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School effectiveness

Two-year-old progress check

This guidance is based on the statutory framework for the early years foundation stage (EYFS) and progress check at age 2 – GOV.UK (
It is intended to support practitioners within early years settings who are undertaking the EYFS progress check at age two. There is no prescribed or standard format, however, the early years team has developed an EYFS progress check at two format and encourages all settings to use this.

Read the support article on integrated health and education reviews on the help for early years providers website.

What is the two-year-old progress check?

When a child is aged between 24-36 months parents/carers must be given a short written summary of their child’s development in the three prime areas of the EYFS. These are:

  • personal, social and emotional development
  • communication and language
  • physical development

Why is there a progress check at age two?

The progress check enables earlier identification of development needs so that additional support can be put in place. This support may be in the setting or may involve outside agencies.
This progress check must identify areas where the child is progressing well, and identify any areas where progress is less than expected. Actions the setting intends to take to address any developmental concerns must be described including working with other professionals if appropriate.

When should practitioners carry out the check?

The check must be carried out between 24 and 36 months. This allows flexibility for settings to carry out the progress check when it is best for the individual. The child should be settled and practitioners need to know the child.
When planning the progress you should consider:

  • when the child joined the setting
  • individual needs and circumstances
  • parental preferences
  • how many sessions the child attends

Where possible, the progress check should be completed in time for parents to share it with the health visitor team at their child’s two year development review. In Devon, this is likely to take place at around 2 years and 3 months.

Who should be involved in the progress check?

The practitioner who knows the child best should complete the check – this will normally be the key person. The progress check should take account of the views and contributions of parents/carers, other practitioners and where relevant other professionals working with the child.
Where possible the voice of the child should be included in some way. Very young children and those with speech or other developmental delay or disabilities may not say anything or very little verbally, but they will communicate in other ways, for example, through gesture, action, body language and signing.
The progress check aims to enable parents to understand the child’s needs and, with support from practitioners, enhance development at home.

How should the check be carried out?

The progress check must identify the child’s strengths and any areas where the child’s progress is less than expected. If there are significant emerging concerns, or an identified special educational need or disability, practitioners should develop a targeted plan to support the child’s future learning and development.
This should involve parents and/or carers and other professionals, for example, the provider’s special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo) or health professionals as appropriate. (EYFS statutory framework).
Practitioners should draft their comments on the progress check document (Devon preferred format) referring to the non-statutory development matters observation checkpoints if they wish.
Parents and/or carers should be consulted to arrange a time to discuss the progress check comments, and agree and sign the progress check.
Where possible the progress check and the healthy child programme health and development review should inform each and support integrated working.

Children attending more than one setting

Where a child attends more than one setting the progress check should be completed by the child’s key person at the setting where the child spends the greatest amount of time each week.
There should only be one progress check for each child, however, it is recommended that the views of other practitioners working with the child at the other setting(s) are taken into account.

Children changing settings

If a child moves settings between the age of 24 and 36 months, leaders and managers of the respective settings should agree on which provider will complete the check if it has not already been completed. The progress check will usually be completed by the setting where the child has spent the most time to date.


If a childminder needs support in preparing the progress check or making referrals for children, they should contact their early years and childcare advisor.

Children who do not attend an early years setting

The statutory requirement for a progress check at two relates to those children who are attending early years settings. If a two-year-old is not attending an early years setting then the EYFS progress check at two is not applicable to them.

After the check

When the progress check has been completed, parents and/or carers should be given a copy to store in the child’s ‘red book’. A copy should also be kept by the setting.
Practitioners should encourage parents and/or carers to share information from the progress check with other relevant professionals, including their health visitor.
Parents should be reminded to take the completed progress check to their child’s two year development review if this has not already taken place.
If the two year developmental review has taken place and developmental or health concerns have been identified with the parents and/or carers, the setting SENDCo and/or manager will inform the appropriate locality Public Health Nursing (PHN) team hub. Practitioners must have the consent of parents and/or carers to share information directly with other relevant professionals.

What happens next?

When progress checks have been completed, practitioners need to reflect on whether there are any implications for the setting. For example:

  • are any changes in provision needed to support the development of individuals and/or groups of children?
  • do practitioners need further training to support the needs of individual children?
  • how could relationships with parents be strengthened to support learning and development at home?
  • could partnerships with other professionals be strengthened to support children and families?

EYFS progress check – a step-by-step guide

  1. Key person reviews the child’s learning and development in the prime areas of learning.
  2. Key person populates the assessment sections in the progress check at age two document.
  3. Key person arranges a date and time to meet with parents/carers to discuss and complete progress check at age two together.
  4. Complete the progress check at age two, agree on ways of supporting a child’s learning and development in the setting and at home.
  5. Parents/carers sign the progress check at age two and the setting provides a copy to be stored in the child’s ‘Red Book’ and a copy is kept at the setting.
  6. If developmental or health concerns have been identified with the parents/carers the setting SENDCo/manager will inform the Public Health Nursing team hub.
  7. Setting SENDCo/manager starts child-targeted work with the child whilst waiting for a response from the PHN team hub.
  8. PHN team hub response:
    • could lead to a referral to specialist services
    • must lead to integrated working and a shared plan (integrated review)
  9. Agree on a date to meet with the parents and carers to discuss progress so far (if appropriate) and continue to support the child’s learning and development.

Integrated Review: The setting has the responsibility to follow up on identified actions and ensure appropriate support is available for children and their families.
If you do not receive a response from the PHN team after 10 working days, please call again and follow up with an email to your local PHN hub. Inform your early years consultant if you continue to have difficulty in making contact.

Government guidance

Resources for settings in Devon