EYFS Reforms

What are the changes?

The changes to the EYFS framework are being made to:

  • Place a stronger focus on children's early communication and language;
  • Promote more equal life chances;
  • Tackle excessive workload;
  • Put more emphasis on children's health.


Key documentation

Statutory guidance

Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage: Published by the Department for Education (DfE), September 2021.  You will also find a summary of the changes to Section 3, Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements here.
Download a free copy

EYFS Reforms


Non-statutory guidance

Development Matters: Published by the Department for Education (DfE) and last updated 23rd July 2021.
Find out more about the new Development Matters document and watch the Foundation Years vodcast with the Department for Education and Dr Julian Grenier who answer questions on the new document.
Download a free copy

EYFS reforms


Birth to 5 Matters: Published by Early Education on behalf of the Early Years Coalition and revised April 2021.
Download a free copy

EYFS Reforms

Using non-statutory guidance in practice

Both Development Matters and Birth to 5 Matters are non-statutory guidance documents to support and guide practice. That means that early years providers may choose to use either, neither or both together.

In recent communications, Ofsted have been clear that they have no preference as long as providers can demonstrate that their EYFS curriculum planning meets the needs of the children and helps them to make progress. Neither document should be used as check lists and any paperwork that takes practitioner time away from children is to be avoided.


Other useful resources

What to expect in the Early Years Foundation Stage - a guide for parents: Published by the East London Research School and the Department for Education (DfE), September 2021.
Download a free copy

EYFS Reforms


Musical Development Matters in the Early Years: Published by Nicola Burke, 2018. 
Download a free copy

EYFS Reforms



Resources from the Department for Education and Ofsted

Help for early years providers
To accompany the revised EYFS statutory framework (September 2021), the Government has provided an extensive range of online guidance and practical support, see table below.  These resources will help support childminders, nursery leaders and pre-school practitioners to help improve practice.  Use the button below to access the Government 'Help for early years providers' homepage. 
Access here

 Areas of learning

 This includes:

  • Communication and language;
  • Personal, social and emotional development;
  • Mathematics;
  • Expressive arts and design;
  • Physical development; 
  • Literacy;
  • Understanding the world.
 Get help to improve your practice

 This includes:

  • Overview;
  • Reducing paperwork;
  • English as an additional Language (EAL);
  • Curriculum planning;
  • Working in partnership with parents and carers;
  • Meeting the needs of all children.
 Safeguarding and welfare

 This includes:

  • Oral health;
  • Food safety.


Ofsted EIF Inspections and the EYFS: Published by Ofsted and last updated on the 16th August 2021.
Access here

EYFS Reforms 1


Implementing the early years foundation stage reforms: Published by the Department for Education (DfE), 6th October 2021.
On this webpage, you'll find three information videos for practitioners assessing children’s development at the end of the early years foundation stage (EYFS). Below you'll find, a brief summary of the information available and a link button to access the page.
Access here

EYFS Reforms


EY Reforms: blogs from schools
Two blogs have been published by leaders of early adopter schools, discussing their experience of implementing the reforms to the EYFS and how this impacted on their practice.  They also share key tips based on their experiences. 

Blog 1 - 'The Revised Early Years Foundation Stage Framework: Implementing the Reforms at Ark Priory Academy' by Sarah Charlton, Head of Early Years at Ark Priory Academy.  Access the blog via the Foundation Years website, using the button below.
Access here

Blog 2 - 'The Revised Early Years Foundation Stage Framework: Implementing the Reforms at Caldicotes Primary Academy' by Kate Pounder, Early Years Lead at Caldicotes Primary Academy.  Access this blog via the Foundation Years website, using the button below.
Access here


EYFS Profile Handbook: Published by the Department for Education (DfE) and last updated on the 8th October 2021.
Access here

EYFS Reforms

***Please pay particular attention to section 1.4 of the EYFS Profile Handbook as this sets out the important dates for 2021/22, see below.***

Date Activity
30 June 2022 The EYFS profile must be completed for each child and submitted to the LA no later than 30th June.
29 July 2022 Deadline for LAs to return data to Department for Education (DfE).



Bolton documentation and Professional Development

Communication and Language Development
One of the main reasons for reform was to place more emphasis on the importance of communication and language development throughout the EYFS. 
The Bolton Early Years Integrated Communication and Language Pathway (link below) was created to ensure a multi-agency approach, enabling children and their families to access the early communication and language support they need.
Access here ​

EYFS Reforms 2

The following professional development training is available via the course booking pages of our website:

  • Linked training and resources are available for all early years providers in Bolton, who are supported to have a dedicated Communication Champion to lead on this vital area in house.​
  • The Bolton Early Communication and Language Journey, is now freely available to all early years providers with a linked recorded training session. This provides information that will help you reflect and develop your communication and language curriculum offer.​
  • The WellComm Toolkit has also been made available to all group providers to give a consistent approach to screening and intervention. 

From Bolton Start Well:

The following three guides are all excellent reference documents that show how a progressive curriculum offer can be planned from birth to the end of reception class.
The resources can be used alongside the new Development Matters document to provide additional detail, information and ideas.  
Each of these documents has a corresponding recorded introductory training session to support new practitioners in Bolton or to provide a refresher.  The links below will take you to the course booking pages:

EYFS Reforms


Letters and Sounds - Principals and Practice of High Quality Phonics: Published by the Department for Education and Skills, Crown Copyright 2007.
Phase 1 Phonics

EYFS Reforms 1


EYFS Reforms Preparing for Implementation: Published by Bolton Start Well, April 2021.
Access here

EYFS Reforms



Useful links and resources

Greater Manchester Combined Authority - EYFS Reforms
A collection of resources including a useful FAQ and video of a GM discussion with Julian Grenier.
Access here

Foundation Years: News - From Pregnancy to children aged 5 [Foundationyears.org.uk]
This is the partner website the Department for Education (DfE) use to share developments and news related to EYFS.
Access here

Personal Blog by Julian Grenier: Inside the secret garden
Julian Grenier - Author of Development Matters.
Access here

Development Matters 2020: Working with the Revised Early Years Foundation Stage Principles into Practice (Author: Julian Granier, July 2021)
The publication is available to download free as a PDF using the link button below.
Access here

Exclusive video discussion (part 2) with Dr Julian Grenier - Lead Writer of Development Matters - Our members questions answered [childcare.co.uk]
Recording - A conversation with Dr Julian Grenier from a childminder perspective.
Access here

How to build your own curriculum - Julian Grenier | The Famly Interview [YouTube: Famly]
Sharing approaches to curriculum development.
Access here

The Seven Features of Effective Practice
Free poster and artwork by Juli Dosad.
Access here