Providing Top-Quality Child Care: EYFS 2021 & Development Matters

Providing Top-Quality Child Care: EYFS 2021 & Development Matters

Providing Top-Quality Child Care: EYFS 2021 & Development Matters 2000 1333 Nursery Story

Understanding the Impacts of EYFS 2021 and Development Matters on providing High-Quality Child Care

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2021 Framework and Development Matters are integral to achieving high-quality child care. These resources provide robust standards for learning, development, and care for children up to five years old. By embracing these tools, you align your practices with the latest professional recommendations, thereby ensuring the best care and education for the children in your setting.

At Nursery Story, we’re dedicated to providing top-notch childcare to facilitate optimal learning and development for our little ones. To help achieve this, we’ve crafted a quick guide highlighting some great tips to help you reach your nursery goals.

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What is High-Quality Child Care?

High-quality child care refers to the provision of a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment that promotes the overall well-being, learning, and development of young children. This level of care is achieved by meeting or exceeding established standards in various aspects of childcare provision, such as:

  1. Highly skilled and qualified staff: Caregivers and educators with suitable qualifications, training, and experience in early childhood development are better equipped to effectively support each child’s individual needs.
  2. Low child-to-staff ratios: Smaller group sizes and fewer children per caregiver facilitate more personalised attention and interactions, leading to enhanced learning experiences and emotional support.
  3. Positive relationships: Building strong, trusting relationships between children, caregivers, and families contributes to the children’s sense of security, emotional well-being, and overall development.
  4. Child-centred learning: Exceptional childcare settings encourage children to actively participate in their learning by providing opportunities for exploration, discovery, and decision-making, fostering independence, curiosity, and resilience.
  5. Safe, clean, and stimulating environments: A well-maintained, age-appropriate environment with diverse learning materials and resources encourages children’s engagement and development across all learning areas.
  6. Observations and assessments: Regular assessments and observations of children’s progress help educators tailor their approach to meet each child’s unique needs, interests, and strengths.
  7. Effective communication and collaboration: Open and ongoing communication between caregivers, families, and other professionals involved in the child’s care helps ensure that the child’s needs are consistently and effectively met.
  8. Commitment to professional development: Continuous training and development for childcare providers ensure that they stay current with best practices, research, and regulations, ultimately benefiting the children in their care.

Activities Supporting the Development Matters

In essence, the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a renowned framework that establishes the standards for learning, development, and care of children from birth to 5 years old in the United Kingdom. The 2021 version of the EYFS framework provides guidance on supporting children’s learning and development through various activities organised under seven areas of learning.

Here are a few examples for each area:

Communication and Language:

  • Storytelling and reading books together develop listening and attention skills.
  • Encouraging children to express themselves through role-playing and discussing various topics bolsters children’s listening, understanding, and speaking skills.

Physical Development:

  • Providing opportunities for children to engage in outdoor play, climbing, and balancing activities to develop gross motor skills.
  • Motivating children to practise fine motor skills through drawing, painting, and manipulating playdough.

Personal, Social, and Emotional Development:

  • Encouraging children to work together in groups, share resources, and take turns to develop social skills.
  • Nourishing opportunities for children to express their feelings and emotions through discussion or creative activities such as art or drama.


  • Introducing children to phonics and letter sounds to support early reading skills.
  • Inspiring children to write letters, words, and simple sentences using various materials such as pencils, crayons, or markers.


  • Exploring numbers, counting, and simple arithmetic through games and activities.
  • Enabling children to recognise and create patterns, shapes, and measure objects in their environment.

Understanding the World:

  • Facilitating children to explore their environment, ask questions, and make observations to develop their understanding of the world around them.
  • Creating opportunities for children to learn about different cultures, traditions, and celebrations.

Expressive Arts and Design:

  • Making it possible for children to engage in imaginative play, using different materials and resources to create art, music, or dance.
  • Providing opportunities for children to explore various tools and materials to design and make their own creations.

Early Years practitioners can use these activities to help support children’s development in each area and work towards the development matters outlined in the EYFS framework. Remember that every child is unique, and room leaders should tailor the activities to the child’s individual needs and interests.

Final Thoughts and References

Embracing the principles outlined in the Development Matters within the context of high-quality child care ensures that our children receive the nurturing and guidance they need during their early years. By focusing on each child’s unique needs, building strong relationships, and providing a stimulating environment, childcare practitioners can foster a strong foundation for lifelong learning. Incorporating the seven areas of learning into daily activities further supports children’s development and helps them achieve their full potential.

To further explore this topic and enhance your understanding of high-quality child care, consider the following resources:

  1. Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) – Access the EYFS framework, Development Matters guidance, and other related resources provided by the UK Government.
  2. Early Education – Find research, articles, and training opportunities to support early years education and professional development.
  3. National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) – Discover resources, training, and support for nurseries and childcare practitioners in the UK.
  4. The Early Years Alliance – Connect with a leading early years membership organisation offering support, resources, and training for early years providers.
  5. Nursery Story Resource Centre – Access a wealth of resources, guides, and tips related to early years education and nursery management.
  6. PACEY (Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years) – Access resources, training, and advice for childcare professionals to improve their practice and understanding of the EYFS and Development Matters.

By delving into these resources and staying up-to-date with the latest research, best practices, and expert insights, childcare practitioners can continually refine their skills and knowledge to provide the highest quality care and education for the children in their care.

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