The EYFS progress check at age two
What is the EYFS progress check at age two?
The progress check was introduced as part of the Early Years Foundation Stage in September 2012. It applies only to children in England who attend pre-school settings, such as nurseries or childminders. The aim of the check is to ensure that any child who may need additional support is identified so that when the time comes for them to start school, they will be ready. Settings are required to provide a short summary of your child's progress and discuss it with you.
What does my child have to do?
It is worth knowing that this is not an exam or a test that children have to pass. The staff who work with your child will look at how your child is doing in the three prime areas of the EYFS. These are communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development. The staff will write a short summary based on what they have seen your child do whilst your child is in their setting. They will comment how well your child is talking, how settled your child seems and also what your child can physically do. As part of their role, they will also give you some suggestions of things that you can do with your child at home.
When does the progress check take place?
Nurseries, pre-schools and childminders have to complete a summary between your child's second and third birthday. They will discuss with you the timing of the progress check, but as the aim is to make sure that children gain any additional support needed, there is some logic in their doing the check earlier than later. Each early years setting can draw up their own summary and so you may find that in a local area, the format of the summary looks quite different depending on where your child goes.
Can I opt out of the progress check?
Yes, you could, but the nursery or pre-school will probably ask you to sign something to say that you specifically refused for the check to take place. Having said this, it is important to remember that the aim of the check is just to make sure that any barriers to your child's future education are spotted.
What happens if my child is not developing as expected?
If you and the staff who work with your child feel that your child is not making progress, the staff are required to write up an action plan and discuss this with you. They may for example, decide that they need to plan specific activities or spend more time with your child. In some cases, you might agree that it would be useful to get the advice of another professional such as a speech and language therapist. The good news is that children who are identified early on as needing a little bit of extra help which is often temporary, are more likely to make good progress afterwards
What happens if my child goes to a childminder and also a pre-school?
The progress check is carried out by the setting where your child spends the most time. It will be helpful, if you give permission for them to contact the other setting so that they can get a more accurate picture of your child.
What happens to the information gained from the progress check?
You will be given a copy of the summary and encouraged to show it to the health visitor. Eventually, it is hoped that there will be just a single combined health and education check but at this point in time, you may find that your child will be checked by the health visitor and also by the early years staff. In addition, your child's pre-school, nursery or childminder will also put a copy in your child's record. There are no systems in place for the information gained by the summary to be used by central government or local authorities.