Progress check at age two: new guidance for providers

The Department for Education (DfE) has published new early years foundation stage (EYFS) guidance to provide support for early years practitioners when completing the progress check at age two.

This non-statutory guidance will help all early years practitioners working with children between the ages of two and three to make an accurate assessment of a child’s development and work closely with parents and other professionals to put in place appropriate support and intervention where it is needed.

The guidance informs, supports and offers suggestions that can help practitioners review children’s development across the three prime areas of learning. It does not replace the professional judgement of practitioners. The guidance is clear that practitioners do not need to spend a long time away from the children to complete the progress check or carry out excessive tracking or evidence collection.

The recently published SEND and alternative provision green paper sets out the government’s commitment to explore ways to upskill early years practitioners in undertaking the progress check including through encouraging better integration with the Healthy Child Programme review. The new guidance for the progress check emphasises the importance of integration for identifying any emerging concerns or SEND early, and quickly implementing appropriate support.

We know that some areas have more capacity to join up across education and health services than others and we are grateful for the continued support from LA colleagues in reiterating this messaging and supporting practitioners in their local areas to join up where this is possible.

We have also published a vodcast to explain the new guidance to early years practitioners and a blog that highlights why the progress check is important now, more than ever as we support children to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Early Years Entitlements Team.