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Too Much, Too Soon: the case against EYFS

(13 Posts)
Arfa Wed 23-Jul-08 15:13:18

Please spare 10 minutes to watch this excellent film produced by the Open EYE group to illustrate their case against the EYFS.

Arfa Wed 23-Jul-08 15:19:33

I forgot to say, the lady at the beginning is Penelope Leach who is also the president of the NCMA.

So if she is against the EYFS, why aren't the rest of the NCMA? Could it be the £1.9m grant (bribe?) the NCMA were given by the government in 2006/7?

MindingMum Wed 23-Jul-08 16:25:38

Wholehearted agree, excellent case against EYFS

KaySamuels Wed 23-Jul-08 18:02:08

I opened the link dubiously, as I feel that many of the EYFS things are just good practice,
however
the learning goals are extremely worrying both for me and mindees, and are something I hadn't fully thought out until now, I shall not be ticking boxes, or trying to get them to write words! hmm I will be contiuining to nurture what I love about children - their curiosity, their zest for life and play, their way of exploring the world and the enjoyment they get from all this. smile

If that makes me an unlawful childminder (in relation to statutory learning goals for tots) then I shall quit and work in an office. angry

I am not a cm dreading the paperwork - I feel all childcare settings such be equally respected and that means providing the same standards across the board, including paperwork

I resent the dictatorship of it all. You will do this,you won't do that. We should have a choice how we provide care and so should parents.

gooseegg Wed 23-Jul-08 18:21:24

Arfa - do you agree with Penelope Leach's view of the rest of the EYFS. Where, at the beginning of the video, she says that " ... it is important to realise that it is only a very small part of the EYFS" that she and others are objecting to. That "... a lot of it is brilliant, I'm all for it."
It is specifically the 'SHOULD' part of the literacy and numeracy Learning Goals that many people object to. Not the whole EYFS.

KaySamuels Wed 23-Jul-08 18:28:17

gooseegg - you put that much more eloquently than I did! grin blush

I completely agree with what Penelope Leach said BTW, a lot of it is good, it is the formal learning aspect I dislike.

ElfOnTheTopShelf Wed 23-Jul-08 18:28:18

I'm a parent who uses a CM and tbh the EYFS feaks me out a little.
I specifically decided on a CM for a home environment, centred around playing and learning through play, and had already decided not to send her to school too young.

gooseegg Wed 23-Jul-08 19:28:45

Elf - a lot of the propaganda against the EYFS IS scarey to parents.

I have read the documents many times and the over riding theme of the EYFS, which I think should be a cause for celebration not fear, is that "Play underpins the delivery of all the EYFS" (Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage Page 7, 1.16, Principles into Practice cards)

grinKay - I really don't see any dictatorship in how we provide care. All the welfare requirements are sensible and don't differ hugely from the National Standards we have now.

We are childcarers. By definition we are supposed to be creative and to have bags of imagination.

Everything I have read encourages us to devise our own ways of working. The EYFS is not prescriptive. Yes, we need to have our eyes on the learning goals - but are free to use our imagination in finding our own ways of working towards them.

Arfa Wed 23-Jul-08 20:33:30

gooseegg: Both my wife (the CM) and myself completely disagree with the formal learning aspects of the EYFS, the statutory nature of the EYFS, the 'what you have been doing for the last 21 years for 50 children and 43 families is wrong and you must now do it this way (despite the parent's objections)' attitude of the DCSF. We do, though, completely agree with the need to nurture and stimulate small children and to expose them to the widest range of experiences whilst doing so in a safe environment.

As a side issue, this government is exhibiting the symptoms of a paranoid schizophrenic in its fear of its citizens and its desire to control and micro-manage every aspect of law abiding people's lives. The EYFS is just one more example of that.

ElfOnTheTopShelf Wed 23-Jul-08 21:05:15

I chose my childminder after doing some grilling on what she did to entertain / stimulate children.
It was the best kind of environment next to me staying at home with her (imo)
I wanted to keep her out of the "learning" environment as much as possible and enjoy being a young child.
The idea of people having to report on my DD, that upsets me - I wanted to keep her out of that until she had to go to school.
Obviously we are teaching numbers, letters, shapes etc etc at home.

KaySamuels Wed 23-Jul-08 21:47:37

The thing I like about the EYFS is the reflection on practice. I know it gets a lot of eye rolling but it is basically striving to provide the best child care you can (for the parents and children), any childminder who doesn't want to aim for that for the kids they cm needs to question if they are in the right job imo.

I am using the EYFS to shake things up and make changes, I will reflect on formal learning goals and declare I feel I am already helping kids reach their goals through play! grin wink

gooseegg Wed 23-Jul-08 22:52:23

Elf - paradoxically it is precisely the teaching of letters and numbers within out of home child care settings that so many people are against.

As any sensitive parent of a four or five year old knows, it can be done in a fun way.

It doesn't have to be a formal sitting around table with pencil and paper exercise.

E.g. each child may have a homemade place mat with their name on, or shaving foam numbers and shapes may be sprayed onto a table for the children to do whatever they want with.

Children of that age are natural mimics and most of them want to be helped to make sense of the adult mysteries of reading and writing.

Sensitive parents help them at a pace they know their children can understand, and that's exactly what the EYFS advocates too. A child led approach where each child's stage of development is taken into consideration.

I understand your concerns about people 'reporting' on your child. As a parent that would get my hackles up too. As a childminder however I can assure you that any reporting I do is directly to the parents who always want to know all about their children's behaviour when in my care.

The only other reporting I would do would be to an Ofsted inspector on my inspection. For example, if an inspector asked me to describe at what stage any child I care for is at I would be able to reel off a whole list of anecdotes and examples of any individual child's interests,achievements, and my plans for their future play opportunities. There isn't even any statutory need for this info to be written down as long as I can show that I know the child and have provided/am providing a good environment tailored to that child's needs.

Kay - high five! grin Of course reflection on practice is good. Isn't that what we all do painfully as parents from the moment our first child is born? I've been a parent for 21 years but I sure as hell haven't been doing the same thing for 21 years - I'm on my third teenager now, and fourth 6yr old, and still exasperating myself by trying out new ways of dealing with them grin

Arfa Thu 24-Jul-08 09:51:51

The Open EYE group state their case in an open letter to The Times signed by more than 80 people including academics, early years experts and children's authors.

The Times follow up the letter with this article about the EYFS and the Open EYE campaign against it.

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