It sets out:
- The legal welfare requirements that everyone registered to look after children must follow to keep them safe and promote their welfare.
- The seven areas of learning and development which guide professionals’ engagement with children’s play and activities as they learn new skills and knowledge.
- Assessments that will tell you about your child’s progress through the EYFS.
- Expected levels that children should reach aged five, usually the end of the reception year; these expectations are called the Early Learning Goals (ELGs).
- You should be able to get information about your child’s development at any time and there are two stages (at the age of two, and again at five) when the professionals caring for your child must give you written information about how he or she is doing.
You can find the Early Years Foundation Stage, which includes the Early Learning Goals, at www.foundationyears.org.uk
HOW TO CHOOSE A NURSERY
Start by getting recommendations from friends, then read the Ofsted inspection reports. Register with all the nurseries on your shortlist. You may need to pay a fee but it is a worthwhile investment. Visit the nurseries and keep in mind the following:
- How do the children look? A child whose needs are being met should be happy and engaged.
- Is the nursery clean and does it smell clean? Does it have a range of stimulating equipment and books?
- Are the staff engaged, happy and interacting with the children?
- Does the nursery have its own qualified teachers or is it running activities with peripatetic amateurs?
- Is the person in charge of that nursery showing you round? Ask about the ethos of the nursery.
- Safety and security – check the doors, gates and access, the vetting process for staff, whether there are webcams and if parents can access them via a secure platform.
- Ask what percentage of children get into the primary school of their choice.
If the nursery of your choice is oversubscribed, stay in monthly contact as places do become available. Be flexible – taking a less desirable time slot will get you in the door.
Source: The London Preschool
THE BENEFITS OF NURSERY SCHOOLS
Nursery schools are safe havens for children to discover new knowledge, learn about the world around them and explore their own identity whilst having fun. Early years education has a profound impact upon children’s development and later life, paving the way for a successful and prosperous future. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) provides guidance for learning, development and the care for children under the age of five years. Placing your child in a nursery environment at whatever age you choose will significantly benefit their learning, helping how they process information, interact with others and discover who they are as individuals. Your child will leave nursery school academically and socially prepared for the transition to school. Children are born learners and thrive in surroundings that offer them continuous stimulation and endless opportunities. Abacus Ark nurseries consciously use “scaffolding” in all aspects of children’s play: the children learn one skill and then build on it to learn a second.