Our response to

Response to DfE announcement of further changes to the EYFS

October 27, 2023

Speech and Language UK respond to today’s DfE announcement of further changes to the early years foundation stage (EYFS).

“We welcome the decision not to change the ratios of Level 2 practitioners and qualified staff outside of hours, but otherwise we are concerned that the proposed changes will weaken the quality of early years experiences for children with speech and language challenges.   

Changes such as reducing the requirement to support home language development and removing the maths L2 qualification requirement may help recruitment in the short term but will mean the workforce is not well equipped to support children’s learning.  

Watering down the training requirements for childminders will also leave children in areas of disadvantage which are particularly reliant on childminders in a worse position in terms of the quality of their early years experience.” 

Louisa Reeves, Director of Policy and Evidence, Speech and Language UK


Speech and Language UK calls on the Government to: 

  • Train all early years staff to identify a child struggling with their talking and understanding of words and know how to help as well as where to refer them for support and possible diagnosis. 
  • Revise Ofsted guidelines for early years settings so that they are for more ambitious about what is expected in terms of language development. 
  • Produce guidance for early years staff about what evidence-based tools and programmes work for children with speech and language challenges.