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Policy Issues in the Early Years

Policy Issues in the Early Years

Education Policy

March 2012 | 200 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Providing a unique and critical insight into some of the most significant issues affecting early years education, this book draws on current research, addresses key debates, and considers international perspectives. Topics covered include: policy making; poverty, disadvantage and social exclusion; promoting infant mental health; safeguarding and well-being; enhancing children's potential; parenting policies and skills; and national strategies versus professional autonomy.


Denise Hevey, University of Northampton and Linda Miller, Open University
Introduction: Critical Perspectives on Early Years Policy-Making
Naomi Eisenstadt, University of Oxford, UK (former Head of Sure Start and Head of Cabinet Office Social Exclusion Unit.)
Poverty, Disadvantage and Social Exclusion
Jenny Spratt, Head of EY Services for Peterborough, Sue Owen, Director of Children's Well being, National Children's Bureau and Caroline Sharp, National Foundation
Closing the Gap: Policy into Action
Angela Underdown, Associate Professor of Public Health in the Early Years, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick
Promoting Infant Mental Health: A Public Health Priority
Stuart Shanker, Director, The Milton and Harris Research Initiative and Roger Downer, York University, Canada.
Enhancing Potential in Children (EPIC)
Jane Aldgate and Wendy Rose, The Open University, UK and policy advisers to Scottish Government
Safeguarding, Well-Being and Universal Services: A Case Study of Scotland
Mary Crowley, formerly CEO of Parenting UK
Parenting Policies and Skills Strategies in the United Kingdom
Lesley Staggs, formerly National Director of the Foundation Stage National Strategy
Play as a Foundation for Learning? The Rhetoric and Reality of the National Strategy for Early Education and Assessment in England
Prof. Peter Moss, Institute of Education, University of London, UK.
Making Democracy a Fundamental Value in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) - Meaning What?
Eva Lloyd with Helen Penn, Centre for Study of Marketisation in Childcare, University of East London, UK
Marketization of Early Years and Childcare Services
Ulviya Mikailova, Gerda Sula, Dawn Tankersley, Aija Tuna, International Step-by-Step Association (ISSA), Hungary.
Early Years Services as a Vehicle for Democratization: ISSA's Experience in Supporting Practitioners' Professional Development, Building Partnerships and Influencing Systems
Linda Miller, The Open University and Denise Hevey, University of Northampton, UK
Critical Perspectives on Policy Implementation

'Whether seen as a market commodity, a means of democratic empowerment, or the best start for all children, early years services reflect national values and political judgements. Policy making is relevant to all who work in early childhood care and education, and this book provides excellent insights and support to help practitioners develop the analytical skills that will make them "policy literate'

- Dame Gillian Pugh, Chair, National Children's Bureau

'A surprisingly accessible and interesting read, so if you want to feel more 'policy literate', and need to get 'clued up' on current issues affecting early years this book is the ideal read for you'
- Martine Horvath, Early Years Educator

'The contributors to the book are all well-informed protagonists in the field of early years who each offer unique perspectives on early years policy past, present, and future'
-Early Years Update

This book should provide a useful introduction to issues surrounding early years services and could be used in a range of courses, not only for those hoping to be early years practitioners but for all those professionals who work with families and young children.

Jacqueline Barnes
Birkbeck University of London
Child and Adolescent Mental Health

A good read for students who may be researching how Policy affects practice in areas of health, social care and education. Children and families are affected by Policy and this book gives great information on a range of relevant topics.

Mrs Emma Harvey
Education, Suffolk New College
January 6, 2023

The module covers Early Years Policy, Issues and Themes and very relevant and helpful for the students. It is one recommended on the module and reading list.

Pansy McFarlane-Edmond
Department of Early Childhood Studies, London Metropolitan University
December 18, 2019

This text offers a range of policy issues for the students to contemplate. It develops similar ideas to the course and this makes it suitable for recommended reading.

Mrs Melanie Mackinder
Early Childhood Studies, Bishop Grosseteste University
October 28, 2016

Recommended reading for anyone looking into the history and impact of policy on EY practice

care and early years, Tresham Institute
February 15, 2016

A clear and well-laid out book that discusses policy making in the Early Years. I particularly like the differentiated reading tasks at the end of each chapter which helps ensure the subject is pitched at the correct level for each student.

Miss Louise Kay
Department of Education, Huddersfield University
November 7, 2014

An accessible book which covers key themes within early year’s policy and contemporary issues, which will be recommended to students on childhood and early education courses. A good source of information for supporting knowledge and understanding of the impacts of policy on the early year’s workforce. Contributions from respected authors in the field. The overview, summaries and case studies are particularly helpful.

Mrs Sharon Colilles
Carnegie Faculty of Sports & Education, Leeds Metropolitan University
August 22, 2014

An essential read for understanding how policy impacts the early years workforce and the wider environment of families, children, caregivers etc.

Mrs Anna Colgan
Higher Education, Banbury and Bicester College
July 30, 2014

Particularly like the way that further reading is split into different levels. Really useful for students to ascertain what level of reading they will be accessing

Mrs Tanya Richardson
School of Education, Northampton University
March 14, 2014

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1 Critical Perspectives on EY Policy

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