Ofsted & EYFS

Ofsted (Offices for Standards in Education) and the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage Framework). Ofsted is a non-ministerial government department established under the Education (Schools) Act 1992. Ofsted are well known for their relation to school inspections, however they also regulate and inspect childcare facilities, such as nurseries. Ofsted’s role is to ensure that we provide the highest standards of childcare possible. The inspectors examine the nursery, its facilities and the childcare provided by our staff. Ofsted come to our nurseries giving us as little as half a day’s notice. The reasoning behind this is that they want to see our nurseries as they actually are and not as they ‘want’ to be seen. This ensures the feedback we receive and the feedback you receive is as honest as possible.

Our nurseries welcome Ofsted inspections. These inspections not only help identify our strengths and weaknesses, but also give us the opportunity to shine.

Many of our nurseries offer extra-curricular activities such as French classes, Ballet and Tumble Tots, these further enhance children’s social development.

  • The EYFS Framework requires that “at least half of our childcare staff hold a level 2 qualification appropriate for the care or development of children”. Our aim is that at least half of our staff hold a level 3 qualification appropriate to the care and development of children, three quarters of our staff have a qualification of level 2 or above.
  • We are committed to staff training and development. All of our nurseries have a generous training budget, which allows staff to continually attend training courses. This enables them to update their skills and knowledge and keep up to date with legislation.
  • We have frequent ‘Internal Quality Audits’. This allows us to regularly review and evaluate our practice to ensure that we are always providing the highest standards possible.

The Early Years Foundation Stage is a legal government document which outlines the regulations a nursery has to follow to ensure the safety, welfare and education of your child while attending nursery.

It sets out:

  • The legal welfare requirements that everyone registered to look after children must follow to keep your child safe and promote their welfare
  • The 7 areas of learning and development which guide professionals’ engagement with your child’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 your child should reach at age 5, usually the end of the reception year; these expectations are called the “Early Learning Goals (ELGs)”

What does it mean for me as a parent?

Ensuring my child’s safety

Much thought has been given to making sure that your child is as safe as possible. Within the EYFS there is a set of welfare standards that everyone must follow. These include the numbers of staff required in a nursery and things like administering medicines and carrying out risk assessments.

How my child will be learning?

The EYFS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their healthy development.

Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.

Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:

  • Communication and language;
  • Physical development; and
  • Personal, social and emotional development.

These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.

As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:

  • Literacy;
  • Mathematics;
  • Understanding the world; and
  • Expressive arts and design.

These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is similar to the curriculum in primary and secondary schools, but is tailored to suit very young children, and designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child’s unique needs and interests.
Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.

When your child is 2 years old.

At some point after your child turns 2, the childcare professionals working with your child must give you a written summary of how your child is progressing against the 3 prime areas of learning:

  • Communication and language;
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development.

This is called the progress check at age 2.

This check will highlight areas where your child is progressing well and any where they might need some extra help or support – and how mums and dads and other family members or carers can work with the keyworker to help. You might find it useful to share the information from the check with other professionals such as health visitors (who can use it as part of the health and development review).

When your child is 5 years old.

At the end of the EYFS – in the summer term of the reception year in school – teachers complete an assessment which is known as the EYFS Profile. This assessment is carried out by the reception teacher and is based on what they, and other staff caring for your child, have observed over a period of time.