Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.Donate to our crowdfunder
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the statutory framework for all early years providers . The EYFS seeks to provide quality and consistency in all early years settings, so that every child makes good progress, attainment gaps are reduced and no child gets left behind. The EYFS specifies areas in which early years providers must support children to develop, including literacy and numeracy. It is the responsibility of early years providers to identify and meet the learning and development needs of the children attending their setting. The EYFS requires providers to carry out ongoing assessment of children’s development and needs and should address any learning and development needs in partnership with parents and/or carers, and any relevant professionals.
The Department for Education is increasing the level of required English and maths qualifications for members of the early years workforce. This will ensure that all those working with young children have the right skills to support all children to achieve appropriate levels of literacy and numeracy.
1. We have published guidance on Teacher’s Standards (Early Years) which includes a requirement for Early Years Teachers to demonstrate a clear understanding of synthetic phonics and strategies for teaching early mathematics. The standards also require Early Years Teachers to plan and adapt education to cater for the needs of individual children, to make accurate assessments to inform children’s learning and development and to promote equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice.
2. Early Years Teachers must pass the same professional skills tests as trainee school teachers and must have GCSE English and maths at grade C or above on entry to training courses.
3. NCTL published new, more robust, criteria for level 3 qualifications in July 2013 – the “Early Years Educator” criteria. They set out the minimum requirements for the knowledge, understanding and skills which learners must demonstrate during assessment for their qualification to be considered qualified at level 3. The criteria include a requirement for qualifications to include a focus on recognising and meeting the individual learning and development needs of children.
The Department is also working with experts in the voluntary sector and charitable organisations to support work in these key areas. We have funded English and Maths Champions programmes through the National Day Nurseries Association to spread good practice in teaching literacy and numeracy in the early years.
We are investing £1.4m in the Early Language Development Programme – which has so far helped well over 100,000 parents and family members to spot problems and get support with their children’s speech and language. This work is being led by I CAN, the children’s communications charity. We are also investing almost £1m in the work of the Literacy Trust to develop a model to improve targeting and engagement of the most vulnerable families by staff in Children’s Centres and support volunteers to improve children's early literacy and language skills.