A Critical Companion to Early Childhood

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Michael Reed & Rosie Walker

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    Acknowledgements

    This book is dedicated to:

    Anna, for all she taught us

    Nick Johnson 1947–2014: a true companion

    Oliver and Christopher

    Rosie Walker

    Ray and Barbara Reed, Tess, Juliette and Ellen

    Michael Reed

    To my grandmother Margaret Bleach and parents Thomas and Frances Bleach

    Josephine Bleach

    Michael and Jonathan – always my inspiration Sue Callan

    To my wife Janet, our children Giles, Amy, Luke, Harry, and grandchildren Isabelle and Emily

    Mike Gasper

    Robert, David, Adam, Emily and Norman

    Catherine Lamond

    Beth and Imogen

    Alison Nicholas

    My dad

    Anna Popova

    My parents, Donal and Jo

    Claire Richards

    To D, N, G and UKb

    Michelle Rogers

    To Johsua and Jacob

    Carla Solvason

    Praise for the Book

    In this stimulating and provocative book Michael Reed and Rosie Walker have drawn together a diverse and international range of respected authors, each of whom has taken a critical approach to the contentious question of how you define and achieve quality early childhood services. It is a book designed to provoke and promote critical dialogue and discourse amongst practitioners and students through critical engagement with the position of the authors within the text, followed up with a set of Critical Learning Activities and carefully crafted follow up materials (supported with a very practical and extremely developmental website). Individually, each chapter provides an insight into reflective and dialogic practice, but collectively they stand as a model of critical thinking and professional praxis. As such this book should be required reading for all students engaged in early childhood studies, and all practitioner teams aiming to develop a learning community to support the development of excellence in their professional practice. I believe anyone who reads this book will be inspired and motivated to challenge and extend their thinking and professional practice, adopting the critical stance which lies at the heart of quality services for children and families.

    Professor Chris Pascal, Director of Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC)

    This book provides an interesting approach to a range of areas important to early years encouraging the reader to reflect on the issues with a critical awareness and consider different points of view. It provides a good grounding for those interested in early years. The book is strongly focused on quality in early years and what constitutes quality provision in terms of initiatives and policies and the role of the practitioner. As such, it touches on key areas for students and practitioners alike, encouraging critical thinking and an awareness of the historical journey and some of the debates about early years provision.

    Rita Winstone, Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader, Early Childhood Studies, Teesside University

    This book is aptly titled as it addresses the needs of those in the early stages of their professional journey in early childhood education and care. The group of respected contributors span the fields of education, health and social care introducing the reader to key themes, terms and issues through 25 accessible and wide ranging chapters. Vignettes, case studies and learning activities bring theory to life and encourage a critical approach to study and practice.

    Linda Miller, Professor Emeritus of Early Years, the Open University

    An invaluable aid to students of early years education and care, this book offers comprehensive, contemporary examination of critical issues surrounding working with young children, families and other professionals.

    The clear, user-friendly format and plentiful links to additional resources and learning activities, lead the reader to further explore and develop their own knowledge, making this a truly essential read!

    Katrina Ivey, Sector Endorsed Foundation Degree in Early Years, University of Worcester

    Within the current Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) climate, understanding, promoting and improving quality for children is a fundamental role of the practitioner. Using contributions from renowned sector experts, this book supports students to critically develop their personal, professional and ethical philosophy within the challenging ECEC environment.

    Gaynor Corrick, Early Years Teacher, Sutton Seedlings, Herefordshire

    Here is a treasure trove for the curious reader, inspiring a critical learning journey to challenge individuals and their early years practice. Each concise, relevant chapter, with Critical Learning Activities and Reflection Points, stimulates further exploration, guided conveniently by immediate further reading and references.

    This unique privilege is due to the range of inter-professional expertise honestly shared by the range of national and international authors, including from Australia, United States and Wales. All are actively engaged in practice, research or lecturing, with a refreshing variety of expression. Current experiences in Early Education and Childcare are compared and contrasted through different ‘lenses’, including transparent autobiographies, exemplars of child/student voice and active research. Case studies link theory to practice, modelling the expectation of engagement with babies, young children, families, colleagues and other professionals. The Editors have ensured connections can be made between topics, helpful for ongoing study.

    This ‘Critical Companion’ will support full-time undergraduates, experienced early years practitioners undertaking a Foundation Degree and BA ‘top-up’, plus all the ‘reflective activists’ that continually strive to improve care and learning opportunities with babies, young children and their families.

    Jessica Johnson Senior Lecturer Early Years, Kingston University

    List of Figures and Tables

    List of Abbreviations

    ACARA

    The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

    ACECQA

    Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority

    ACT

    Association for Children's Palliative Care

    ADD

    Attention Deficit Disorder

    ADHD

    Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder

    ARACY

    Australian Institute of Family Studies

    CAF

    Common Assessment Framework

    CHAT

    Cultural Historical and Activity Theory

    CLA

    Critical Learning Activity

    CWDC

    Children's Workforce Development Council

    DAP

    Developmentally appropriate practice

    DEC

    Division for Early Childhood

    DEEWR

    Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

    DfE

    Department for Education

    DfES

    Department for Education and Skills

    DH

    Department of Health

    ECE

    Early Childhood Education

    ECEC

    Early Childhood Education and Care

    ECERS

    Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale

    ELI

    Early Learning Initiative

    EPPE

    Effective Provision on Pre-school Education

    EYFS

    Early Years Foundation Stage

    EYLF

    Early Years Learning Framework

    MEEIFP

    Monitoring and Evaluation of the Effective Implementation of the Foundation Phase

    NAEYC

    National Association for the Education of Young Children

    NAPLAN

    National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy

    NCCA

    National Council for Curriculum and Assessment

    NCSL

    National College for School Leadership

    NICE

    National Institute for Clinical Excellence

    NPQICL

    National Post-qualification in Integrated Centre Leadership

    NQF

    National Quality Framework

    OECD

    Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

    Ofsted

    Office for Standards in Education Children's Services and Skills

    PISA

    Programme for International Student Assessments

    PITC

    Program for Infant Toddler Caregivers

    PSLA

    Pre-School Learning Alliance

    QIRS

    Quality Improvement Rating Systems

    RIE

    Resources for Infant Educarers

    SEN

    Special Educational Needs

    SENCO

    Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator

    SENDA

    Special Educational Needs and Disability Act

    SENTW

    Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales

    SLD

    Specific Learning Difficulties

    SSTUWA

    State School Teachers’ Union of Western Australia

    UNCRC

    United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

    About the Editors

    Michael Reed is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Early Childhood, within the Institute of Education at the University of Worcester. He teaches on undergraduate and postgraduate courses related to child development, practice-based research and leadership. He is a qualified teacher and holds advanced qualifications in Educational Inquiry, Educational Psychology and Special Education. He has been part of course development and writing teams at the Open University and is an experienced author. He has a particular interest in practice-based research carried out in collaboration with students and ways to explore the impact of training on practice. He has contributed chapters to a number of textbooks and co-edited books including Reflective Practice in the Early Years (2010), Quality Improvement and Change in the Early Years (2012) and Work Based Research in the Early Years (2012), all published by SAGE.

    Rosie Walker co-ordinates a Foundation Degree with seven partner institutions. She is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Early Childhood, within the Institute of Education at the University of Worcester. She has supervised many research projects with Foundation Degree, BA and Top-up students as well as at Master's level. She has published book chapters and co-authored a textbook exploring practice-based research as well as journal articles. Professionally, she has managed two large children's centres and is a qualified Social Worker. She has worked in a variety of childcare settings including child protection teams. Rosie is also the author of Success with your Early Years Research Project (2014) with Carla Solvason, published by SAGE.

    About the Contributors

    Karen Appleby is a Principal Lecturer within the Centre for Early Childhood, which is part of the Institute if Education at the University of Worcester. She teaches across a variety of early childhood programmes and is a University Learning and Teaching Fellow and a member of the Institute of Education Management Team. Her current responsibilities include leadership for learning, teaching and student experience. Previously she has held the position of Partnership Co-ordinator for the Foundation degree in Early Years, Course Leader for the BA (Hons) Integrated Early Childhood Studies and HND in Early Childhood. She is an experienced author writing on the subject of reflective practice and takes a particular interest in the way reflective learning is positioned within undergraduate study.

    Robin Balbernie is clinical director of PIP UK, a charity dedicated to help establish infant mental health teams across the country. Previously he was consultant child psychotherapist in Gloucestershire. He also worked with Children's Centres as clinical lead of the team providing an infant mental health service, known locally and nationally as ‘Secure Start’. He was involved with the Intensive Baby Care Unit at Gloucester Royal Hospital and ran supervision groups for Health Visitors for over 25 years. His interest in working with adopted children led him to the field of infant mental health and early preventative intervention, and this became his speciality following a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship to look at related projects in America. He is an advisor to the Association of Infant Mental Health and the WAVE Trust and was a member of the Young Minds’ Policy and Strategy Advisory Group.

    Mary Benson McMullen is Professor of Early Childhood Education at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana (USA) where she has held appointments since 1993. Her recent scholarship focuses on well-being in caring systems, examining how elements throughout systems associated with physiological and psychological health and well-being directly impact young children and are supported and sustained by individuals, relationships, environments and policies. Her publications include works on practitioner beliefs and practices and the meaning of quality in differing contexts and cultures. Among many other positions, for the past ten years she has served as Research in Review editor of Young Children, a journal of the National Association for the Education of Young Children in the US.

    Josephine Bleach has been Director of the Early Learning Initiative at the National College of Ireland since 2008. Prior to this, Josephine worked variously as a primary school teacher and a Home School Community Liaison Co-ordinator in Darndale, Dublin. She was involved in the development and delivery of the Early Start Pre-School Intervention Programme, and subsequently worked as a facilitator with the School Development Planning Support Service (Primary) of the Department of Education and Skills. Over the course of her career, she has worked with a wide range of early years services, schools and other educational stakeholders, community groups, voluntary and statutory agencies along with different initiatives. She has facilitated, motivated and mentored others in designing systems and structures that improve the quality of the service provided to children and their families. She has published widely and her book Parental Involvement in Primary Education is available from Liffey Press.

    Frances Brett is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Worcester, UK. Her particular areas of interest are play and the nature of the play space, and the role of the expressive arts in supporting the child's self-revelation.

    Erica Brown has class teacher experience in the early years and she has worked as a Senior Teacher, Head of Department and Headteacher in Special Schools. In the University Sector she has held posts as Senior Lecturer, Principal Lecturer, Head of Special Education and as a Principal Research Fellow in Children's and Young Peoples’ Palliative Care. Most recently her work at the University of Worcester has focused on supporting children and families who are experiencing loss and she is committed to helping people of all ages and from all walks of life to develop resilience to sustain them through adverse life events. Erica has a wide-ranging portfolio of published books, book chapters and refereed journal articles. In 2008 her book Palliative Care for South Asians was launched in the House of Lords and in 2012 she was made a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts in recognition of her work with life-limited children, young people and their families.

    Sue Callan is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is currently an Associate Lecturer and consultant with the Open University. From a professional heritage of community-based education and pre-school provision, Sue has worked in further and higher education for over 25 years, supporting students in undergraduate and postgraduate courses. She now specialises in distance teaching and learning. In addition to contributing to the design, writing and development of Foundation Degree programmes for a number of universities, she is an experienced author for SAGE, editing and contributing to publications on reflective practice, work-based research, mentoring, play and management in the early years. She is currently part of a small-scale teaching and learning research project focusing on the role of feedback in promoting academic literacy.

    Derval Carey-Jenkins is a Principal Lecturer and Course Leader for the Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) Early Years and Primary at the University of Worcester. She teaches across a range of subjects including the Master's Early Years Pedagogy and Management module, Special Educational Needs and Disability and Primary English. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She spent 23 years teaching in primary schools including three years as a Deputy and eight as a Headteacher. She has developed a keen research interest in values, leadership, change, the early years and primary curriculum, policy and practice. In 2010 she was the recipient of the prestigious University Council for the Education of Teachers scholarship, travelling to Finland to research the extent to which Finnish education and teacher training are underpinned by key societal values. She is currently studying for her doctorate, focusing on Women in Leadership in Higher Education.

    Victoria Cooper is a Senior Lecturer for the Faculty of Education and Language Studies at The Open University She currently chairs Children and Young People's Worlds: Developing Frameworks for Integrated Practice for postgraduate study and is extensively invloved in the production of a range of modules spanning early years education, research methods, chilhood and youth studies at postgraduate and undergraduate level. She has a background in early years teaching, research and professional development. Her research interests broadly fall into two areas: professional practice in education and identity development. Victoria has published on professional development in higher and early years education and children's developing identity.

    Aline Wendy Dunlop is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. Originally a pre-school and primary teacher, when she joined the University sector she built on the links between sectors she had developed as a Headteacher by studying the transition to school from early childhood settings in terms of policy and practice. This led to a 14 year longitudinal study of children's educational transitions from pre-school until school leaving. The study has informed her thinking on leadership, family engagement, children's agency and professional collaboration. Aline Wendy led a postgraduate diploma in which pairs of pre-school and primary teachers studied together over a two-year period during which they swapped sectors and then moved on to schools with their classes of pre-school children. She is currently part of an international research group looking at early childhood transitions in five countries. She was awarded an MBE in 2013.

    Alma Fleet is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. She values particularly her work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early childhood educators. Alma teaches, researches and publishes in areas associated with educational change, the nature of teachers’ work, and pedagogical documentation.

    Michael Gasper MA (Ed) was a teacher for nine years and a Head for seventeen, between 1972 and 1998, with the majority of his experience in Early Years, in urban and rural settings. While a First School Head he promoted joint cross-curricular projects between First Schools in the same rural Middle School pyramid and as an Infant School Head developed interagency cooperation with Health, Community Mental Health and Social Services to establish early intervention with families ‘at risk’. He joined the Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC) at the initial stages of the Early Excellence Centre (EEC) programme in 1998 and from 2000 he was coordinator of the EEC evaluation programme which CREC conducted for DfES.

    Michael is currently an Early Years consultant and has worked over 9 years as a mentor, tutor and assessor on the NPQICL professional development programme for cohorts delivered by CREC, the universities of Lancaster, London (Institute of Education), Warwick, Wolverhampton, Worcester and SERCO; He is an assessor for Quality Assurance for the Effective and Baby Effective Early Learning (EEL and BEEL) programme and a tutor for the Accounting Early for Life Long Learning (AcE) programme and MA Leadership programmes run by CREC.

    Michael contributed to Early Years Policy: The Impact on Practice by Zenna Kingdon and Jan Gourd and The SAGE Handbook of Mentoring and Coaching with Paul Watling. He is the author of Multiagency Working in the Early Years: Challenges and Opportunities published in January 2010 by SAGE.

    Karen Hanson is the Head of the Centre for Early Childhood within the Institute of Education at the University of Worcester. The Centre provides an extensive range of undergraduate and postgraduate study routes, including Early Years Teacher. Staff at the Centre are active researchers and publish a range of textbooks and research papers. Karen has extensive professional experience which has included her role as a teacher, supporting parents and working in the wider community. She has experience of professional home-based early education as a registered childminder and worked for the Pre-school Play Association. This experience enabled her to see the significance of reflective practice in terms of meeting children's needs. Her Doctoral thesis and published research interests have encompassed the way reflective practice can be made visible to students as part of their academic and professional engagement with early education.

    Sandra Hesterman is a highly committed educator who has taught extensively in early childhood and primary education prior to her appointment to Murdoch University in 2009. She is passionate about motivating students to learn in ways that have a sustained, substantial and positive influence on their future learning, and on their own quest for excellence. In 2013, Sandra received the Murdoch University Vice Chancellor's Teaching Excellence Award for developing a distinctive pedagogy of multiliteracies that stimulates student engagement and encourages independence in learning through the provision of authentic tasks in authentic contexts. Sandra's recent research, grounded in postmodern theory, examines the cultural interface of early childhood education and childcare, in particular, the impact of standardised testing in the context of advocacy work and the Australian National Quality Framework.

    Dianne Jackson trained as an Early Childhood Teacher and taught in a broad range of community, early childhood and school settings. Dianne then became a lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Western Sydney where she completed a First Class Honours degree in Social Science. For almost 11 years Dianne has held the position of CEO of Connect Child and Family Services, an NGO in outer western Sydney that delivers a broad range of early childhood focused programmes with families. Dianne has recently been appointed CEO of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY), a national organisation focused on translating evidence into policy and practice. She is also the an EECERA country coordinator for Australia. Dianne holds an adjunct position at the University of Western Sydney where she completed her PhD in 2010 and her doctoral research won the 2010 European Early Childhood Research Association (EECERA) Best Practitioner Research Award. Dianne co-convenes an EECERA special interest research group with Pen Green in the UK and her organisation has recently opened an innovative parent and child meeting place, conceptually based on collaborative work she has done with her EECERA colleagues from the University of Ghent.

    Caroline Jones is Course Director for the Sector-Endorsed Foundation Degree in Early Years (SEFDEY) at the University of Warwick. She started her career as a teacher in mainstream primary and special education, working across the Midlands area for 15 years. Caroline first joined the University of Warwick in 1994 as a part-time associate tutor on the undergraduate teacher-training programme (BA QTS). She taught on a variety of programmes and assumed responsibility for the Early Years Foundation Degree when it was introduced in 2001. She is a founder member of the National SEFDEY Network and Chair of the Midlands Region.

    Anna Kilderry is a Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. Previously, Anna has been a pre-school teacher, a lecturer and researcher in Australia and the UK, and managed the Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) at the University of Greenwich, London. It is through her involvement in teacher education that Anna has developed her research interests in early childhood curriculum, pedagogy and policy.

    Catherine Lamond is a Senior Lecturer in Special Needs and Inclusion Studies within the School of Education at the University of Wolverhampton, teaching in the areas of inclusion, reflective practice and specific learning difficulties. Before working in Higher Education, she taught in primary schools in England and Ireland, developing a particular interest in supporting children with special needs. Her current area of research is looked-after children with a focus on aspirations for care-leavers. Catherine has published articles on hopes for the future of young people in care who are excluded from mainstream education; developing self-efficacy in HE students from non-traditional backgrounds; and how innovative forms of assessment can be used to support diverse student groups. In May 2012 she was awarded the first Academic Vice-President Award for Excellence at the Students’ Union Teaching Awards ceremony. Catherine is a Fellow of the HEA.

    Jackie Musgrave joined the Centre for Early Childhood as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Worcester in April 2012. She started off her working life as a nurse and she trained as a Registered Sick Children's Nurse at Birmingham Children's Hospital and worked in a range of paediatric and adult settings in hospital and in the community. In 1996, she started to teach Early Childhood Care and Education in a College of Further Education. In 2003, she began teaching in higher education to students on the Early Years Foundation Degree in partnership with Oxford Brookes University, where she managed the programme for four years before joining UW. Jackie also taught as an associate lecturer at Warwick University. She graduated with a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education in 2010. Jackie successfully completed her doctorate studies in 2014. Her doctoral research brings together her interest in child health and young children's care and education. Her thesis is an exploratory case study which researches how practitioners in daycare settings create inclusive environments for young children with chronic health conditions.

    Martin Needham trained and worked as an early years teacher in Nottinghamshire, London and Pakistan. This was followed by four years as an Early Years Development Officer for a local authority working on a range of initiatives including Early Years Development and Childcare Partnerships, and Children's Centres. During this time he worked regularly with one of the regional parent and child groups as part of the National Children's Bureau's Playing with Words project. He became a Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies at the University of Wolverhampton in 2003 and a Principal Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2014. Martin completed his PhD examining pedagogy and learning with children under the age of four at the Institute of Education, London University in 2011. Martin has two children with whom he attended parent and toddler groups. Martin is an experienced author and has published work on multi-agency working and applying theory to practice. Martin was the external examiner for the Peers Early Education Partnership (PEEP) which delivers practitioner training for those working with parents and children together from 2006–2010. Martin has also conducted research into leadership in early years settings.

    Alison Nicholas is a Service Coordinator for Action for Children and manages two children's centres in Worcester City. Alison's career started in residential care in Gloucestershire working with Adults with Autism before moving to a job for 14 years working for Birmingham City Council, working with young people in care. Other roles have included working for the Youth Offending Service and within the voluntary sector, designing and implementing a programme to support isolated women living with depression.

    Catherine Patterson has recently retired from her teaching position at the Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University (Sydney). She continues her research work exploring the realities of teaching and learning for early childhood practitioners. Her recent research has focused on teachers using practitioner enquiry in the early years of school.

    Anna Popova is a Senior Lecturer at Australian Catholic University, working in the Early Childhood team. In the last 20 years she has worked as a school teacher, lecturer and researcher in Russia, the UK and Australia. She has studied, applied and developed socio–cultural–historical theory in a variety of practice and research contexts. She is interested in the ways education and early years professionalism gets constructed in particular cultural–historical contexts. Her particular interest is in historical aspects of practice formation and the ways in which social contradictions manifest themselves. She advocates for an increased focus on high quality early years provision and more emphasis on critical reflection in higher education for early years and education professionals.

    Claire Majella Richards is Senior Lecturer of Early Childhood Studies within the Institute of Education at the University of Worcester. She has considerable experience of multi-agency partnership working, having been employed within the voluntary and statutory sectors. Her roles have varied in the fields of mental health, substance misuse and domestic abuse. As a non-practising barrister she remains a committed advocate for the rights of children and young people, and researches and writes extensively about aspects of the voice of the child in the context of safeguarding children, professional practice and integrated working. She is engaged with the activities of the Local Safeguarding Children Board and is a member of the British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (BASPCAN). At the time of publication Claire was also starting a year-long secondment at the National Centre for the Study and Prevention of Abuse and Neglect (NCSPVSA) at the University of Worcester.

    Janet Robertson has a Master's in Early Childhood, and a specialisation in toddler education. She is also the outdoor teacher at Mia Mia (Child and Family Study centre at the Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University, Sydney).

    Michelle Rogers has worked in higher education for the past 14 years, both in a FE College and as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Worcester where she is Course Leader for the Foundation Degree in Early Years (Flexible and Distributed Learning). During her time at the University Michelle has been involved with curriculum development and designing online learning environments. More recently she has led the development of a flexible and distributed pathway for a Foundation Degree and is currently designing an online Top-up Degree. ELearning Co-ordinator for the Institute for Education, Michelle is leading the online development and design of international programmes for the Centre for Early Childhood in which she is based. Prior to working in higher education Michelle's interest lay in autism in early years and enhancing the learning environment. Her current research interests revolve around online learning, the student experience, online curriculum development and online communities of practice.

    Carla Solvason is a Senior Lecturer within the Centre for Early Childhood, Institute of Education at the University of Worcester. Part of her role involves co-ordinating and managing student independent studies for the BA and Top-up degrees and in developing research within the centre and institute. Carla teaches on the BA, Top-up, Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) and Master's programmes and is a research degree supervisor. Prior to lecturing, Carla worked as a researcher, a consultant for schools looking to create communication-rich environments and a primary school teacher. Carla has published work relating to student research, the team around the student, school culture, educational equality, professionalism and ethicality.

    Jenny Worsley is a Senior Lecturer in Childhood, Family and Community studies in the Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing at Wolverhampton University. She is also the course leader for the Foundation Degree Early Years services for part-time students. She is particularly interested in play and the learning experiences of young children and also widening participation in higher education. She is currently undertaking her doctoral research involving a longitudinal ethnographic study with mature part-time female students returning to higher education, examining their constructs of changes to their self-identity and factors which impact on their learning experience. She has published previous chapters on integrated working in a children's centre and developing an online learning community with part-time students.

    Siân Wyn Siencyn is Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and was previously the Head of School of Early Childhood. She has worked in both the voluntary and statutory sector in children's services. She was a member of the Minister of Education's advisory group on early education and more recently on the Welsh Government's working group on children's right to appeal. She has published, in both Welsh and English, on areas relating to children's rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and child citizenship and has edited two recent texts for students. Siân's specialist interests are child language development, early bilingualism, children's rights and ethical practice.

    Acknowledgements

    Amy Jarrold from SAGE for her patience and professionalism as SAGE Editor.

    For help in the construction of professional case studies, Sarah Hancox and Lauren Belcher.

    Companion Website

    A Critical Companion to Early Childhood is supported by a companion website. Visit https://study.sagepub.com/reedandwalker to take advantage of the learning resources designed to accompany this book, including:

    • Short PowerPoint slides written by the contributors of each chapter
    • A complete podcast series to help you deepen your understanding
    • Access to selected SAGE Journal articles for further reading
    • Links to relevant video links across YouTube and Ted Talks on Early Years topics
    • Free SAGE chapters on Critical Reading
    • Selected Critical Learning Activities from the book


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