to become a childminder.

Source: EzineArticles
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