Press Release: Birth to 5 Matters

Due to widespread demand, leading EYFS reporting software providers will be incorporating the Birth to 5 Matters non-statutory guidance as an option within their early years assessment and reporting software. The companies licenced to include the material have undertaken to ensure that the statements from the Birth to 5 Matters guidance cannot be used as ticklists, and to encourage a culture change in the sector to free up practitioners to concentrate on working with children, not collecting unnecessary data.

The products and companies who are in process of agreeing licenses to use Birth to 5 Matters include:

  • Capture education, Capture for Nurseries from iCapture limited
  • Development Map
  • E2P+SEND
  • EAZ MAG Writer by Clifton EMAG Ltd
  • Evidence Me from 2Simple
  • EYFS Tracker from Mime
  • Famly
  • Kinderly Together and Kinderly Learn, from Kinderly
  • Nursery Story
  • Sparkearlyyears
  • Tapestry, from The Foundation Stage Forum
  • Tiny Tracker from Educater

Beatrice Merrick, Chair of the Early Years Coalition which produced the Birth to 5 Matters guidance, said:
“Birth to 5 Matters is there to support early years practitioners understanding of typical child development. It emphasises how the observation, assessment and planning cycle underpins good early years practice as a fundamental principle of the Early Years Foundation Stage. That doesn't require the collection of lots of data, as the EYFS reforms acknowledge. Observation should be ongoing, but not every observation needs to be recorded, only where there is a clear purpose in doing so.

Leaders and managers need to support their teams to reflect on practice and have a clear idea of how, why and when to record formative assessments. They should also ensure they are not asking for inappropriately detailed data for management information that takes practitioners away from time supporting children’s learning. We need to move away from the idea that progress is shown by logging lots of small steps to a more holistic approach.

We’re delighted to be partnering with so many leading providers of early years reporting software to enable them to incorporate the Birth to 5 Matters guidance in their products in ways that will support practitioners to make professional judgements about children’s development and learning and how best to support it.”

All the companies concerned have welcomed the opportunity to include Birth to 5 Matters in their products:

“It’s time we come together to get rid of needless tracking and ‘evidence’ in the early years. Online journals should once again be there only to support practitioners in the fundamentals of observing, planning and assessing children to support and share their growth. Famly are thrilled to be partnering with the Early Years Coalition and this fantastic Birth To 5 Matters framework to take another step in our mission to do just that”.

“We are delighted to be aligned with Birth to 5 Matters as the Development Map includes all of the important aspects of exemplary early years philosophy and practice outlined in the guidance, for example holistic development and learning, observation, assessment and planning, following children’s interests, partnerships with parents, the leadership of high-quality practice and continual professional development.

“The Foundation Stage Forum, creators of Tapestry, fully supports child centred practice and assessment processes and we are pleased to be adding the Birth to 5 Matters document as reference material within our learning journal software. We aim to provide a forward-thinking monitoring tool that embraces the positive changes that are being made to assessment whilst also cherishing the vitally important family communication links upon which Tapestry was founded.”

Nursery Story are delighted to be able to offer the Birth to 5 Matters guidance to practitioners on our platform and support the phenomenal work of the Early Years Coalition, who have created a valuable, accessible and contemporary resource to support the sector and enrich the lives of babies and young children.”

Educater are honoured to be partners with Birth to 5 Matters and are delighted to present this exciting opportunity to our customers. The partnership will allow Educater’s Tiny Tracker to include this high quality guidance in our portfolio as an option for nurseries, schools and other settings to use. We actively support the practice embodied in the guidance and we are proud that our software continues to deliver the highest quality tracking experience to benefit the education of young children.”

“Since 2008, the EYFS Tracker has been supporting schools and settings to visually track the progress of their children and help them flourish. We are delighted to be able to offer the EYFS Tracker community the opportunity to use Birth to 5 Matters in their tracking.”

“As a not for profit organisation ourselves, Clifton EMAG are looking forward to working with Birth to 5 to contribute to their efforts in supporting schools and settings with their EYFS materials.”

“As real early years people, and with sparkearlyyyears’ natural alignment with the Birth to 5 Matters framework, we are so pleased to welcome the driving force behind change to the industry away from ‘data for data’s sake’ to the meaningful observations we have long championed. Our aim is to provide support for every family, practitioner, manager and business owner to get everything right ultimately for every child and the Birth to 5 Matters guidance will further strengthen our ability to do this.”

E2P is committed to ensuring we help enable and empower practitioners to embrace the curriculum.”

2simple will be working really closely with the Birth to 5 Matters team to make sure that Evidence Me meets the needs of schools during these times of change and challenge.”

Further Notes:

For further information, contact Beatrice Merrick, Chief Executive, Early Education (email: tel. 07712 398672)

The Birth to 5 Matters guidance and a list of the companies licensed to include it in their reporting software can be found online at

The Birth to 5 Matters non-statutory guidance is produced by the Early Years Coalition, a group of 16 major early years organisations, and aims to support practitioners as they implement the statutory Early Years Foundation Stage.
The coalition members are

  • British Early Childhood Education Research Association (BECERA)
  • Early Education
  • Early Childhood Forum (ECF)
  • Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network (ECSDN)
  • Early Years Alliance
  • Froebel Trust
  • Keeping Early Years Unique (KEYU)
  • LGBTQIA Early Years
  • Montessori St Nicholas
  • National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA)
  • National Education Union (NEU)
  • Sector Endorsed Foundation Degrees in the Early Years (SEFDEY)
  • Sightlines Initiative
  • Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship
  • TACTYC: the Association for Professional Development in the Early Years

The initiative has funding from the coalition partners and from Cosy Fund