Using continuous provision in the EYFS

Find out how to create continuous provision in your classroom which sparks curiosity, allows children to play independently and gives them a sense of ownership over their environment.

Last reviewed on 7 June 2021
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 42751
  1. What is continuous provision?
  2. Plan resources that provide a range of learning opportunities
  3. Set up the environment so children can play independently
  4. Don't just leave children to play, engage in high-quality interactions 

What is continuous provision?

It's the core provision, indoors and outdoors, that is available to children all day, every day. This provision doesn’t fundamentally change from day to day, so children always know what’s there and what they can help themselves to during child-led learning.

To be effective, your continuous provision needs to allow for: 

  • Learning through exploration
  • Child-initiated learning 
  • Promoting independence in making choices 
  • Becoming active learners – so pupils develop the 'characteristics of effective learning' in the EYFS 
  • Supporting children's learning across the 7 areas of learning and development in the EYFS 

In this article, you'll find guidance on how you can ensure children are getting the most value from your provision.

Use our audit tool to find out the kinds of resources that you'll want to have in your continuous provision. Essex County Council also has a continuous provision audit and example plans to give you further ideas for the types of resources you could