People under Three: Young People in Day Care

People under Three: Young People in Day Care

People under Three: Young People in Day Care

People under Three: Young People in Day Care


People Under Three translates child development theory into everyday practice, focusing on the group day care of very young children, it is designed for day care workers, policy makers, and administrators.


When we were asked to prepare a new edition of People Under Three, we were at first uncertain if it would still have something useful to say to early years educators in the rapidly changing childcare scene of the twenty-first century.

We decided to find out by inviting a small group of leading early years researchers and practitioners to a seminar held in Elinor Gold-schmied's apartment overlooking the Thames. In this calm and congenial environment, surrounded by Treasure Baskets and playthings of the richness and variety it would be good to see everywhere, we revisited the book, chapter by chapter. Our purpose was to consider if, in the opinion of those present, the book had a continuing contribution to make, and if so what changes and additions were needed to take account of developments over the ten years since it was first published.

The unanimous view of our advisers was that, although the early years scene had indeed been transformed, the book still occupied a unique place in the sparse literature on day care for under threes. In particular it combined a sound theoretical foundation with everyday practicality in a way attempted by few other texts. Heartened by this endorsement, and much helped by the advice we received from those attending the seminar, we embarked on the revision. We have tried as far as possible to retain the characteristic flavour of the first edition and only made changes that seemed necessary to bring the text up to date.

Terminology is in transition as we write, with 'childcare' replacing 'day care' in official documents and 'day nursery' gradually being superseded by 'early childhood unit' or 'childcare centre'. Similarly nursery workers and centre managers use many different job titles. We have not tried to be consistent since all these different terms continue to exist side by side.

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