(Note: I originally published this blog as an article in my weekly Childminding Best Practice newsletters on the 18th of July 2023. To be first in the know you can sign up for free here:)

The Department of Education has now published the newly revised EYFS which comes into force today. (Monday the 4th of September 2023). I have already seen lots of posts on social media about the changes and it would be easy to form the impression that the guidelines have changed a lot. In truth very little has changed, and even less so for childminders. I have now gone through the entire document (except for Annex B which is only for Reception teachers,) and have listed the changes below:

Change One: On page 3: The date in the sentence at the very start of the guidelines has been changed to read, ‘This framework is mandatory for all early years providers in England from 4 September 2023.’

In the old (current) EYFS the date is the 1 September 2021. I have underlined the part that says ‘all early years providers,’ as there is still talk of another more simplified guide which is being specifically written for childminders. However it is important to realise that you must follow all the rules set out in the full version. Please do not worry about this, if you have a copy of the Ultimate Childminding Checklist,’ this sets out all the ‘musts’ in an easy format for you to go through and tick off. The ‘Ultimate Checklist’ has now been updated to reflect the new changes.

Change Two: In the section on ratios there is only one change that childminders need to be aware of and that concerns how you supervise children while they are eating. Currently paragraph 3.29 of the EYFS states that ‘children must usually be within sight and hearing of a member of staff. The new EYFS adds, ‘Whilst eating, children must be within sight and hearing of a member of staff.’

Choking is silent so if you can only hear children while they eat you may miss a life threatening situation, therefore, although this is not mentioned in the current EYFS please follow this rule now. It could save a child’s life.

Change Three: There is also another change to the ratios section which is causing confusion in some of the threads I have seen on social media. This change is in the section ‘Early years providers (other than childminders) Paragraph 3.33 in the new EYFS which concerns children aged two states that ‘there must be one member of staff for every five children.’ This is an increase from the previous ratio of one member of staff for every four children. Although this is a controversial change IT DOES NOT APPLY TO CHILDMINDERS so you do not need to worry about it! If anyone says you can now have more children because the ratios have increased, please gently set them straight!

Change Four: The final minor change is on page 32 section 3.43 of the new EYFS which details the circumstances in which childminders can make exceptions to the usual ratios. In the old EYFS it states that exceptions to the usual ratios could be made when ‘childminders are caring for sibling babies.’ In the new EYFS this has been changed to siblings.

I think this makes it easier to argue that you can take on an older child’s sibling, rather than it being limited to twins, for example.

The new EYFS has also been changed so that in the same section as above the statement (exceptions to the usual ratios can be made) ‘when caring for their own baby,’ now reads ‘child’ instead. This is good as your own children no longer need to vanish in a puff of smoke when they are no longer babies – you can keep caring for them 😜

And that is it! The amount of changes is really nothing to worry about. If you have not got one already get yourself a copy of the Ultimate Childminding Checklist and by using it you will know that you have all the ‘must do’ things in place.

You may also like:

NEW! The Ultimate Childminding Inspection Preparation Pack 2023

Is your Ofsted Inspection imminent? Do not panic. this bundle will help you prepare AND will save you £10 off the price of buying these resources separately.*

Knowing that your Ofsted Inspection is due can feel stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Being prepared and knowing that you have everything in place can help massively reduce any stress or worry about your inspection.

This new bundle pack of useful resources has been put together to help you:

  • Check that you have everything in place with the Ultimate Childminding Checklist and the Safeguarding Audit list. (Now updated to meet September 2023 requirements.)
  • Update and/ or check your Safeguarding Policy so that everything is in place using the Editable Safeguarding Policy.
  • Revise your safeguarding knowledge so that you feel prepared for questions on the day with multiple choice safeguarding questions.
  • Quickly and easily evaluate your own provision and think about how far you have come using Focus Point Questions from the Guided Self-Evaluation Pack.
  • Relax with the puzzles and mindfulness colouring sheets that are also included in your pack, knowing that you have done everything to put things in place for a successful childminding inspection.

Smoother and Safer Mealtimes for Childminders

From September 2023 the EYFS requires that children are within your hearing and sight while they are eating. Here are my five tips for smoother and safer mealtimes. (Learned via lots of trial and many errors!)

Published 04/09/2023

2 thoughts on “Changes to the September 2023 EYFS for Childminders

Leave a Reply