Early Childhood

Glenda MacNaughton

in Childhood Studies

ISBN: 9780199791231
Published online March 2012 | | DOI:
Early Childhood


Early childhood is the period of childhood between birth and eight years of age. While the provision of targeted educational and care programs to meet the specific and particular needs of children in their early childhood years has a long history in many countries, there is considerable contemporary debate about what the nature of those programs should be and how they are best funded and evaluated. In this bibliography there is a brief overview of the history of early childhood education and care internationally, pointing to the differences in philosophies and practices that have grown over time in different parts of the world. However, the prime focus is on contemporary influences and debates in policies and their intents, and curriculum philosophies and practices in the provision of education and care for children in their early childhood years. With increasing investment in such education and care, there is increasing debate in several disciplines about how best to conceptualize and build practices that address children’s developing capacities at this age, to ensure that their rights are acknowledged and enacted, and to take account of issues of equity and fairness that shape the lives of young children. These concerns are linked with an increasing interest in the relationships between parents and early childhood institutions and spaces, how early childhood institutions and informal settings connect with the formal years of schooling, and how specific policies that address the needs and capacities of children in their early childhood years are produced that are relevant in diverse contexts, especially in non-Western contexts.

Article.  9874 words. 

Subjects: Development Studies

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