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An Introduction to Early Childhood

An Introduction to Early Childhood

Third Edition
Edited by:
Additional resources:

May 2014 | 440 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Put together by an outstanding author team, including many authors from the University of Northampton, An Introduction to Early Childhood is a much loved book that helps you explore all the major themes in early years education and care, while providing you with real insight into the changing world of early childhood.

To further support your study, this edition has been expanded to include five new chapters including The History of Childhood, Play and Creativity, Children and the Media, Leadership and Management, and Reflective Practice.

This book further supports your study with outstanding learning features including:

·       Chapter objectives and introduction immediately introduce you to chapter concepts saving you time

·       More case studies provide deeper insight into how theory works in practice

·       Research in context boxes show how recent research is changing the world of early years

·       Reflective questions encourage you to think like a reflective practitioner

·       Chapter summaries aid your revision by recapping core concepts covered in each chapter
·       Further reading and recommended websites direct you to additional resources to further support your study.

This book also comes with a new companion website with access a wealth of additional resources including:

  1. Child Observation Videos give students a peek into a real Early Years settings and insight into child behaviour. These track particular children at different stages in their development, showing videos of the children 12 months apart in order to observe their development. Great basis for seminar discussions and student assignments.
  2. Employability podcasts providing hints and tips about going on your first placement and getting your first job
  3. Podcasts from chapter authors providing deeper insight into key topics
  4. Free SAGE Journal Articles to deepen students' understanding on core topics
  5. Web links directing to useful websites for further study and support in practice.

Michael Wyness
A History of Childhood: Adult Constructs and Children's Agency
Tim Waller
Modern Childhoods: Contemporary Theories and Children's Lives
Libby Lee-Hammond with Tim Waller
International Perspectives
Gill Handley
Children's Rights to Participation
Prospera Tedam
Understanding Diversity
Christine Hickman and Kyffin Jones
Inclusive Practice for Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN)
Paulette Luff
Play and Creativity
Helen Tovey and Tim Waller
Outdoor Play and Learning
Jane O'Connor
Children and Media
Sharon Smith and Tania Hart
Child Health
Jane Waters
Celia Doyle
Protecting and Safeguarding Children
Eunice Lumsden and Celia Doyle
Working with Families
Denise Hevey
Professional Work in Early Childhood
Eunice Lumsden
Joined-up Thinking in Practice: An Exploration of Professional Collaboration
Geraldine Davis
Leadership and Change Management in Early Childhood
Jane Murray
Researching Young Children's Worlds
Caroline Jones
Reflective Practice


Click for online resources
Want to learn even more about Early Childhood?
Visit to access a wealth of additional resources including:

Podcasts from chapter authors providing deeper insight into key topics
Employability podcasts providing hints and tips about going on your first placement and getting your first job.
Child Observation Videos give you peak into a real Early Years setting and insight into child behaviour.
Selected SAGE Journal Articles to deepen your understanding on core topics.
Web links direct you to useful websites to further your study and support you in practice.


This revised edition introduces readers to a wide range of contemporary issues in early childhood, issues that are fundamental for working respectfully with young children. Each chapter has been skilfully constructed with the professional in mind, as accessible and current information is provided, overviews of research studies, useful web-links, podcast options, and thought-provoking case studies all assist with demystifying each topic.  What I really like about this book is how it challenges us to think differently about children in an adult-centred society, and it equips readers with ways to better understand children’s lifeworlds.

Dr Anna Kilderry
Senior Lecturer Early Childhood Education, Victoria University Australia


This book provides a rich introduction to key issues that concern early childhood. It makes us think about what matters to young children and what professionals can do to protect their well-being. The broad coverage and the reflective nature of the book make it an invaluable resource for those who are new to early childhood studies, for practitioners and researchers, and also for anyone who cares about the quality of early childhood practice.

Dr Hiroko Fumoto
Programme Manager and Senior Lecturer, Early Childhood Education Programme


This book has to be one of the most refreshing and realistic books on early years holistic care and education on the market.  There is a wide range of highly relevant issues included, all presented in a way that provokes the reader to reflect and analyse their developing knowledge and understanding. It is an excellent resource for students studying early years care and education. It provides a stimulating and thought provoking insight into the field of early childhood.

Ally Dunhill
Director of Learning and Teaching, University of Hull

An interesting book which takes into account changes that have been made.
Interesting insight which students will find useful throughout the course of study.

Education , South Essex College
August 9, 2016

Section on history of childhood and development of the theory of childhood has direct relevance to the course. Other sections inform this and other modules across the degree making this a useful and accessible text which will continue to benefit students as they progress through the degree.

Ms Nicola Dawn Watson
Institute of Education, Worcester University
January 12, 2016

An excellent handbook for students studying Early Years and Childhood. The text is comprehensive, accessible and contemporary.

Ms Caroline Brooks
Learning and Teaching Institute, Sheffield Hallam University
October 28, 2015

This is an excellent book giving a wide range of information about many aspects of child development, care and education. Fantastic links are made between theory, current initiatives and early years practice.

Miss Jo Button
Education , South Devon College
November 5, 2015

This book is a fabulous handbook for anyone studying or engaging within this field - highly recommend

Mrs Gillian Noble-Grey
Faculty of Health, University of Cumbria
June 29, 2015

Useful book for both undergraduate early years students

Miss Lorna Wardle
School of Education, Nottingham Trent University
June 12, 2015

Good read to help tutors with introduction to Early Childhood

Miss Nicola Slinger
Dept of Health & Social Development, Burnley College
May 21, 2015

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