The standards that school and childcare providers must meet for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5.


Early years foundation stage: coronavirus disapplications


Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage

Ref: DFE-00169-2017PDF, 552KB, 37 pages


You should also read early years foundation stage: coronavirus disapplications alongside this guidance.

The framework:

  • sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well
  • ensures children are kept healthy and safe
  • ensures that children have the knowledge and skills they need to start school

This statutory framework is for:

  • school leaders
  • school staff
  • childcare providers
  • childminders

It relates to:

  • local authority-maintained schools
  • non-maintained schools (schools not maintained by a local authority)
  • independent schools
  • academies and free schools
  • nurseries
  • private nursery schools
  • pre-schools/playgroups
  • childminding

Statutory guidance is issued by law; you must follow it unless there’s a good reason not to do so.

The EYFS framework published on 3 March 2017 came into force on 3 April 2017.

Supporting material is available on the Foundation Years website.

Published 31 March 2014
Last updated 15 January 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added guidance on the 2021 early years foundation stage profile (EYFSP) assessment and paediatric first aid (PFA) certificate requalification training.

  2. Updated 'Early years foundation stage: coronavirus disapplications' with a link to Ofsted's operational notes, which set out in further detail, how providers will be inspected from January 2021. Provided further clarity on the definition of 'reasonable endeavours'.

  3. Amended 'Early years foundation stage: coronavirus disapplications' to remove reference to the original transition period and the PFA certification extensions, both which ended on 25 November 2020.

  4. Amended the content on early years foundation stage coronavirus disapplications to reflect the updated arrangements that were put in place from 26 September 2020, and national restrictions.

  5. Updated 'early years foundation stage: coronavirus disapplications' to reflect that the original disapplications ended on 25 September and the new regulations which came into force on the 26 September.

  6. Updated to reflect new regulations which allow temporary coronavirus (COVID-19) disapplications to re-apply if a provider is prevented from complying with the EYFS due to coronavirus (COVID-19) related restrictions or requirements. They also add disapplications around paediatric first aid to the transitional period, which originally only applied to disapplications around staffing levels.

  7. Updated to reflect the extension of the validity of current PFA certificates.

  8. Updated to reflect wider opening of early years settings from 1 June 2020 and to provide a clarification on progress checks for children aged 2.

  9. Added guidance to the temporarily disapplied, and modified certain elements of the EYFS statutory framework.

  10. Updated statutory guidance title and summary.

  11. Added new statutory framework.

  12. Added link to the Foundation Years website.

  13. First published.