Your child's early years progress

​The early years curriculum

There is a national framework in place for any child 5 and under who attends:

  • reception and nursery classes in maintained and independent schools
  • day nurseries
  • childminders
  • playgroups
  • after school and breakfast clubs
  • holiday playschemes
  • pre-schools

This is called the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. It sets out your child’s welfare and development goals.

What should my child be learning?

The Early Years Foundation Stage framework sets out seven key areas of learning. The activities your child takes part in should be based on these areas:

Area of learning:Aspects of learning to include:
Creative development
  • Exploring and using media and materials
  • Being imaginative
Personal, social and emotional development
  • Making relationships
  • Self-confidence and self-awareness
  • Managing feelings and behaviour
Communication and  language
  • Listening, attention
  • Understanding
  • Speaking



Physical development

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Moving and handling
  • Health and safe-care
Understanding the World
  • People and communities
  • The world
  • Technology
Problem solving, reasoning and numeracy
  • Numbers
  • Space, shapes and measure

How can I find out how my child is doing?

National guidelines state that your child should have a ‘key person’ at nursery, pre-school or reception class, who is responsible for putting together information on how your child is developing.

You can ask to see this information, share your own impressions and build on what your child is learning at home.

How can I find out more about my child’s early years development?

  • What to expect, when? is a guide to your child’s learning and development in the early years foundation stage.

  • GOV.UK has more information on the early years national curriculum.

What standards should I expect from my childcare provider?

 You should expect that your childcare provider has checked that:

  • anyone working with your child should have undergone security checks
  • the equipment and facilities are suitable and safe for your child
  • the environment is of a good equality eg having access to an outdoor space

How can I check the quality of the childcare provider?

You can ask a childcare provider for their Ofsted unique registration number (URN).

You can then check their registration on Ofsted’s website.

What support is there if my child has special education needs or a disability (SEND)?

  • Our portage team supports children aged 0-4 who have additional educational needs, developmental delay or disability. They help empower and support families and early years settings, pre-schools, playgroups, nurseries and childminders.
  • The Local Offer is a directory of local and national services for children and young people (aged 0-25) with special educational needs and disabilities.
  • The Northants Parents Forum Group is a parent led support group that represents the views of parents of children with SEND.