Advice For Preparing Your Child For The Early Years Foundation Stage

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The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a term established by the Government in the Childcare Act 2006 and took effect in September 2008 to describe a child’s life from birth up to five years old. The EYFS is an extremely important time for children as it helps prepare them for school and their future learning. The Foundation Years website advises that a child’s early learning years should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure and that parents should support their child’s development, care and learning needs.

It is a statutory requirement that all nurseries, pre-schools, reception classes and registered child minders follow the principles within the EYFS Framework. In 2012 the framework was amended following the Tickell’s review and there is now greater emphasis on what parents can do to help prepare their child for the Early Years Foundation Stage.

The revised framework puts stronger prominence on three areas which are deemed essential for the healthy development of a child. These prime areas are communication and language, social and emotional development; and physical and personal development. 

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Communication & Language
One of the simplest ways to help develop a young child’s communication and language skills is to talk and listen to them. Research has proven that one of the most effective pre-school educational experiences is to repeatedly talk to a child in a way that nurtures creative thinking and to help a child effectively communicate such creative thoughts.

Talking and listening to a youngster attentively will help encourage them to convey their ideas verbally. This will in turn help prepare a child for one of the areas the EYFS framework maps out as being essential for healthy development, communication and language.

Social & Emotional Development
A child’s success at school has been related to a youngster’s ability to interact positively with contemporaries and adults. Play is a key component for developing this positive interaction between peers and adults, which will leave toddlers better prepared for school. By playing with toys, participating in role play or playing a game such as hide and seek, children learn to appreciate the feelings of others and practice both verbal and non-verbal communication skills. In encouraging children to think about their own and others feelings, creative play helps develop social and emotional skills.

Physical Development
Educational toys can help provide opportunities for children to be active & interactive, develop their coordination, control & movement. As babies learn to play they are also playing to learn. If babies and toddlers are given the right types of toys, they will not only be entertained but they will also learn essential skills such as numeracy, coordination and literacy.

In order to prepare your child for the Early Years Foundation Stage it is recommended that you encourage your child to play with a range of educational toys at different stages of their development.

For example, rattles, textured toys and activity centres will help babies aged 0 – 5 months with tactile development and provide visual stimulation. For babies aged 6 – 9 months, building blocks can be a fun aid to encourage hand-eye coordination. Likewise push and pull toys will encourage first steps and help develop key motor skills in a fun and enjoyable way. For toddlers aged 1 – 2 years, ride-on toys can help advance physical development and coordination. Giving children the opportunity to play with such toys cooperates with the Foundation Years’ advice that early learning years should be happy, active and fun.

The choice of jigsaws and puzzles available for children of this age is immense. These timeless toys help develop a child’s concentration and problem solving skills without losing sight of the value of play. In placing pieces in the correct position, jigsaws encourage little fingers to get busy and help children tune their fine motor skills.

Personal Development
Personal development within young children involves children developing a positive sense of themselves and of others in order to form relationships and develop social skills. Parents can help their child achieve personal development by encouraging them to play with other children and mix with adults. By interacting with other children and adults, young children will learn to be a member of a group and how to use personal care skills. Children will also begin to get an understanding of the rules of society and how to behave towards others.

Encouraging a sense of belonging to the family will also aid personal development within young children and promote an understanding of who they are in relation to others, what they can do and how they can look after themselves. 

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There are many handbooks and booklets available for childminders, nurseries or parents to find curriculum guidelines and further detailed information on EYFS. For example, the 2013 Early Years Foundation Stage Handbook contains important information for head teachers, local authorities and all Early Years professionals about assessing preschoolers’ attainment.

For developmental baby and toddler toys such as soft activity toys, wooden playsets, ride-ons and puzzles that will prove invaluable as you prepare your child for the Early Years Foundation Stage, visit www.borntotoddle.com Also go to our Pinterest boards for more inspiring ideas.

Lotte xo 
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One comment

  1. We can add that during the ‘big kid’ years, that cover 5 through eight, youngsters undergo several biological process changes. whereas they’ve developed an excellent deal of their motor skills throughout their baby and preschool years, that development continues as they start school and progress through the lower grades.

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