Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Guidance to help childcare settings develop and maintain effective practice.

The resources below can be used to support and extend your practice and provision but all settings must also have regard to relevant legislation and regulation.

If you have concerns about a child’s progress, refer to the guidance and strategies on the Diversity and inclusion page.

If you can't find what you are looking for, please contact us.

Key resources

Other resources

Delivering the EYFS 2021 - recorded training

The learning environment

Observation, assessment and planning

Practitioners are required to monitor children’s progress and to support their development. The EYFS is clear that “Assessment should not entail prolonged breaks from interaction with children, nor require excessive paperwork.

When assessing whether an individual child is at the expected level of development, practitioners should draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgement and should not be required to prove this through collection of physical evidence.”

The following tools may be used by practitioners to support their assessment within the early years environment to support each child’s development and to share information with parents and other practitioners.

  • Development Matters 2021 - National, non-statutory, guidance to support practitioners and children through their development within the Early Years Foundation Stage.
  • Birth To Five Matters - National, non-statutory, guidance to support practitioners and children through their development within the Early Years Foundation Stage.
  • OPAL (Observation of Play and Learning) - An assessment tool developed by the Barnet Early Years Alliance designed to make observation and assessment more meaningful to children and adults.
  • Development Matters 2012 - National guidance to support practitioners and children through their development within the Early Years Foundation Stage.
  • EYFS Progress Check at age 2 - Information and examples for completing the statutory 2-year-old assessment.
  • Cohort monitoring (group progress) tracker (Excel 75KB) - Optional tool to support leaders and managers in monitoring the progress of groups of children within the setting to inform practice and provision and ensure best outcomes for all children.

Additional assessment tools

Some children, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, may make smaller steps in some areas of learning and practitioners may find other assessment tools supportive in monitoring this.

The following tools may support you in identifying and supporting children with delay in their learning and development:

Learning Journal

Reviewing practice

Action plan

  • Improvement plan (Word, 25KB) - Optional tool to support leaders and managers to implement quality improvement plans and to review the impact of changes made.

Self evaluation

Last updated:
25 March 2022
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