NDNA members are experienced practitioners and those who took part in the consultation believe that the EYFS has made a positive contribution since its initial implementation in 2008, reinforcing the provision of the best quality care for children. However, members raised concerns about some of the proposed revisions, including the lack of focus on under-threes and the impact of implementing the framework within such a tight timescale.
Key points made by members:
• Concerns were raised that the focus of the new EYFS has shifted away from the youngest children, with little content for under-threes, and that this could lead to the specific areas being overlooked for this age range
• Concern at the impact of implementing the new EYFS within the tight timescale and reductions in local authority support for training, due to local authority funding cuts
• The proposal of health assessments for children between 24-36 months was welcomed but members asked for a structure and guidance so the checks can be implemented consistently
• Clearer guidance of the roles and responsibilities of Ofsted, local authorities and providers is wanted so the EYFS is consistently implemented, supported and inspected
• A template for the transition for four-year-olds from nursery to reception class is needed to support children and families with the move.
Purnima Tanuku, OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA, said: “Our extensive consultation process with our members has enabled us to assess the impact of the revisions, drawing on the expertise of those at the frontline.
“Concerns about the lack of focus on the youngest children have been a common theme throughout the process. Focus seems to have shifted to three to five year olds and school readiness, with a feeling that there is little mention of under-threes, and this is seen as a significant omission.
“Providers hope that the revised EYFS will empower them to use their initiative and welcome the direction here, however it is still felt that ambiguity in language and the onus on interpretation of what is appropriate may lead to problems with Ofsted inspection. Providers feel that guidance should include clear statements on their own responsibilities, along with those of Ofsted and local authorities.
“The timescale for implementation is also a significant concern and it is vital that this does not slip so that a final EYFS and inspection framework can be available to providers well in advance of September 2012. There remains a significant need for guidance and NDNA will be working hard to deliver support for the sector through training, resources and information and we are keen to contribute to and advise on further national guidance. The new Ofsted inspection framework will be critical and again we will be involving our members actively in the forthcoming consultation on this.
“We would urge the Department for Education to ensure its response and a final EYFS is published promptly this autumn with a clear message to the sector that this is the final EYFS, subject to legislation, so that providers and the organisations that support them can begin work immediately to support successful implementation.”
Notes to editors:
• National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) is a national charity representing children’s day nurseries across the UK, giving them information, training and support, so they can provide the best possible care to young children. NDNA is the voice of the sector, an integral part of the lives of nearly one million children and their families.
• For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact Lindsay Garfitt, Senior PR and Policy Officer, on 01484 40 70 66 or Lindsay.Garfitt@
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National Day Nurseries Association is a national charity representing children’s nurseries across the UK, giving them information, training and support, so they can provide the best possible care to young children.