In September this year, we’ve all got a new EYFS framework to follow.

At Famly, we want to help you feel ready for any changes, big and small, but we also want to go further than that, and use this as a chance to make some positive changes of our own, to help support you and the children you care for. In particular, we're aiming to:

  • Reduce the amount of paperwork you do

  • Enable you to observe and assess in line with best practice

What are Famly changing and when?

In line with the changes to the EYFS, and after a lot of work with experts such as Dr Sue Allingham, Julian Grenier, lots of you, and even extended calls with Ofsted, we’ve decided on four main ways we’re changing.

They are:

  1. A new observation creator will allow you to check reference material as you write an observation. This might be Development Matters, Birth-to-Five Matters, or any other framework. Relevant areas of the document will show up automatically as you enter details in the observation to help support you.

  2. Replacing ticking off statements with the ability to link to general areas of learning when creating observations. This also means we’ll be slowly getting rid of statement-based tracking too.

  3. Best fit assessments will carry on much the same, and you’ll be able to check over observations tagged in certain areas to help you make a judgement. You’ll be able to choose if you still want emerging/developing/secure refinements in your assessments.

  4. Your own curriculum. Coming a little later, you’ll be able to add your own broad curriculum areas that can be tagged in observations and assessments, as well as uploading it as a reference document.

The rest of the child development features will remain much the same, including 2-year checks, sharing observations with parents, tallies, and assessment-based progress monitoring.

We will be doing a special EYFS Summer Camp and providing a whole load more information very soon

What's the timeline for these changes?

As you can see, there's plenty planned to make these changes smooth, and you can even sign up to be an early tester of the new version of Child Development in Famly. From June you can have exclusive early access to the new way of doing things, just sign up below:

The Famly EYFS Summer Camp

We want everyone to feel excited and confident about the changes ahead, so we’ll be organising a special EYFS Summer Camp, to help you hit the ground running.

Through a series of videos, articles and webinars, you can learn all about the new way of doing things in Famly at your own pace. We’ll also be sharing examples and ideas from settings and experts about how they observe, assess and plan using Famly.

What’s changing with the EYFS and development matters?

Broadly speaking, the Department for Education (DfE) say the changes are targeted at:

  • improving outcomes at age 5, especially in regards to language and literacy,

  • and reducing the amount of paperwork done by practitioners.

There are some other smaller focuses, such as:

  • an increased focus on oral health, and

  • support for EAL children.

There are changes to the ‘Educational Programmes’ which cover the seven areas of learning, as well as new Early Learning Goals that children will be assessed on at age five.

There’s a new Development Matters guide from the DfE to help support your understanding, as well as the separate Birth to Five Matters document, written by a host of early childhood experts. Remember though; both of these are just books to help you better understand child development - they are not curriculums or steps to tick off as children progress. Using the Early Learning Goals, or Development Matters ‘statements’ as a curriculum, or to track progress, is once again being actively discouraged.

How have you developed the changes?

To ensure we're getting it right, we’ve interviewed and worked with experts in early years to guide and support the development of the new features. These experts include Dr Julian Grenier (author of Development Matters) Beatrice Merrick, Nancy Stewart and the team behind Birth-to-Five Matters, Dr Sue Allingham, and Ofsted.

We’ve also been working with lots of you, and we want lots more feedback, ideas, and thoughts from you all now that we have something to show you.

Why now?

Of course, we have to change our software to reflect the changes to the EYFS.

But more than that, the new way of supporting child development with Famly is in line with best practice and gives you more flexibility to apply what makes your children and setting unique. Ultimately, we’re trying to give you more time on the observations and assessments that help support children - less on the ones that don’t.

More than this, we want to give your time back to you- the most important work you do is with the children, not in Famly. The new framework allows for you to "make more judgements based on your knowledge and experience" - so we want to ensure we're providing the best environment for that.

Can I give feedback?

We would love you to- the more you share with us the better this will be for everyone. You'll be able to toggle the new version on and off when it's fully ready in July - more information about that closer to the time. You can also sign up to our newsletter to stay up-to-date:

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