DfE launches consultation on EYFS changes

The Department for Education has today launched a new consultation on changes to the EYFS framework.

Some of the proposed changes included in this latest reform mainly seek to clarify some existing guidance, but there are other significant changes being proposed in the Government’s attempt to “offer providers increased flexibility and alleviate known burdens”.

Some of the more significant changes being proposed include:

  • Introducing an ‘experience-based route’ for educators to gain approved status to work within staff:child ratios, so that “otherwise suitable educators who don’t hold an approved level 3 qualification have a path to gaining ‘approved status’ without having to do a new qualification”. This would allow educators to count within the level 3 ratio but would not give them a formal qualification.
  • Removing the requirement for level 3 educators to hold a level 2 (GCSE or equivalent) maths qualification, and instead applying this requirement to managers, who would “be responsible for ensuring their staff have the right level of maths knowledge to deliver high-quality early years provision”.
  • Changing the qualification requirements for ratios so that they would not apply outside of peak working hours (for example, 9am-5pm). This would mean that staff would not need to hold an approved qualification outside of peak hours, though staff:child ratios, DBS, paediatric first aid and safety requirements would remain in place at these times.
  • Where applicable, reducing the percentage of level 2 qualified staff required per ratio for children of all ages from ‘at least half’ to either 30% or 40%.
  • Changing the requirement around how providers support children with English as an Additional Language to develop their home language from “must” to “should” or “may”.

These proposed changes could also impact childminders too by reviewing the requirement for childminders to undertake pre-registration training in the EYFS (though understanding of the EYFS would continue to be assessed to the same level by Ofsted or a childminder agency prior to registration) as well as allowing childminders’ assistants to act as the key person.

 The consultation will run until Wednesday 26 July 2023, with any changes expected to come into force in early 2024. You can have your say here. 

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