EYFS … in fact what is it? and why make a song and dance about it?
As a lay person trying to make sense of “government language” (from my experience with been awarded a place on the East Staffordshire Council framework for Early Years 2012- 2015) it’s like a foreign language. It can be hard to figure out what we should be doing as parents and what development stage should our child be currently at.
I asked some parents did they understand EYFS (I certainly didn’t when I first tried to make sense and it’s still quite intensive) and I wasn’t too surprised when parents said they had heard the word but no, did not know what it means.
Basically, it stands for Early Years Foundation Stage. The Government recognises the most important “teacher” for 0 to 5 year olds is their parents and they want nurseries,schools etc., to help work better in partnership with parents and to feedback to a parent more how their child is developing and or any speech, language issues, give suggestions and ideas to carry on the learning at home.
It’s a bit like using one of our themes in Little Hands music classes and the suggestions I pass on about perhaps singing a particular song at home or doing a painting to help cement what they learned in the session, but all in a fun way. You are not expected to sit down formally as if in a school class room. Let’s face it, and as a parent myself, it’s hard sometimes to plan what we are having for dinner let alone do school work at home!
So parents shouldn’t be made to feel guilty, but just be aware your child learns from you and you are their best and first teacher. No one knows your child better than you do, and the first few years of their life is the most critical important time as they are hot wired to learn and as they get older that opportunity is gone forever.
Parents will get a new progress check about their child from Health Professionals once their child is around age 2 on their child’s development. The government break down a child’s learning and development into 7 key areas with strong emphasis on 3 primary areas most essential for children’s healthy development. They are:
Communication and Language
Personal, social and emotional
What is really pleasing to know is that all these areas of your child’s development are covered in Little Hands Music sessions, with further plans to split the classes further into a 3 to 5 year old class if there is enough demand. Because the classes are deliberately kept small, and in fact some classes I would like to reduce further in numbers as they learn best in small groups. If it is something you would like to do, please do let me know or indeed want sign posting to other organisations that I work along side, I can let you know on that too.
Parents tell me they are often unsure about what “communication milestones” to expect in their children. Take a look at this useful resource which is an online progress checker which helps parents or professionals to gauge a child’s communication and language development up to 11 years old www.takingpoint.org.uk which you might find useful.
Don’t feel you are alone if you have concerns about your child’s speech or development or behavour. Email me and I can try and point you to people that are willing to help.