Families in the Foundation Years

The Department for Education (DfE) and the Department of Health (DoH) have published a collection of information and resources that set out the Government’s vision for the foundation years.

The foundation years are critically important for children and their families, and these publications describe the Government’s vision for the system of services that supports them. It is for everyone who commissions, leads and delivers services for mothers and fathers from pregnancy until children reach the age of five.  

Families in the Foundation Years covers the following topics:

  • The Government’s vision for supporting families from pregnancy to age five
  • Preparing for parenthood
  • Caring for newborns
  • Helping babies to develop
  • Encouraging independence
  • Enjoying early education
  • Joining reception class
  • Families in the Foundation Years – Evidence Pack (Downloadable pdf)
  • Other useful resources including a parent friendly translation with resources and links to help mothers and fathers who care for babies and young children on 4Children’s companion website (www.foundationyears.org.uk).

To find out more visit the DfE website: http://www.education.gov.uk/childrenandyoungpeople/earlylearningandchildcare/early/b0077836/introduction

You can also download Supporting Families in the Foundation Years. A document for commissioners and the workforce, setting out how they can deliver on the Government’s vision for foundation years services:


These publications emphasise the vital role that skilled and knowledgeable professionals and strong leadership play across the foundation years. This requires a framework of high-standard qualifications that meet the needs of employers, and equip early education professionals to support young children’s development.

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