Early Years Foundation Stage Framework 2024 – A Guide to the Changes

This month, the Department for Education (DfE) published the two versions of the EYFS Statutory Framework which will apply from 4 January 2024. There will now be two versions of the EYFS Framework, one with childminder-relevant content and one with group and school-based provider-relevant content.

A summary of the main changes are listed below.

Group and School-Based Providers:

Children with English as an Additional Language

The EYFS Framework has changed “must” to “may” in relation to “take reasonable steps to provide opportunities for children to develop and use their home language in play and learning, supporting their language development at home.”


The current EYFS states “The safeguarding policy and procedures must include an explanation of the action to be taken when there are safeguarding concerns about a child and in the event of an allegation being made against a member of staff and cover the use of mobile phones and cameras in the setting.” The DfE is adding “other electronic devices with imaging and sharing capabilities” to this requirement.

Maths Qualification

The requirement for Level 3 Early Years Educators to hold a Level 2 (GCSE or equivalent) maths qualification will be removed. This requirement will now be applied to new setting managers employed on or after 4 January 2024. For managers already in post, and who remain in the same post, there will be no action to take.

Despite this change, the DfE has confirmed that “the change impacts the requirements set out in the EYFS framework only, and has no bearing on apprenticeship End Point Assessment requirements”.

Apprentices and Ratios

Apprentices and students on placements will be able to count within staff:child ratios at the level below their level of study. However, this is only if their manager is satisfied that they are competent and responsible. For example, a Level 3 apprentice who is judged by their manager to be performing well could count within the Level 2 staff:child ratios.

Physical Copy of Certificates

While qualifications must be verified, employees do not have to provide physical copies of their qualifications. This is to “tackle the known issue of some settings refusing to accept digital copies of certificates”.

Qualifications Standards Document for Level 2 and Level 3

The DfE will publish a qualification standards document setting out the current Level 2 Early Years Practitioner and current and new Level 3 Early Years Educator criteria. This aims to make it easier for people to find guidance on qualifications.

Paediatric First Aid

All Level 2 and Level 3 practitioners must hold a valid paediatric first aid certificate to be included in staff:child ratios.


Training Requirements

The DfE is removing the requirement for childminders to complete training before registration. Instead, they must demonstrate that they have the appropriate knowledge.

Key Person

Childminding assistants will now be able to hold the role of key person. It will be “the childminder’s responsibility to assess whether an assistant is suitable to take on this role”.

Displaying Certificates

The requirement for childminders to physically display a copy of their certificate of registration or Paediatric First Aid certificate will be removed. Instead, certificates will be able to be displayed digitally and made available on request.

Early Learning Goals

The Early Learning Goals (ELGs) have been moved from the childminder EYFS to an annex, as childminders do not usually need to use these

Changes Due to Take Place at a Later Date:

Experience-Based Route

The introduction of an experienced-based route which will apply to group and school-based providers and enable educators to have the status to be able to work within Level 3 staff:child ratios.

Level 6 Practitioners

Clarification that only practitioners with Early Years Professional Status, Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and Early Years Teacher Status can be counted in Level 6 staff: child ratios.