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Personal, Social and Emotional Development


Personal, Social and Emotional Development 

Personal, social and emotional development (PSED) supports children to learn to Make friends and form and have friendships, understand and talk about feelings, learn about 'right' and 'wrong' and develop independence. Ultimately a strong foundation in feeling good about themselves, with a clear focus on self-identity and self-esteem  

Children's early PSED has a huge impact on their later well-being and learning achievement 

Personal, social and emotional development and the EYFS

PSED is one of the three prime areas within the (EYFS). This is then split into three elements, which are:

  • Self-Regulation - Show an understanding of their own feelings and those of others, and begin to regulate their behaviour accordingly; - Set and work towards simple goals, being able to wait for what they want and control their immediate impulses when appropriate; Give focused attention to what the teacher says, responding appropriately even when engaged in activity, and show an ability to follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.
  • Managing Self - Be confident to try new activities and show independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge; Explain the reasons for rules, know right from wrong and try to behave accordingly; Manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet and understanding the importance of healthy food choices.
  • Building Relationships - Work and play cooperatively and take turns with others; Form positive attachments with adults and friendships with peers; Show sensitivity to their own and to others' needs


Support documents and resources to support PSED in practice 

Personal, social and emotional development - Help for early years providers - GOV.UK (

Resources for this are divided into 3 areas based on the educational programmes:

Emotions - more detail can be found here

Sense of self - please click the link to watch a video detailing examples of this in practice here

Relationships - a video is available to watch here

Useful Publications

  • Development Matters (2020), Department for Education, available on the GOV.UK website

  • Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2021), Department for Education, available on the GOV.UK website

    Anna Freud NCCF

These films, here and here from the Anna Freud Centre, outlines the typical stages of PSED in young children, is part of a selection of resources relating to the personal, social and emotional development of children in an early years setting

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED) - Early Years Matters has some additional information that might prove useful in regards to further details on the educational programmes of the EYFS

The TTS have some very helpful resources to purchase on their website that supports mangaing feelings and emotions, to view these, please see here

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