Both Ofsted and the Department of Education (DfE) require that all nurseries, pre-schools and early years providers in England adhere to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) learning and development framework. This prescribes the key areas of focus required for children’s education, learning and development, also providing guidelines and benchmarking for things like safeguarding, welfare and the continual assessment of every child under the age of 5. As part of the assessment element, a Progress Check comes into play for every child once they reach the age of 2.
The Progress Check at 2 — What’s it All About?
The progress check can occur any time from the age of 2 up to the point when children reach the age of 3. It’s a complete review of the child’s progress in key areas of their learning and development. It’s part and parcel of the EYFS’s policy of sharing information between the early years provider, parents and/or carers — and sometimes the child’s health visitor* — in order to support the child’s progress going forwards. The progress check happens jointly and a summary is provided to parents/carers in written form. This will help both the childcare provider to support the child when at nursery, pre-school or similar, and the parents/carers to support the child while they are at home.
The progress report must primarily identify:
- Any strengths that the child has in relation to the 3 ‘prime’ areas of the EYFS (those areas being Communication and language, Physical development and lastly Personal, social and emotional development);
- Any concerns about the child’s progress in any of those prime areas, i.e. where their progress has been less than expected. This may even include possible identification of one or more special educational needs or disabilities.
Practitioners may, at their discretion, also summarise strengths and any concerns they have in regard to areas outside the EYFS’s 3 ‘prime’ areas, for example in any of its 4 ‘specific’ areas.
The idea behind appraising the child’s overall progress at this formative age is, of course, to help support the child where they are struggling and, wherever possible, to help mitigate any issues at an early stage. Part of this may include involving the childcare setting’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo), health professional* or indeed any other professional(s)*, if deemed appropriate.
“Support plans may include strategies and specific activities to undertake when they’re at the early years/childcare setting and, crucially, also when they’re at home.”
A support plan will be developed to precisely target any areas of concern, in order to support the child in the best ways. As much as is possible, it should help them catch up before they begin school, all being well. Such an aim is incredibly important at this young age, otherwise the child may be held back educationally and/or developmentally, going forwards, in a kind of domino effect.
Support plans may include strategies and specific activities to undertake when they’re at the early years/childcare setting and, crucially, also when they’re at home.
The progress check is also, of course, a very useful tool to pass on to any new early years provider should the family move. Doing so will allow the early years practitioners at the new setting to be better informed and thereby better able to support the child in the most appropriate way.
A Clarification Regarding the HCP’s 2 Year Review
The progress check at 2, undertaken by early years providers (nurseries etc.), is not to be confused with the Healthy Child Programme (HCP) and its 2 year review, although the two may be closely linked. The HCP 2 year review is undertaken, in parallel, by healthcare professionals, usually a health visitor, around a similar age (2 to 2½). It is focused primarily on health, immunisation uptake, physical and mental development and wellbeing and also offers some parenting support. Although, strictly speaking, it’s a different review to the early years ‘progress check at 2’, it does make sense to ‘join the dots’ and to integrate the findings of the two together. One should inform the other. Indeed they may sometimes be carried out together if your child has started going to a nursery or similar. The timing of the two types of review is no coincidence, as the age of 2 is a key one in respect to the development of speech, language and social, emotional and cognitive development. Clearly such things can be linked to health/development as well as to early learning, so there is a clear cross-over. Hence, one ideally feeding into the other, to gain a more complete understanding and wider picture for each child. For this reason, parents/carers are encouraged to allow the sharing* of information from the early years progress check with professionals like their health visitor where appropriate.
We hope that this helps to explain the progress check at the age of 2, but if you have any questions, please contact your child’s early years/childcare provider — including Tic Toc if your child attends the Ilford nursery.
Nursery Places for Babies & Children Under 5 at Tic Toc Nursery, Clayhall, Ilford
Are you looking for outstanding childcare services for your baby or under-five child in the Clayhall/Ilford area of Essex? If so, take a closer look at Tic Toc Nursery, where our high quality early years practitioners, facilities and approach to early years learning and development gives little ones the very best start in life. Why not visit the nursery/pre-school with your child to see for yourself! We’ll be happy to show you around and to answer any questions that you might have. We are a high quality nursery and pre-school in Clayhall, Ilford (IG5), in Essex and are also convenient for childcare if you live or work in Barkingside, Gants Hill, Redbridge, South Woodford or Fulwell Cross. We welcome enquiries, so please get in touch to learn more or to request a nursery place for your child (please choose an option below):
* Information is shared with third parties only with the consent of the child’s parent(s) and/or carer(s), except where required to do so by law.