The standards that school and childcare providers must meet for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5.


Early years foundation stage: coronavirus disapplications


Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage

Ref: DFE-00169-2017PDF, 552KB, 37 pages


The framework:

You should also read Early years foundation stage: coronavirus disapplications alongside this guidance.

  • sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well
  • ensures children are kept healthy and safe
  • ensures that children have the knowledge and skills they need to start school

This statutory framework is for:

  • school leaders
  • school staff
  • childcare providers
  • childminders

It relates to:

  • local authority-maintained schools
  • non-maintained schools (schools not maintained by a local authority)
  • independent schools
  • academies and free schools
  • nurseries
  • private nursery schools
  • pre-schools/playgroups
  • childminding

Statutory guidance is issued by law; you must follow it unless there’s a good reason not to do so.

The EYFS framework published on 3 March 2017 came into force on 3 April 2017.

Supporting material is available on the Foundation Years website.

Published 31 March 2014
Last updated 28 July 2020 + show all updates

  1. Updated to reflect the extension of the validity of current PFA certificates.

  2. Updated to reflect wider opening of early years settings from 1 June 2020 and to provide a clarification on progress checks for children aged 2.

  3. Added guidance to the temporarily disapplied, and modified certain elements of the EYFS statutory framework.

  4. Updated statutory guidance title and summary.

  5. Added new statutory framework.

  6. Added link to the Foundation Years website.

  7. First published.