Early identification in the EYFS

Advice and support for children in the early years not making expected progress.

Further support and guidance for Early Year practitioners

Early years providers will also use the Early Years Foundations Stage (EYFS) Statutory Framework, alongside other assessment tools, to monitor children’s progress and identify where a child is making less than expected progress. If a child is identified as showing some delay in their learning and development, the setting should take the following steps:

  1. Arrange a mutually convenient time to meet with the child’s parent carers to talk about what they have seen, listen to their perspective, make a plan and a time to review the impact for the child.
  2. Review the provision for the child and the experiences that they access to see what adaptations can be made to support the child to make progress.
  3. Continue to monitor the progress of the child and review with the parent carers and involve other professionals, if appropriate and agreed with parents/carers. In the first instance, these professionals are likely to be a Health Visitor, an Early Years and Childcare Advisor (EYCA) or a referral_to_the_speech_and_language_therapy_service.

Tools to support assessment and early identification of delay

  • Information and support provided by West Sussex County Council for the Early Years Foundation Stage.
  •  Development Matters This non-statutory curriculum guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage was produced by the Department for Education and revised in July 2021.
  • Birth to 5 Matters was published by Early Education in 2021 on behalf of the Early Years Coalition.  It provides non-statutory guidance for Early Years Foundation Stage.

Communication and Interaction Assessment tools

  • Practice strategies (PDF, 136KB) for 0-5 years, for Listening and Attention, Understanding (Receptive Language), Talking (Expressive Language)  and Social Communication.
  • I Can, for information and resources to help you understand and support children and young people’s speech, language and communication

Tools to support review of practice within the setting

In the early years in particular, children’s learning is supported by practitioners who understand the child’s interests and unique learning preferences and can use this to plan learning experiences that build on what children can do in a way that motivates them to engage and learn. Early years practitioners should regularly review the provision that they are offering and the progress that children within their setting are making. This will help them to understand if the provision is not meeting the children’s needs and supporting them to make progress or if there are individual or groups of children who are making less progress. Practitioners should review and develop their practice to make sure that it meets the needs of all children attending and support them to make progress and reduce any emerging attainment gap.

Taking a celebratory approach