NCB statement on Early Years Foundation Stage reforms

The Government has published its response to the consultation on proposed reforms to the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Annamarie Hassall MBE, Director of Practice, Programmes and Fundraising at the National Children’s Bureau, said:

‘The consultation on the EYFS reforms was a useful process to go through, and has given the Government plenty to think about. DfE has seen the value in retaining a key worker approach, recognising the importance of strong attachment and emotional wellbeing.

‘But adopting the new EYFS framework will require careful support, while recognition of ‘professional judgement’ is encouraging, Covid-19 has shaken the confidence of nurseries, childminders and other settings. Many were already finding it challenging to provide the free childcare offer and balance the books before the pandemic struck. This fragility has grown while many have been forced to close, and they’ve been placed under further pressure as they adapt their ways of working to the ‘new normal’.

‘Short and long-term investment is urgently needed from the Government to get the early years sector back on its feet, particularly focused on sustaining and developing the workforce. Without this, the sector will struggle to assimilate further change, when the last few months have already changed everything.’