The early years foundation stage includes an early learning goal that a child should use a pencil and hold it effectively to form recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed. Supporting practice guidance suggests a range of activities, appropriate to their age that children can do to develop both the large and fine motor skills needed to hold a pencil and write. The guidance indicates that most children would be able to achieve this goal between 40-60 months of age.
We are assessing the effects of the introduction of the early years foundation stage through a variety of different methods, including research and work with our colleagues in the national strategies. The results from this work will be used to identify and address any issues relating to implementation. We have also started work on the independent post-implementation review of the EYFS for 2010.
Since April 2008 each local authorities must secure, so far as is “reasonably practicable” sufficient childcare to allow parents in their area to work or undertake education or training leading to work.
The sufficiency duty operates progressively, with local authorities looking both to meet gaps identified in sufficiency assessments and to reduce constraints on sufficiency over time. Local authorities will, themselves, be able to test the sufficiency of childcare through their sufficiency assessments and childcare sufficiency will, of course, form part of the normal performance management arrangements for local authorities.
Information is only readily available for seven of the 13 assessment scales; these are personal, social and emotional development and communication, language and literacy. Further information on the proportion of children working securely within the additional six assessment scales and for earlier years can be compiled and checked only at a disproportionate cost.
The latest published foundation stage profile results for children working securely in these seven scales, in the 30 per cent. most deprived areas within each local authority, can be found in table D of the additional information for statistical release 25-2008: