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EYFS audit and support materials for group care providers and schools.

The statutory framework for the early years foundation stage is mandatory for all early years providers in England. From 4 January 2024 there are two separate frameworks, a childminder framework and a group and school-based framework.

The safeguarding and welfare requirements are found in section 3 of the framework and set out the steps providers must/should take to keep children safe and promote their welfare.

'The requirements 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.’
- (statutory framework pg.3)

To help group care providers and schools to meet the safeguarding and welfare requirements we have developed:

  • an audit tool
  • support materials relating to each section
  • links to further guidance and information

You can find these attached to this page. Please note that some of these documents will be updated to reflect any changes to the 'Statutory Framework for the early years foundation stage', that apply.

The materials will help you to:

  • evaluate your practice
  • identify areas to develop
  • delve deeper into specific aspects of practice
  • frame discussions with staff and management 

'Leaders and managers of settings should have an accurate view of the quality of their provision and know what to improve. They do not need to produce a written self-evaluation, but should be prepared to discuss the quality of education and care they provide – and how well they meet the needs of the children – with the inspector. Inspectors will consider how well leaders and managers evaluate their provision and know how they can improve it or maintain its high standards'.
Early years inspection handbook ( 

The audit tool is not mandatory, but providers must keep up to date with any changes to the statutory framework for the EYFS and any other relevant legislation to ensure that they are meeting legal requirements. 

Leaders and managers should revisit the statutory framework on a regular basis and reflect on how effectively it is being implemented within their setting to ensure children are safe, secure and learning. 

You may wish to address one section at a time or do a complete review in one block. Whichever way you choose to use these materials we would recommend that you complete the full audit at least once every year. 

Important: Section A, Safeguarding Policies and Procedures should be used alongside the information and advice in the early years safeguarding section on SchoolsNet.

Key guidance

Additional information:

Also see