Care and Education in Early Childhood: A Student's Guide to Theory and Practice

Care and Education in Early Childhood: A Student's Guide to Theory and Practice

Care and Education in Early Childhood: A Student's Guide to Theory and Practice

Care and Education in Early Childhood: A Student's Guide to Theory and Practice


The authors draw on their extensive early years expertise to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date review of the key issues in the field of early childhood care and education. In this timely and accessible text, students will find: ¿ An overview of the principles of effective practice ¿ Discussions on equal opportunities and children's rights ¿ An examination of how children learn and the learning difficulties they may face ¿ Investigations into what working with parents really means ¿ A consideration of the different early years systems in operation ¿ Summaries of key management issues and useful information on how to address them ¿ A comparison with European perspectives on early years care and education The book covers the whole age range from 0-8 years with a special section on the 0-3 years age group. Each chapter is fully referenced to enable the reader to follow up on research or new materials. Informative and engaging, the book challenges the reader to think about how underlying theory may be reflected in practice. It will be essential reading for all students of early years care and education, and early years practitioners.


Early childhood care and education is the subject of considerable debate and interest among governments and politicians in all parts of the world. International organisations such as UNICEF and UNESCO are stressing the importance of providing quality early childhood education and care to all children, not only those from less-advantaged backgrounds. Their arguments are based upon the increasing research evidence that has shown the long-term benefits of offering young children quality care and education in the early years. During recent years in the UK, there have been numerous government initiatives relating to the care and education of young children. Some of these, such as Sure Start, have been very successful, whereas others have proved to be more complicated to implement and fund. Nevertheless, there is now a general consensus among politicians and administrators that quality early childhood care and education should be available to all children if their parents wish it. For children under the age of three this is mainly in the private sector; for older children it is predominantly within the state system.

This Level 4 textbook offers the reader a sound theoretical and practical basis for work or study in the field of early childhood care and education. It aims to cut through the changes and offer sound underpinning theory and practice needed by those who wish to work or are working with the zero-to-eight-years age group. Some chapters are academically based, whilst others link theory and practice, a result of the combined expertise of the authors.

The book opens with a chapter that examines the principles of effective practice. There is an emphasis on the importance of reflective practice and on the reflective practitioner who is able to link theory and practice in order to improve the quality of care and education he or she offers. The following chapter looks closely at Children's Rights and discusses current legislation in this field. Whilst issues relating to equal opportunities are explored fully in this chapter, the authors have attempted throughout the book to address issues in relation to sex, race, religion and gender.

Chapters 3 and 4, 'How children learn' and 'Communication and communication disorders', provide the reader with information about current research in these fields. In discussing how children learn, the authors have

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