A new coalition of early years organisations has launched a survey to better understand the sector’s opinion of - and attitude towards - the EYFS ahead of a Government consultation later this year.
The coalition, including National Day Nurseries Association, Early Education, PACEY and Early Years Alliance, was founded in response to concerns early years experts were insufficiently involved in drafting revised Early Learning Goals (ELGs).
The short survey takes between 10 and 15 minutes to complete and is designed for early years practitioners, leaders and managers.
It provides respondents with an opportunity to share what they think about the EYFS currently and what they would like to see change.
Purnima Tanuku, Chief Executive of NDNA, said: “Since the launch of the Early Years Foundation Stage we have seen the quality of early education increase.
"The EYFS was built on a firm foundation of strong research based evidence, with a number of sector leaders involved in its development and embraced by the sector.
“The proposed changes could have a negative impact on the quality of early years education, especially for our younger children. We appreciate that a cycle of review is necessary to ensure the EYFS is the best it can be, however this cannot be achieved without a thorough review of evidence based best practice and in collaboration with the early years workforce.”
Representations have already been made to the Department for Education (DfE) to ensure that any future changes to the ELGs and the EYFS Statutory Framework have the full benefit of the most up to date research evidence and reflect best practice from across the sector.
Beatrice Merrick, Chief Executive of Early Education, said: “It’s entirely appropriate to revisit the EYFS and see whether it can be improved, based on evidence that has accumulated since the Tickell Review.
"Tickell set a benchmark of good practice in consulting with the sector and reviewing the research to ensure that the EYFS was as well constructed as it could be at the time, and any future reviews should live up to that same standard.
“We want to ensure that piecemeal changes such as the recently proposed changes to the ELGs don’t compromise the quality of the whole."
Liz Bayram, Chief Executive of PACEY, adds: “Any review of the ELGs and EYFS must be underpinned by robust evidence of the factors influencing quality early years practice.
"There is a strong consensus within the sector that the proposals currently being piloted in 24 primary schools are likely to encourage a top-down, tick-box, one size fits all approach that will not be suitable for many children, especially those with SEND, English as an additional language (EAL) or the summer-born.
"Initial proposals for changes to the EYFS Profile are not always supported by evidence of child development, and must recognise the EYFS curriculum is for children 0-5.
"Through piloting and consultation the new revised EYFS must end up still recognising that every child is unique and make sure our very young children don’t experience too formal a curriculum too early."
- The coalition includes NDNA, Early Education, Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network, Early Childhood Forum, Keeping Early Years Unique, the National Children's Bureau, Early Years Alliance, PACEY, Sector Endorsed Foundation Degrees in the Early Years and TACTYC.