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The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the framework for children from birth to five years, the overall aims of the frame work is to help children achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes of staying safe, being healthy, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic well being.

The framework has four distinct but complementary themes:

• A Unique Child, recognises that every child is competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self assured.

• Positive Relationships, describes how children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person. 

• Enabling Environments explains that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children development and learning.

• Learning and Development recognises that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.  


In planning and guiding children's activities, practitioners reflect on the different ways children learn. The three characteristics of effective learning are:

Playing and exploring

  • finding out and exploring
  • playing with what they know
  • being willing to "have a go"

Active learning

  • being involved and concentrating
  • keep trying
  • enjoying achievement what they set out to do

Creating and thinking critically

  • having their own ideas
  • making links
  • choosing ways to do things