Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS): Coronavirus Disapplications

From 24 April 2020, the Government has temporarily disapplied and modified certain elements of the EYFS statutory framework for early years providers who remain open to vulnerable children and children of critical workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This will allow providers greater flexibility to respond to changes in workforce availability and potential fluctuations in demand, while still providing care that is high quality and safe.

The temporary changes include:

  • providers are not required to meet existing learning and development requirements, but instead should use reasonable endeavours to meet them during the COVID-19 period
  • providers are not required to undertake the EYFS profile assessment in 2019/20 academic year, and accordingly local authorities are not required to collect or moderate data on this
  • providers are not required to undertake the 2 year progress check during the coronavirus (COVID-19) period
  • exceptions are allowed to the qualifications that staff hold in order to be counted in ratio requirements
  • requirements around paediatric first aid (where children aged 2-5 years old are on-site). For those caring for children aged 2-5, providers must use their ‘best endeavours’ to ensure one person with a full PFA certificate is on-site at all times when children are present. If after using best endeavours they are still unable to secure a member of staff with PFA to be on site then they must carry out a written risk assessment and ensure that someone with a current First Aid at Work or emergency PFA certification is on site at all times children are on premises.
  • There is no longer the requirement for new entrants to hold PFA certification to count in ratios during this period.

The term ‘best endeavours’ applies to the paediatric first aid requirements. This is a higher level requirement than ‘reasonable endeavours’. The guidance providers further information on this.

The rest of the EYFS remains in place. Please be aware that the requirement to have someone with full PFA certification on-site remains in place where children aged 0-24 months are on-site, due to the higher safety factors for babies and children in this youngest age bracket.

The Foundation Years hosted a video podcast with the Department for Education (DfE) to share the latest information on the disapplications and answer your questions.

You should also read Early years foundation stage: coronavirus disapplications for more information.