Children: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 22nd June 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Green

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to reintroduce a 'play strategy' for England to help to tackle the (1) mental, and (2) physical, impact of COVID-19 on children.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statutory Framework sets the regulatory standards for learning and development and safeguarding and welfare for all early years providers caring for children from birth to 5. The framework defines seven areas of learning and development, including physical development and personal, social and emotional development. The framework is clear that each area must be implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. The framework is available at:

The EYFS does not promote a particular pedagogical approach. It is for individual early years settings to determine how the areas of learning should be implemented to support children to meet the expected level of development by the end of the Reception year. The priorities at this time are helping young children to adapt to their new routines and supporting children to settle back into the setting, especially where there have been staffing changes. Continuing to support their early language and communication skills is essential. Children who have had limited opportunities for exercise should be encouraged to exert themselves physically.

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