Supporting your child through their early learning

This document is a guide for parents, designed to help you understand
how you can support your child’s learning and development during
the first five years of their life.
You may be familiar with the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework
(often referred to as the EYFS); especially if your child already attends
a nursery, pre-school or childminder. This is the framework that the
practitioners who look after your child will use to assess their progress
and development and to plan activities for them to enjoy. The EYFS
covers seven different areas of learning and development.
Practitioners may also talk to you about the ‘Characteristics of
Effective Learning’. This refers to the ways in which the child engages
with other people and their environment and how they develop
through active learning, playing and exploring and being able to be
creative and think critically.
It is vital that your child has the opportunity to play and learn in all
these areas from birth to age 5. By ensuring this, you and the staff
who look after your child will be giving them the best opportunities to
thrive and ultimately be ready for their next steps in life: starting
In this guide your child’s first five years have been divided up into six
age bands, which overlap. This is because every child is different and
children do not grow and develop at the same rate, nor will they
necessarily be at the same “age band” in all seven areas of learning.