• Nov

EYFS 2024: A streamlined approach for childminders

EYFS 2024: A streamlined approach for childminders
Childminders, grab your policy folders and get ready to bin those outdated pages! The EYFS is getting a facelift, and come January 2024, you’ll be dancing to the tune of a tweaked framework, though in reality, the day-to-day running of your setting will mostly be unaffected.

The EYFS will now come in two distinct outfits: one for the solo superstars—*you*, the childminders—and one for the group acts and school-based ensembles. Why the split? Simplicity and clarity.

So here’s the lowdown:

Language and learning

Let’s start where the waters are a bit choppy. The proposed EAL adjustments are stirring the pot, with ‘may’ replacing ‘must’ in the following statement suggesting a softening in the proactive support for our little linguists:

“Providers may take reasonable steps to provide opportunities for children to develop and use their home language in play and learning, supporting their language development at home.”

This move has raised eyebrows, sparking controversy among industry experts like the British Association for Early Childhood Education, who argue that shirking the obligation to actively support children with English as an additional language undermines the EYFS’s commitment to inclusion and diversity. They caution that a setting not inclined to take reasonable steps for EAL children might not just be missing the mark but also acting unreasonably. Food for thought.

The end of evidence overload

Ever felt like a detective piecing together evidence on your tiny tots? Well, times are a-changing! Wave goodbye to the paper trail and hello to your professional judgment. It’s about what you know, not what you show.

That said, parents will still want the lowdown on their little one’s activities and learning. Sharing written, photo and video updates on Childminder App couldn’t be easier; information which will all come in handy for the still-compulsory progress checks for ages 2-3.

ELG’s annexed

DfE will remove the early learning goals from the childminder version of the EYFS.

Safeguarding and welfare

Prepare to update your policy on devices. From mobile phones to smartwatches, they’re all in the mix now.

And as for the lead practitioner conundrum—every childminder is a lead in their own magical setting! The Safeguarding and Welfare requirements will be reworded for childminders, as there is not generally a ‘lead practitioner’ for childminders who work together, with each responsible for reporting safeguarding issues.

‘Suitable people’

The new script reads clear: be suitable, be qualified, and let the checks tick all the right boxes. It’s not just about you, but anyone who might help at, or live in, your childminding space.

“Ofsted, or a childminder’s CMA, is responsible for checking the suitability of childminders, any other person looking after children in the setting, and of any other person aged 16 and over living or working on the same premises the childminding is being provided.”

Confidential chats

All childminders must be able to offer a confidential corner for those grown-up chats.

Training and qualifications

New childminder applicants will no longer be required to complete EYFS training, but they will still have to ‘demonstrate knowledge and understanding’ of the EYFS … in a way that best suits their needs’. So courses are not needed if applicants already have experience using the EYFS – e.g., if they have previously worked in a nursery.

Displaying certificates

First-aid and registration documents can stay tucked away; making certificates available to parents electronically will now suffice.

Assistants can be a key person

Assistants, get ready to step into the limelight! Embrace your key person potential and sprinkle a little of your own magic on your kiddo’s learning journeys.

Floorspace freedom: The kitchen counts

Who says kitchens can’t be play areas? The new framework agrees, so, if you’ve got the space, prepare for more fun where the cookies crumble.

While it might seem like a lot to digest, most of these updates won’t translate to much change within your setting. A little policy tweak here, a space recalculation there, and voila—you’re the same childminding superstar as always.

By Ivy Steele