Children’s development and learning

We encourage learning and development through play experiences. We observe children’s interests to plan for their next steps whilst building positive relationships in a safe, secure and stimulating environment.

We aim to ensure that each child:

  • Is given the best possible start in life, adhering to the (UNCRC) United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

  • Is able to develop holistically by ensuring that the provision and practice enables this

  • Is given generous care and attention, because of our ratio of qualified staff to children, as well as volunteer helpers

  • Has the chance to join in with other children and adults to live, play, work and learn together

  • Is helped to take forward her/his learning and development by being helped to build on what she/he already knows and can do

  • Has a personal key person who makes sure each child makes satisfying progress

  • Is in a setting that sees parents as partners in helping each child to learn and develop (each parent/carer is the professional for their own child)

  • Is in a setting in which parents help to shape the service it offers.

The Early Years Foundation Stage

Provision for the development and learning of children from birth to 5 years is guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage. Our provision reflects the four overarching principles of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.

A Unique Child

Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.

Positive Relationships

Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships, knowing they have a secure base.

Enabling Environments

Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners, parents and carers.

Learning and Development

Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision including children with special educational needs and disabilities

How we provide for development and learning

Children start to learn about the world around them from the moment they are born. The care and education offered by our setting helps children to continue to do this by providing all of the children with interesting activities that are appropriate for their age and stage of development. We meet the needs of each unique child.

The Areas of Development and Learning comprise:

Prime Areas

  • Personal, social and emotional development.

  • Physical development.

  • Communication and language.

Specific Areas

  • Literacy.

  • Mathematics.

  • Understanding the world.

  • Expressive arts and design.


Our approach to learning and development and assessment

Learning through play

Being active and playing supports young children’s learning and development through doing and talking. This is how children learn to think about and understand the world around them. We use the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory guidance on education programmes to plan and provide opportunities which will help children to make effective progress in all areas of learning. This programme is made up of a mixture of both child led ad adult led activities.

At The Early Learning Camp re recognise that play is essential for child development.  We support the EYFS with positive adult interactions and an enabling, supportive environment, to allow children the freedom to explore.   We understand that play not only provides a child with imagination, creativity and motivation, but prepares each child for their future.  Play allows the unique child to express their interests and enhance many skills such as problem-solving, self-regulation and developing relationships.

We acknowledge that play may appear differently for each child; some children enjoy engaging alone in their play, developing their imagination and curiosity.  However, older children in their Early Years, often thrive off sharing ideas with their peers, playing alongside and with others.

Characteristics of effective learning

We understand that all children engage with other people and their environment through the characteristics of effective learning that are described in the Early Years Foundation Stage as:

Playing and exploring - engagement;

Active learning - motivation; and

Creating and thinking critically - thinking.

These areas are linked to the observations on our Baby’s Days system

We aim to provide for the characteristics of effective learning by observing how a child is learning and being clear about what we can do and provide in order to support each child to remain an effective and motivated learner.


We assess how young children are learning and developing by observing them frequently. We use information that we gain from observations, as well as from photographs or videos of the children, to document their progress and where this may be leading them. We believe that parents know their children best and we will ask you to contribute to assessment by sharing information about what your child likes to do at home and how you, as parents, are supporting development.

We make periodic assessment summaries of children’s achievement based on our on-going development records. These form part of children’s records of achievement. We undertake these assessment summaries at regular intervals, as well as times of transition, such as when a child moves into a different group or when they go on to school.

All termly reports are available for parents/carers to view on our Baby’s Days system and are followed by a parents/carers evening for the opportunity to discuss the reports further with your child’s key worker.

At The Early Learning Camp, we use the termly reports to create each child’s next steps, so we can create activities to develop the child’s learning and development through their own interests.

The progress check at age two

The Early Years Foundation Stage requires that we supply parents and carers with a short written summary of their child’s development in the three prime areas of learning and development - personal, social and emotional development; physical development; and communication and language - when a child is aged between 24 - 36 months. Your child’s key person is responsible for completing the check using information from on-going observational assessments carried out as part of our everyday practice, taking account of the views and contributions of parents and other professionals.

Records of achievement

We keep a record of achievement for each child. Your child’s record of achievement helps us to celebrate together her/his achievements and to work together to provide what your child needs for her/his well-being and to make progress.

Your child’s key person will work in partnership with you to keep this record. To do this you and she/he will collect information about your child’s needs, activities, interests and achievements. This information will enable the key person to identify your child’s stage of progress. Together, we will then decide on how to help your child to move on to the next stage.

Working together for your children

We maintain the ratio of adults to children in the setting that is set by the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements. We also have volunteer parent helpers, where possible, to complement these ratios. This helps us to:

Give time and attention to each child

Talk with the children about their interests and activities

Help children to experience and benefit from the activities we provide

Allow the children to explore and be adventurous in safety

Our setting recognises parents as the first and most important educators of their children. All of our staff see themselves as partners with parents in providing care and education for their children. There are many ways in which parents take part in making our setting a welcoming and stimulating place for children and parents, such as:

  • exchanging knowledge about their children’s needs, activities, interests and progress with our staff;

  • contributing to the progress check at age two;

  • helping at sessions of the setting;

  • sharing their own special interests with the children;

  • helping to provide and look after the equipment and materials used in the children’s play activities;

  • taking part in events and informal discussions about the activities and curriculum provided by the setting;

  • joining in community activities, in which the setting takes part; and

  • building friendships with other parents in the setting.

Key person and your child

Our setting uses a key person approach. This means that each member of staff has a group of children for whom she/he is particularly responsible. Your child’s key person will be the person who works with you to make sure that the childcare that we provide is right for your child’s particular needs and interests. When your child first starts at the setting, she/he will help your child to settle and throughout your child’s time at the setting, she/he will help your child to benefit from our activities