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Early Years Framework

About this statutory framework

This framework is mandatory for all early years providers in England (from 3 April 2017)1: maintained schools; non-maintained schools; independent schools; all providers on the Early Years Register; and all providers registered with an early years childminder agency2. Ofsted and inspectorates of independent schools have regard to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) in carrying out inspections and report on the quality and standards of provision. Ofsted publishes inspection reports at Ofsted may issue actions (in respect of any failure to meet a requirement in the document) and/or may issue a welfare requirements notice (in respect of Section 3). It is an offence for a provider to fail to comply with a welfare requirements notice. Early years childminder agencies are also under a duty to have regard to the EYFS in the exercise of their functions. The learning and development requirements in sections 1 and 2 of this framework, and the safeguarding and welfare requirements in section 3 of this framework, are indicated by the use of the word “must”. Additionally, early years providers must "have regard" to other provisions in these sections. These provisions are indicated by the use of the word “should”. "Having regard" to these provisions means that early years providers must take them into account when providing early years provision and should not depart from them unless there is good reason for doing so.