I have seen a couple of posts pop up on childminding groups and forums recently about Early Years Outcomes (EYO) and Development Matters asking which one we should be using and what is the difference between the two. Hopefully the below information and links will clear this up for any childminders still not sure.

In 2008 Early Education produced Development Matters as a non-statutory guidance to support with implementing the statutory requirements of learning and development detailed in the EYFS Framework 2012/14.

In September 2013 the Department of Education created a another non-statutory guidance called Early Years Outcomes and in November 2013 Ofsted stated in their newsletter that:

“Inspectors should be aware that Development Matters has been replaced by Early Years Outcomes. This is a non-statutory guide to help inform understanding of child development through the early years”. (Page 4)

In summary the EYO document contains just the first column of Development Matters ‘A Unique Child’. The ‘Positive Relationships’ and ‘Enabling Environments’ column have been removed along with the information about Prime and Specific Areas of Learning and Characteristics of Effective Learning (CoEL).
There is also a few minor changes to the wording. For this reason I have continued using Development Matters as ‘The Positive Relationships’ and ‘Enabling Environment’ columns provide lots of ideas for next steps, working with parents and creating an environment that supports a child’s learning as well as the CoEL section which helps me to support and plan for a child’s learning and development style.

I have still printed the EYO document and refer to my observations as EYO as this is what Ofsted will use to ensure we understand, and can show evidence of, children’s learning and development.

The Foundation Years website has the below description of EYO:

“This document is a non-statutory guide to support practitioners and inspectors to help understanding of child development through the early years. It can be used by childminders, nurseries and others, such as Ofsted, throughout the early years as a guide to making best-fit judgements about whether a child is showing typical development for their age, may be at risk of delay or is ahead for their age. It is a guide to typical development while recognising that children develop at their own rates and in their own ways.”

It is important to note that the Development Matters document is still live on the Foundation Years website which I think is where the confusion has come in.

Useful Links and Downloads

Early Years Outcomes

Development Matters

Foundation Years

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2014


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