Heads Up 9 September 2021


Early Years Foundation Stage Reforms

As of  the 1st September 2021, childminders, nurseries, preschools and primary schools in England must follow the new early years foundation stage (EYFS) framework


The implementation of the reforms may feel easier for some than others depending on various factors. There are a number of additional resources provided by the DfE to offer further support. 


The key aims of the reforms are to:

  • improve child outcomes at age 5, particularly in early language and literacy, especially for disadvantaged children; and
  • reduce workload, such as unnecessary paperwork, so that practitioners can spend more time interacting with children in their care.

The key areas of change within the reforms are seen in:

  • revised educational programmes and early learning goals, including a clear focus on early language development and more information on self-care and being healthy;
  • changes to the EYFS profile assessment requirements at the end of reception year including removal of the ‘exceeding’ criteria and statutory local authority moderation; and 
  • a change in the safeguarding and welfare section of the EYFS, promoting children’s oral health and other small changes in that section, including to support prevention of choking in settings.

 The role of Local Authorities:

  • LAs retain a crucial role in supporting early years providers and schools through the provision of training and information. LAs are still under a duty to support children’s outcomes and secure or provide training to settings including on EYFS assessment and the completion of the profile to all providers who need it
  • There has been a removal of statutory duty to externally moderate 25% of schools each year. However, we will continue to support effective assessment and moderation practice
  • EYFSP data – LAs are still responsible for collection of the EYFSP data, quality assurance of the data and submitting this to DfE
  • Supporting reforms implementation and strengthening practice. LAs have a key role to play in helping to reduce practitioner workload and putting professional judgments and understanding of child development at the heart of assessment


An online resource hub has been created to support nurseries and childminders with the reforms. Reception teachers and school leaders may also find some of the resources useful. https://help-for-early-years-providers.education.gov.uk/


The service ‘Help for early years providers’ has been developed with sector experts and has undergone extensive user testing to ensure it meets the needs of the workforce.


The service contains a range of videos and written materials covering all areas of learning along with overarching materials to support effective practice. Further resources will continue to be added to the service.


DfE, Ofsted and Foundation Years have worked together to publish a range of vodcasts aimed at different parts of the sector to support understanding and implementation of the revised EYFS:


Implementing the revised EYFS in primary schools

Understanding the revised EYFS - headteachers and senior leadership

Understanding the revised EYFS - PVIs and childminders

Understanding the revised Development Matters

Learn - Explore - Debate events: implementing the revised EYFS



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