Statutory Legislation and Guidance in Early Years

Early Years Outcomes

This document is a non-statutory guide to support practitioners and inspectors to help understanding of child development through the early years. It can be used by childminders, nurseries and others, such as Ofsted, throughout the early years as a guide to making best-fit judgements about whether a child is showing typical development for their age, may be at risk of delay or is ahead for their age. It is a guide to typical development while recognising that children develop at their own rates and in their own ways.

DfE Early Years Outcomes

Revised EYFS Framework 2017 – effective from 3 April 2017

The revised EYFS includes a requirement that to count in the staff:child ratios at level 3 staff who hold an Early Years Educator qualification must also hold a level 2 English and mathematics qualification.

The revised EYFS also includes the new paediatric first aid (PFA) training requirements that were announced in July 2016 via the government response to the PFA consultation, including that all newly qualified entrants to the early years workforce with a level 2 or 3 qualification must also have either a full or emergency PFA certificate within 3 months of starting work.

DfE Statutory Framework for EYFS

Development Matters 2012

This non-statutory guidance was produced by Early Education and is a resource to support you  in implementing the statutory requirements – learning and development of the EYFS Framework 2012/14. It replaces Appendix 2 of the 2008 EYFS Practice Guidance.

This guidance shows how the four themes of the EYFS Framework and the principles that inform them work together to support babies and children. The Unique Child develops and learns through interaction in Positive Relationships and Enabling Environments.  It illustrates how the Characteristics of Effective Early Learning may be supported and extended by adults as well as how they underpin the Prime and Specific Areas of Learning and Development.

Use Development Matters as part of your daily observation, assessment and planning. It can also be used at points during the EYFS as a guide to making best-fit summative judgements, with parents and colleagues across agencies, about whether a child is showing typical development, may be at risk of delay or is ahead for their age. The age/stage bands are the same as they were previously. They overlap because these are not fixed age boundaries but suggest a typical range of development. When you use Development Matters it is important to remember that babies and young children develop at their own rates and in their own ways.The development statements and their order are not necessary steps for every child and should not be used as checklists.

Development Matters in the EYFS

Birth to Three Matters

Birth to Three Matters Booklet

Northern Ireland Foundation Stage Curriculum

NI Foundation Stage

Curricular Guidance for Pre-School Education

The guidance document below outlines the range of learning opportunities which children of this age should have through play and other relevant experiences. It also indicates the skills, attitudes and competencies that most children will display at the end of appropriate pre-school education.

Preschool Curricular Guidance


Minimum Standards For Childminding and Day Care for Children Under Age 12

The Childminding and Daycare Standards were launched in October 2012. Their primary aim is to provide assurance of a consistent level of quality in childminding and daycare services and to ensure a consistent regional approach to registration and inspection of these services.

There are three categories of childcare setting that are required to register with Health and Social Care Trusts (HSCT) – childminders, full day care and sessional day care.

Minimum Standards