This chapter explains the principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework to apply these to practice. It discusses the importance of the Characteristics of Effective Learning in supporting how young children learn, and the importance of child-initiated, play-based learning to apply this approach to practice. Rather than outlining programmes of study that stipulate what children should learn, the EYFS outlines four key principles, upon which each setting should build a curriculum tailored to the needs of their particular children, and it provides guidance on how children typically learn. It describes what effective learning looks like, and promotes a holistic play-based pedagogy incorporating seven areas of learning and development. The statutory framework requires providers to plan their EYFS curriculum around seven areas of learning and development: personal, social, emotional development; communication and language; physical development; literacy; mathematics; understanding the world; and expressive arts and design.