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Foundations of Early Childhood

Foundations of Early Childhood
Principles and Practice

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February 2014 | 432 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

'This text will be an invaluable addition to the reading of students and tutors alike. It has been written thoughtfully for students embarking on university courses that study aspects of early childhood education. The introductory chapters give the reader a sense of the thinking and reflection that is helpful for them at the beginning of their studies and a clear focus on the rights of our youngest children roots the text in a sound pedagogical frame. The later chapters broaden the argument and feel very relevant to the current context in their explorations of the policy and practice of EYFS. I would strongly recommend this text.'
-Jo Albin-Clark, Senior Lecturer in Early Years Education, Edge Hill University

This book introduces all the most important aspects of early years care and education, and will help you develop the key skills needed to study at degree level.

Each chapter introduces major concepts and theories which allow you to explore the foundations of key early childhood issues and apply them in practice. Topics include:

  • Children’s rights
  • The Early Years curriculum
  • How children learn and develop
  • Health and well-being

As well as looking at important aspects of study such as:

  • How to search primary sources, such as policy documents and journals
  • How to use your personal experience in studying
  • How to develop critical reading and writing skills

With specific learning features designed for different levels of study, this book will be invaluable to students studying at levels 4 and 5 of early childhood degrees and foundation degrees, with features designed to support students as they make the transition to honours level study.

Digital resources for extra support!

Check out the companion website for additional material including:

  • interactive glossary flashcards
  • journal tasks
  • web links to more handy online resources

Louise Dryden
Studying for a Degree
Carolyne Willow
Upholding Children’s Rights in Early Years Settings
Judy Stevenson
Becoming a Reflective Practitioner and Practitioner Research
Jonathan Glazzard
Observation and Assessment
Penny Mukherji
How Children Develop
Linda Pound
How Children Learn
Justine Howard
The Importance of Play
Linda Pound
The Historical Background of Early Childhood Care and Education: Influencing Factors
Gianna Knowles and Penny Mukherji
Social Inequalities
Penny Mukherji
Health and Well-being
Tricia Johnson
Recent Legislation and Policy Initiatives (1997–Present)
Edwina Mitchell
Curricula and Pedagogic Principles in the Foundation Stage (0–5)
Penny Mukherji and Vicky Mummery
Working in Partnership with Parents in Early Childhood Settings
Claire M. Richards
Safeguarding and Protecting Children
Judy Stevenson
Management and Leadership
Julia Manning-Morton
Young Children’s Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Foundations of Being
Louise Dryden
Communication, Literacy and ICT
Rita White
Physical Development and the Role of the Physical Environment
Ros Garrick
Specific Areas of Development and Learning (Mathematics, Understanding of the World, Expressive Arts and Design)
Hilary Fabian


Click for online resources
Check out this book's accompanying website for additional online resources!

‘This book is essential reading for all involved in the study of early childhood, addressing key themes, ideas and topical debates relevant for early childhood students at undergraduate level.  The Editors have provided a lucid, readable and clear contribution to our knowledge and understanding of early childhood.’

Rose Envy
Senior Lecturer (Education), School of Social Sciences and Law, Teesside University

‘This book is a welcome addition to the growing scholarly publications about children in the Early Years.  The case studies bring the subject matter to life.  The points for reflection will help to develop the vital skill of reflective practice. I particularly enjoyed reading "upholding children's rights in early years settings.  It was refreshing to see that the rights of babies are highlighted in the chapter.’

Jackie Musgrave
Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Early Childhood, University of Worcester

This is an invaluable addition to anyone’s early years library, with particular relevance for students (specifically those studying at levels four and five of their early childhood degrees) and tutors. The book covers key topics, such as children’s rights; the early years curriculum; how children learn and develop; health and wellbeing. It is a book that would thoroughly support any student making the transition to honours level study. There are some terrific little reflection activities aiming to implement good theory into practice in a helpful and purposeful way. A particularly interesting and influential chapter is the one around neuroscientific findings and how these are shaping and influencing early childhood policy.    

Martine Horvath
Early Years Educator

So far in my studies this book has been very helpful during my research as it has covered the majority of areas in my course.

I like how the book is split into sections with the names of those who have written it as this makes it much easier when it comes to referencing.  Having the glossary has also been very useful when looking for specific information.

I particularly found chapter 1 very useful and it gave me an idea of what my course would include, and it prepared me for what was ahead. 

So far, I haven’t found any faults with the book, it has done everything that I would expect it to.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is starting a degree in Early Years.

Early Childhood Student at Stranmillis University College

Recommended as a supplement when studying a Level 3 Diploma in Child Care and Education.

Mrs beverley denise owen-jones
September 6, 2016

Well written, covering all essential subjects for the degree students

Mrs Kate Hutson
Child Studies, York College
April 21, 2016

A good all round text book introducing major concepts and theories for those wishing to work with children in the Early Years

Ms Fay Albans-Ross
School of Education, Nottingham Trent University
July 14, 2016

This text provides such a range of interesting chapters that would be relevant to any student studying early childhood.

Miss Alyson Lewis
Department of Educational Studies, Bath Spa University
January 5, 2016

This is great book for those who are interested in the foundations of early childhood. It can be an ideal textbook for students and tutors in the field and it is strongly recommended for university courses. It introduces all the most important aspects of early years care and education, and will help you develop the key skills needed to study at degree level. Importantly, it goes beyond theory and puts theoretical aspects and principles of early childhood into practice.

Dr Kyriakos Demetriou
Faculty of Education, Liverpool Hope University
November 11, 2015

I have recommended this book to foundation degree students as one to purchase as it covers most topics they will study at level 4 and 5. The book is separated into useful parts with each chapter presenting useful reflection points. The first chapter "Studying for a degree" is really useful. I would recommend this book for level 4 and 5 - particularly students studying an early years foundation degree or children and young people foundation degree.

Mrs Jaqueline Braithwaite
Centre for Childhood Studies, Stockport College
August 21, 2015