Get started today.

The 2024 changes in early years

A simple summary for nursery managers
9 min of reading
22 January 2024
A graphic displaying three notebooks with a pen and pencil

The early years will be faced with a number of changes in 2024. It is unlikely that these changes will not impact your nursery, childcare provision or EYFS setting. We can expect to experience changes when implementing the EYFS statutory framework, receiving funding and recruiting EYFS managers and practitioners.

To simplify things, we have collected the information you need about the top hitters in EYFS in an easy, digestible format. 

Jump ahead to:

    2024 changes in the Early Years: What to expect

    So, what will 2024 look like for early years? The simple answer is that it should be an improving picture. Proposed changes to increase training available to EYFS settings can help to upskill your practitioners (even if in qualification alone). With government funding changes for working parents, nurseries will undoubtedly be busy this year.  

    Staying current with proposed and confirmed changes within early years can be tricky, especially when information that impacts EYFS settings can be released from several sources. If you’d like to stay updated without the hassle, sign up to Blossom’s blog and receive important updates, advice and changes straight to your inbox.  

    This article covers four big hitters in early years: funding, assessment, transition and recruitment. All have a significant impact on the way your nursery is organised and managed.  

    A graphic showing the contents of this blog post - EYFS Funding, EYFS Assessment, EYFS Transition and EFYS Recruitment

    2024 changes in Early Years Funding

    It can be challenging to understand the childcare funding changes in 2024 and to know what this means for your nursery in terms of funded places. In 2024, the proposed changes to funding entitlement for working parents will come into force.

    This will not impact the families who access free nursery places due to meeting the eligibility criteria for the 15 hours of free childcare.

    So, what is free early education childcare funding? Including universal entitlement, early education childcare funding covers the criteria and allowance available for families with children in EYFS and nurseries.

    In April 2024, working parents of two-year-olds can access 15 hours of free childcare. In terms of your nursery places, it is optional to offer funded places – your nursery management team will have already decided this.

    From September 2024, those 15 hours of free childcare will be extended to all children in EYFS above nine months. Some nurseries may need more regular income during summer because parents choose to take their children on holiday during the school break. Your setting may decide to implement admission policies to protect against this.

    EYFS Assessments for 2024

    In 2024, the statutory requirements for assessment will remain the same. EYFS settings will still complete the three statutory assessments required in the early years:

    • Progress check at age 2
    • Reception baseline assessment (RBA)
    • EYFS profile (EYFSP)

    Inclusivity is key with these assessments, and they aim to summarise what the child can . When supporting children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), an understanding of what can suffice as evidence is needed. For example, children can use their preferred mode of communication for all of the Early Learning Goals (ELGs), except for the section about ‘speaking’.

    For children with English as an Additional Language (EAL), the recent January 2024 changes to the EYFS statutory framework are applicable when undertaking EYFS assessments. All ELGs can be assessed in any language except for communication and language.

    EYFS Assessment 2024 Dates

    The only EYFS assessment date requirement for nursery managers to be aware of in 2024 is for the EYPS profile. EYFS settings have until the 30th of June 2024 to complete each child’s profile and submit the data to the local authority.

    Reminder: the EYFS profile will be completed for each child in the final term of the year they have their 5th birthday. Usually, reception teachers will complete this profile, but on rare occasions, some nurseries may need to complete the EYFSP.

    Keeping all children’s progress information in one place is helpful when completing any of the three statutory assessment points in the early years. Blossom syncs with several EYFS frameworks for accurate and purposeful practitioner observations. Monitor child development whilst reducing practitioner workload and increasing parental engagement.

    A child's hands placing blocks with holes in onto a board of pegs

    EYFS Transition 2024 Plans

    Moving from the nursery to primary school is daunting for both children and parents. In 2024, a new wave of children will leave your nursery and head to big school. Helping the families choose the right primary school and assisting with the applications can make the transition smoother.

    Of course, your practitioners should not influence parents’ decision of which school. However, they can offer advice on how to support parents in choosing the right primary school.

    Children achieve outcomes and progress positively when they feel secure and comfortable in their environment. Adopting trauma-informed practice to aid EYFS transition sets children and their families up for success.

    When is the best time to begin school transition? The answer lies with individual children. Sometimes, the longer the build-up, the more you may need to support the anxious child with moving to another setting. However, knowing all aspects of the new school through gradual information snippets can be the best way to support particularly anxious children.

    The most effective way to support children with the move to primary school is to ensure your practitioners share any changes in behaviour with each other – we have an online child profile for that! Analysing the potential cause for the behaviour change may highlight the need for an extended transition to reduce the fear of such a significant change.

    Personal, social and emotional development (PSED) is essential for children to recognise new feelings of fear and apprehension. Increasing the frequency of PSED EYFS activities in the run-up to the summer term is recommended.

    Early years qualifications 2024

    From 4th January  2024, the updated statutory framework changes regarding early years qualifications come into play.

    Here’s a summary of the EYFS qualification changes for 2024:

    Changes for Early Years Managers

    If you are a newly appointed EYFS manager (securing your position after the 1st of January 2024), you must have:

    • A level 2 qualification in Maths. If you don’t just yet, you have two years to gain this qualification
    • A full and recent level 3 qualification in childcare
    • Have at least two years of experience working in the EYFS sector (or suitable experience)

    Changes for Early Years Practitioners

    • At least half of the staff team must have a level 2 qualification (as a minimum)
    • At least one team member must have a current Paediatric First Aid (PFA) certificate on the premises (and for external trips and visits)

    Early years recruitment is an ongoing challenge: the EYFS sector often doesn’t get the professional recognition it deserves. This contributes to many reasons why nursery managers struggle to recruit and retain good quality practitioners.

    In 2024, you may need to think creatively to advertise and fill any vacant positions in your nursery. It can be useful to evaluate your setting’s current marketing plan and how recruitment is prioritised.

    A group of four children hugging in a semi-circle

    How Can Blossom Help?

    Blossom Educational is always up to date with the current changes to nursery requirements and statutory changes. Subscribe to Blossom’s blog to receive relevant information about DfE changes, practitioner EYFS activities ideas and features to ease the administrative strain of running a successful nursery and childcare setting.

    Our nursery management software frequently introduces new features to help give practitioners and the management team time to spend where it matters most – with the families and children of your nursery.

    Here are some of the trending features nursery owners and managers love about Blossom:

    • Staff observations are tracked quickly and effectively online
      • Including new-and-improved Accidents & Incidents reporting
    • Parents are encouraged to communicate via the Parent App
    • EYFS funding applications, status and reminders can be tracked
    • EYFS assessment and development tracked and monitored
    • Staff ratios and rotas are organised with ease

    Get in touch to book a free, no-strings demo of Blossom for your nursery setting with one of our friendly team.

    a 30min session
    no strings attached