Using continuous provision in the EYFS

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 26 July 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 42751
  1. What is continuous provision?
  2. Carefully plan resources to provide a range of learning opportunities
  3. Set up the environment so children can play independently
  4. Provide high-quality interaction as well as independent play

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. You should change or refresh some aspects of continuous provision periodically though.

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

  • Learning through exploration
  • Child-initiated learning 
  • Open-ended enquiry and investigation
  • 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 

Here's how to make sure children are getting the most value from your provision:

Use our audit tool to help you consider 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

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