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Development Matters 2021 NEW

Development Matters 2021 NEW

No job is more important than working with children in the early years. Development Matters is for all early years practitioners, for childminders and staff in nurseries, nursery schools, and nursery and reception classes in school. It offers a top-level view of how children develop and learn. It can help you to design an effective early years curriculum, building on the strengths and meeting the needs of the children you work with. It guides, but does not replace, professional judgement.


The curriculum consists of everything you want children to experience, learn and be able to do. It must meet the requirements of the educational programmes in the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). These are included throughout Development Matters for ease of reference. This guidance sets out the pathways of children’s development in broad ages and stages. The actual learning of young children is not so neat and orderly. For that reason, accurate and proportionate assessment is vital. It helps you to make informed decisions about what a child needs to learn and be able to do next. It is not designed to be used as a tick list for generating lots of data. You can use your professional knowledge to help children make progress without needing to record lots of next steps.

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