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Early education (Early Years Foundation Stage: EYFS)

Early Years education is a non-compulsory stage of education generally comprising the ages from birth to 5 (or to the date when a child starts reception).

Depending on individual circumstances, parents or carers may choose whether their child go to nursery or are cared for and educated by a childminder, or not. Many factors may determine that decision. However, it is widely recognised that early education can be beneficial for children and helps them with the transition to school: 

Research indicates that early education and childcare (EEC) can have a positive effect on children’s educational, cognitive, behavioural and social outcomes, in both the short and long term, if it is of high quality. EEC can also play a positive role in raising attainment and closing the gap between outcomes for children from disadvantaged backgrounds and other children. (UK Parliament, 2021)

Early Years Foundation Stage

The early years foundation stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old.

All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS, including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes.

The EYFS only applies to schools and early years providers in England. There are different early years standards in Scotland and Wales.

Areas of learning

Children will mostly be taught through games and play.

The areas of learning are:

  • communication and language
  • physical development
  • personal, social and emotional development
  • literacy
  • mathematics
  • understanding the world
  • expressive arts and design


Children’s progress will be reviewed when they’re between 2 and 3 by an early years practitioner or health visitor.

Their class teacher will assess them at the end of the school year when they turn 5.

The assessment is based on classroom observation - your child won’t be tested. It uses the early learning goals, which can be found in the early years framework.

Help towards childcare costs

There are several schemes and options to support the cost of childcare in the UK:

15 hours free childcare for eligible 2 year olds

15 hours free childcare for ALL 3 and 4 year olds

30 hours free childcare for eligible working families (extended entitlement)

Tax-Free Childcare

Finding an early education and childcare provider (nurseries or childminders)

In the following section you will be able to find out about local nurseries and childminders: 

Lists of early years and childcare providers 

Or contact the Kensington and Chelsea Family Information Service (FIS) for more information and guidance:

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 07814 804262

Last Updated 04/10/2022

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