This is the essential guide for ensuring the foundations for counting are embedded throughout your EYFS provision.Bronze award

Herts for Learning Primary maths and EYFS experts have created a set of booklets that support the development of children’s foundations for counting.

Each booklet focuses on a key skill:

  • pattern
  • classification
  • comparison
  • group recognition or subitising.

Within each booklet, progression through the skill is identified. Ideas for what the adults can do and provide is specified with photographic examples and dialogue taken from children and adults. These are from a range of settings, who successfully piloted the resources. Criteria for the behaviours that show an understanding is also provided.

The resources are linked to the:

  • the EYFS characteristics of learning
  • current maths early years outcomes
  • and the proposed changes that are being piloted from September 2018 to July 2019

These documents place a greater emphasis on subitising (group recognition), number bonds, comparing and patterns. Essential foundations for counting will aid practitioners in identifying these mathematical skills across their learning environment. They will help to ensure that children leave the EYFS with secure foundations to impact positively on future maths learning.

Read more about essential foundations for counting in Deborah Mulroneys' blog:

So this is what comes before counting

The four booklets and accompanying introduction booklet will be delivered in an easily portable folder.


I forgot to say how helpful I have found the Essential Foundations For Counting in the Early Years. I have taught all aspects of it. The children began to see the patterns very quickly. They can now recognise amounts with out counting and add groups together more quickly. The progress was amazing and I highly recommend it for EYFS and for booster groups in KS1.

Michelle Roberts, Reception teacher, Hertford Heath Primary School & Nursery, Hertfordshire

Subject Early years | Mathematics
Key stage EYFS
Category Pupil Premium | School improvement | School effectiveness | Teaching & Learning