EYFS 2024 – The Changes

 Early Years Foundation Stage Framework 2024 – The Changes 

PRESS RELEASEhttps://www.eyalliance.org.uk/eyfs-framework-2024-guide-changes

The Early Years Alliance have released a handy guide to help providers understand the changes to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework coming into effect as of 4 January 2024.

(All information relates to early years provision in England only.)

Here’s a synopsis of the changes:

-The DfE has confirmed that it will be proceeding with plans to create two versions of the EYFS Framework: one with childminder-relevant content and one with group and school-based provider-relevant content.

-The current version of the EYFS states: “For children whose home language is not English, providers must take reasonable steps to provide opportunities for children to develop and use their home language in play and learning, supporting their language development at home”. This will be amended to: “For children whose home language is not English, providers may take reasonable steps to provide opportunities for children to develop and use their home language in play and learning, supporting their language development at home”.

The EYFS currently states that: ‘When assessing whether an individual child is at the expected level of development, practitioners should draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgement and should not be required to prove this through collection of physical evidence.’  This will be changed to: “When assessing whether an individual child is at the expected level of development, [practitioners/childminders] should draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgement. [Practitioners/Childminders] are not required to prove this through collection of any physical evidence.”

The EYFS currently states that: “The safeguarding policy and procedures must include an explanation of the action to be taken when there are safeguarding concerns about a child and in the event of an allegation being made against a member of staff and cover the use of mobile phones and cameras in the setting.” The DfE will add: “other electronic devices with imaging and sharing capabilities” to this requirement, alongside clarifications to aid understanding of the current requirement.

-The DfE will publish a qualification standards document setting out the current Level 2 Early Years Practitioner and current and new Level 3 Early Years Educator criteria. This is a technical change: the information contained in the document is already available on various Gov.uk pages, but the government aims will make this information “more accessible to those seeking to understand the early years qualification standards” by transferring it into one place.

For group settings:

– The requirement for Level 3 educators to hold a Level 2 (GCSE or equivalent) maths qualification will be removed. However, this requirement will now be applied to certain setting managers.The Department for Education has confirmed that this change will only apply to new managers or managers who move to a new role after these changes are implemented. This means that setting managers employed on or after 4 January 2024 must hold a Level 2 maths qualification, or they must achieve one within two years of starting in the position. For managers already in post, and who remain in the same post, there will be no action to take.

Students on long-term placements and apprentices will be able to count within staff:child ratios at the level below their level of study if, and only if, their manager is satisfied that they are competent and responsible. For example, a Level 3 apprentice who is judged by their manager to be performing well could count within the Level 2 staff:child ratios. Alternatively, a Level 6 trainee could be brought into the Level 3 staff:child ratios.

The wording of the paediatric first aid (PFA) requirement in the group and school-based provider version of the EYFS will be amended to make it explicit that all staff who have obtained a Level 2 and/or Level 3 qualification since 30 June 2016 must also hold a valid PFA qualification to be included in the required staff:child ratios.

The DfE will add a clarification to the EYFS to state that while qualifications must be verified, employees do not have to provide physical copies of their qualifications. This is to “tackle the known issue of some settings refusing to accept digital copies of certificates”.

For Childminders:

The requirement for childminder applicants to have completed training which helps them to understand and implement the EYFS has been removed, and replaced with a requirement for them to demonstrate knowledge and understanding (not necessarily through formal training).

Childminding assistants will now be able to hold the role of key person. It will be “the childminder’s responsibility to assess whether an assistant is suitable to take on this role”.

-The current reference to ‘kitchen’ on a list of areas that should not be considered in space requirements in the childminder version (in a footnote in 3.58) will be removed. This section of the EYFS will be updated to state: ‘These judgements should be based on useable areas of the rooms used by the children, not including storage areas, thoroughfares, dedicated staff areas, cloakrooms, utility rooms, and toilets. Childminders should consider what areas within their kitchens are safely usable.” In addition, the EYFS currently states, “Providers must also ensure that there is an area where staff may talk to parents and/or carers confidentially” (3.62). This will be replaced with: “The consultation proposed the new wording: • “Childminders must ensure […] on request, they can make available an area where they may talk to parents and/or carers confidentially […]”

The DfE has confirmed that it will move the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) from the childminder EYFS framework to an annex to “clarify that the ELGs are to be used as part of the EYFS Profile assessment (usually carried out at the end of reception year by the reception teacher)”, and that “it is rare that childminders will need to complete the EYFS Profile assessment”.

-The DfE will significantly amend the existing Assessment section in the EYFS Framework for childminders, including removing paragraphs relating to information to be provided to local authorities. The section will also state that information about the ELGs can be found in Annex B for “those rare circumstances a childminder may be completing the EYFS Profile”.

-The EYFS currently states that: “The lead practitioner is responsible for liaison with local statutory children’s services agencies, and with the Local Safeguarding Partners (LSP)”  For clarity, this will be amended to: “In the case of childminders working together, each childminder is responsible for meeting the requirements of their own registration. Childminders must know that they have a shared responsibility when working together for the well-being of all the children present. Therefore, where childminders work together, each childminder also has a responsibility to refer any concerns where another childminder does not continually meet the requirements of their registration” and “Childminders must know how to contact the local statutory children’s services, and the LSP (local safeguarding partners).”

The EYFS currently states: “Providers must have effective systems in place to ensure that practitioners, and any other person who may have regular contact with children (including those living or working on the premises), are suitable”. This will be amended to: “Childminders and any assistants must be suitable; they must have the relevant qualifications, training and have passed any required checks to fulfil their roles. Any person who may have regular contact with children (for example, someone living or working on the same premises where the childminding is being provided), must also be suitable.” and “Ofsted, or a childminder’s CMA, is responsible for checking the suitability of childminders, any other person looking after children in the setting, and of any other person aged 16 and over living or working on the same premises the childminding is being provided.”

-The requirement for childminders to display paediatric first aid (PFA) certificates will be removed, and replaced with a requirement childminders to make these available on request.

-The requirement for childminders to physically display a copy of their certificate of registration will be removed. Instead, certificates will be able to be displayed digitally and made available on request.

Please note there are expected to be further changes/updates at a later date.

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