The SAGE Handbook of Early Childhood Policy


Linda Miller, Claire Cameron, Carmen Dalli & Nancy Barbour

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  • Front Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Part I: The Relationship between Research, Policy and Practice: Regional and Country Case Studies

    Part II: Equitable Early Childhood Services: Intervention to Improve Children’s Life Chances

    Part III: Extending Practice: The Role of Early Childhood Services in Family Support

    Part IV: Participation, Rights and Diversity

    Part V: Future Directions for Early Childhood Policy

  • Copyright

    List of Figures

    List of Tables

    Notes on the Editors and Contributors

    The Editors

    Linda Miller is Emeritus Professor, Early Years at The Open University, Milton Keynes, England. Her most recent research focuses on professionalisation of the early years workforce. She is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Early Years Education (Routledge) and former book reviews editor. She has published widely in co-edited and single authored books and in national and international journals. She is series editor for the Critical Issues in the Early Years series, and her recent publications include International Perspectives in the Early Years (co-editor, Claire Cameron, Sage, 2014).

    Claire Cameron is Professor of Social Pedagogy at Thomas Coram Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education, University College London. She has carried out many studies, including cross-national studies, of the children's and social care workforce and care and education services for children and young people. Her recent publications include International Perspectives in the Early Years (co-editor, Linda Miller, Sage, 2014) and Educating Children and Young People in Care: Learning Placements and Caring Schools (co-authors, Graham Connelly and Sonia Jackson, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2015).

    Carmen Dalli is Professor of Early Childhood Education and Director of the Institute for Early Childhood Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. Her research covers issues of quality, professionalism and ethical practice in early years education and seeks to reveal how policy and pedagogy intersect in impacting children's experiences in group-based early childhood settings. She has published widely in the field of early childhood teacher professionalism and has a particular interest in group-based early childhood education and care settings for children aged under 3years. She is joint editor (with E. J. White) of the Springer series Policy and Pedagogy with Under-three Year Olds: Cross-disciplinary Insights and Innovations. Her recent publications include Research, Policy and Advocacy in the Early years (co-editor Anne E. Meade, NZCER, 2016), and, also in the aforementioned Springer series, Under-three Year Olds in Policy and Practice (co-editor E. J. White, Springer, 2017).

    Nancy Barbour is Professor Emeritus, Early Childhood Education at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio and currently Professor of Early Childhood at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, United States. Her research has focused on the preparation of the early childhood workforce, particularly within child development laboratory schools in university settings. She is on the editorial board of Child & Youth Care Forum, European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, and Early Education and Development. She is a book series editor for the European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) series, Towards an Ethical Praxis in Early Childhood: From Research into Practice. She has written for national and international journals, most recently on workforce development and early childhood accreditation systems. She has a newly published, co-edited book on child development laboratory schools, The Future of Child Development Laboratory Schools: Applied Developmental Science in Action (co-editor Brent McBride, Routledge, 2017).

    The Contributors

    Cynthia Adlerstein is an early childhood teacher with a Master's in Education and a PhD in Social Sciences. She is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and consultant in early childhood education for the Ministry of Education of Chile, UNESCO and several non-profit foundations. Her research and teaching interests relate to children's citizenship and social justice. She was awarded the Linda Volosky Prize (2016) by Chile's National College of Educators, for relevant contribution to research-informed policymaking in early childhood education. Her recent publications include Pedagogías para habitar el jardín infantil. Construcciones desde el Modelamiento del Ambiente Físico de Aprendizaje (MAFA) (Ediciones UC, 2016), and Estado del arte y criterios orientadores para la elaboración de políticas de formación y desarrollo profesional de docentes de primera infancia en América Latina y el Caribe: Proyecto Estrategico Regional Sobre Docentes (co-author Marcela Pardo, OREALC-UNESCO Santiago, 2016).

    Merle Allsopp is a child and youth care worker with 35 years of experience in the sector. She started her career as a front-line worker, and served as the Director of a children's home for five years. For the past two decades she has worked for the National Association of Child Care Workers (NACCW), most of this time as Director. Throughout her career she has championed the development of child and youth care workers in South Africa. She has been involved in all aspects of the development of the profession, writing training material, policy development, advocacy for child and youth care work qualifications in tertiary education, developing models for the appropriate deployment of child and youth care workers, and serving two terms on the Professional Board for Child and Youth Care. She holds a Master's degree in child and youth care work from the University of South Africa and edits South Africa's regular publication Child and Youth Care Work.

    Lynn Ang is Reader in Early Childhood at UCL Institute of Education, University College London. Her expertise includes international early years policy, the early years curriculum, issues of diversity and equality, and early childhood care and education across cultures, particularly in Southeast Asia and the Asia Pacific region. Lynn is particularly interested in the informal and formal contexts of children's learning and development, and the ways in which socially relevant research and advocacy for children are translated into practice and policy. She has extensive methodological experience in evaluation research, systematic reviews, ethnography, qualitative and participatory methods. Lynn was Principal Investigator of a seminal study on a systematic analysis of early childhood development and peacebuilding policies in 14 conflict-affected countries (Burundi, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, DRC, Ethiopia, Liberia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the State of Palestine, Sierra Leone, Somali, South Sudan, Uganda and Yemen) (UNICEF, 2015). She has worked on several research grants from major funding bodies including UNICEF, the British Academy, the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Lynn is also a supervisor of Master's and Doctoral students.

    W. Steven Barnett is Board of Governors Professor and Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University. He is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association and a member of the National Academy of Education. He earned his PhD in Economics at the University of Michigan, and his research applies economic analysis to issues of early care and education policy and practice. His research includes studies of the effectiveness and economics of early care and education, including seminal benefit–cost analyses of the Perry Preschool and Abecedarian programmes, randomised trials of alternative approaches to early education, and evaluations of state and national policy in the United States and abroad.

    Christopher P. Brown is Professor of Curriculum and Instruction in Early Childhood Education and a Fellow in the Priscilla Pond Flawn Regents Professorship in Early Childhood Education, University of Texas at Austin. His research centres on how early childhood education stakeholders, across a range of political and educational contexts, respond to policymakers’ high-stakes standards-based accountability reforms. Such work has led to empirical, theoretical and practitioner-oriented publications on such topics as high-stakes standards-based accountability reform in early childhood, early learning standards, pre-kindergarten assessment, pre-kindergarten alignment with elementary school, school readiness, culturally relevant teaching, kindergarten within a standardised education system, neoliberal reform, teacher education and professional development.

    Jennifer J. Chen is Associate Professor and Coordinator of the graduate programme of Early Childhood and Family Studies in the College of Education at Kean University, New Jersey, United States. She earned her EdD in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Contributing more than 50 scholarly publications to the fields of education and psychology, her areas of scholarship include child development, early childhood policy, parenting styles and practices, and pedagogical practices in the United States, Hong Kong and China. Jennifer's most recent publications include a book entitled Connecting Right from the Start: Fostering Effective Communication with Dual Language Learners (Gryphon House, 2016) and a co-edited volume entitled, Early Childhood Education Policies in Asia Pacific: Advances in Theory and Practice (co-editors, Hui Li and Eunhye Park, Springer, 2017). A former Fulbright Scholar in Hong Kong, she is also the former President of the New Jersey Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators.

    Andrew Dawes is Associate Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cape Town and Research Associate with Young Lives at Oxford. His expertise includes the development indicators for measuring children's wellbeing, prevention of child maltreatment and violence to young children, and evaluations of interventions to improve developmental outcomes for children in poverty. He led the development of the South African Early Learning Outcomes Measure (ELOM), a culture-fair instrument for the measurement of programme outcomes on motor, language, cognitive, numeracy and social development in children aged 50–69 months. He works with Young Lives in Ethiopia and on longitudinal analyses of the effects of poverty and inequality on learning outcomes in adolescence.

    Hloniphile Dlamini started her journey in the field of child and youth care in 2003 and has worked in a number of different settings, including secure care centres, places of safety and courts, working with young people in conflict with the law. She obtained her degree in Child and Youth Development in 2006 at Durban University of Technology. She then diverted to community work in 2009 when she joined the National Association of Child and Youth Care Workers and worked as an Isibindi Mentor. Hloniphile is currently working as Provincial Program Manager for Gauteng Province, South Africa, monitors over 60 sites and supervises a team of 54 mentors from various programmes, ensuring that child and youth care practice is demonstrated and skills are well transferred. She co-wrote the chapter, Isbindi Family-Oriented Child and Youth Care Practices in Child and Youth Care Practice with Families, edited by Leon Fulcher and Thom Garfat (The CYC-Net Press, 2015). She will be pursuing her Master's degree in Child and Youth Care.

    Naomi Eisenstadt became the first Director of the Sure Start Unit in 1999 after a long career in charities. The Unit was responsible for the government's commitment to free nursery education places, the national childcare strategy, and programmes aimed at reducing the gap in outcomes between children living in disadvantaged areas and the wider child population. After Sure Start, Naomi spent three years as the Director of the Social Exclusion Task Force, working across government to address the needs of excluded groups. Since retiring from the Civil Service, Naomi has chaired the Camden Equalities Commission, the Milton Keynes Child Poverty Commission, and published Providing a Sure Start: How Government Discovered Early Childhood (Policy Press, 2011) and several articles relevant to child development and child poverty. She is a trustee of four charities and is Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Oxford Department of Education. Naomi has also had a key role advising the Scottish Government on poverty. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Open University in 2002 and became a CB in the 2005 New Year Honours.

    Katharina Ereky-Stevens is Researcher in the Department of Education at the University of Oxford. She is part of the Families, Effective Learning and Literacy (FELL) research group. Her main research interests are the quality of early years education and care, child–caregiver interactions and the relationship between early childhood education and care (ECEC) quality and children's development. She has worked on a number of research projects on early childhood education, including the Families, Children and Childcare project (FCCC), the Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education project (EPPSE), a Viennese Transition to Childcare project (WIKI), and is currently working on the collaborative EU-funded project Curriculum and Quality Analysis and Impact Review of European Early Childhood Education and Care (CARE). She was involved in writing several research reviews, including a recent Sutton Trust review of the research on quality of ECEC for children under 3, and implications for policy and practice.

    Leon Fulcher, MSW, PhD is an international consultant with more than 40 years’ experience in the social work and child and youth care fields – in North America, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region – as a practitioner, manager, educator, researcher, scholar and writer. He chairs the Board of Governors for The International Child and Youth Care Network at As a founder member of TransformAction International (, he engages with an international network of child and youth care workers, supervisors, managers, educators and others about cross-cultural practices, activity-based learning, practice recording, research and evaluation, and educational opportunities for carers. Publications include: Group Care for Children & Young People Revisited (2006) with Ainsworth; Quality Care in a Family Setting: A Practical Guide for Foster Carers (2008) with Garfat; A Child and Youth Care Approach to Practice (2011) with Garfat; Residential Child Care: Making a Difference (2012) with Smith and Doran; Making Moments Meaningful in Child & Youth Care Practice (2013) with Garfat and Digney; Sisters of Pain: An Ethnography of Young Women Living in Secure Care (2013) with Moran; Child and Youth Care Practice with Families (2015) with Garfat; Residential Child and Youth Care in a Developing World: Volume 1 – Global Perspectives (2016) with Islam; and Residential Child and Youth Care in a Developing World: Volume 2 – European Perspectives (2017) with Islam.

    Katarzyna Gawlicz is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Education at the University of Lower Silesia, Wrocław, Poland, where she educates future preschool and elementary school teachers. Her academic interests include early childhood education and care with a focus on children's participation and democracy; democratic education; the use of action research with teachers in transforming educational practice; and Foucault-inspired analysis of power relations in preschools. She is currently involved in a research project on free democratic schools in Poland.

    Rebecca E. Gomez is Program Officer in Education at the Heising-Simons Foundation, focusing on grantmaking in early childhood. Prior to joining the Foundation, she conducted early childhood education policy research for a variety of organisations in the United States and internationally, including serving as an Assistant Research Professor at the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University and the National Center for Children and Families at Teachers College, Columbia University. Rebecca's research interests include the influence of consolidated approaches to governance of early childhood systems in the United States, and domestic and international approaches to professional development and workforce systems. She is co-editor of the volume Early Childhood Governance: Choices and Consequences (Teachers College Press, 2015) and has authored a number of journal articles and chapters examining professional development policies and systems in the United States and internationally.

    Teresa T. Harris is Professor of Early and Elementary Education and Academic Unit Head of the Early, Elementary, and Reading Education Department, College of Education, James Madison University (JMU), Harrisonburg, Virginia, United States. Following a 2010 Fulbright Scholarship with the University of Pretoria, South Africa, she was named the Early Childhood Education Department's first Research Associate for her work in supporting the research endeavours of members within the department. Since that time, Teresa has continued collaborations with her colleagues to examine the quality of early childhood teacher education programmes, practices and policies. She also works to support equity and social justice through UNESCO's International Teacher Education Network and JMU's International Cultivating the Globally Sustainable Summit (see

    Katie Hollingworth is Researcher at the Thomas Coram Research Unit, UCL IOE. Her main area of interest is research with children and young people in public care and leaving care, for which she has been conducting research for 10 years. Major studies in this field include a large five-country cross-national research project on the post-compulsory educational pathways of young people leaving care (YiPPEE), an evaluation of a new model of working with adolescents in and on the edge of care and comparative studies on the education of youth in care for the Leverhulme Trust. She has authored a number of papers in this area and contributed to an edited book, Young People Transitioning from Out-of-home Care (Mendes and Snow, eds., 2016, Palgrave Macmillan).

    Diane Horm is the George Kaiser Family Foundation Endowed Chair of Early Childhood Education and Founding Director of the Early Childhood Education Institute (ECEI) at the University of Oklahoma at Tulsa. Prior to this, she served as Professor of Early Childhood Education, Director of the two campus Child Development Centers, and Associate Dean of Human Science and Services at the University of Rhode Island. She received her PhD in Family and Child Development at Virginia Tech and has a 30-year history of conducting applied research in collaboration with early childhood programmes serving young children growing up in poverty. Through the ECEI, she currently leads several research projects, including the Tulsa Educare Implementation Study, a multi-site RCT evaluation of Educare, and a longitudinal study designed to follow Educare graduates through age 8. Her research has been published in Child Development, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Early Education and Development, and NHSA Dialog.

    Mihaela Ionescu is an early childhood education expert with a PhD in Educational Sciences. She is the Program Director of ISSA (International Step by Step Association), a membership association that connects professionals and organisations working in the field of early childhood development ( She has been working for the last 20 years as a researcher in the education field, as an education policy developer, trainer and manager of programmes aiming to improve the quality of early childhood education and care services. At ISSA, she is primarily involved in strategic planning and in coordinating programmes and resource development aimed at providing equitable and high quality early childhood services in countries from ISSA regions, by strengthening and supporting ISSA members’ capacity to work with professionals, parents, administrators and policymakers. Over the years she has worked as an international consultant for UNICEF and World Bank projects in countries in the CEE/CIS region.

    Cynthia D. Jackson is the Senior Vice President of the Educare Learning Network at the Ounce of Prevention Fund. She received her Master of Science in counselling and health education from the University of North Texas and Bachelor of Science in community and school health education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As Senior Vice President, Cynthia works with senior leadership to implement the mission and strategic plan for the Ounce of Prevention Fund, specifically leading the work of advancing centre-based quality. She oversees Lead Learn Excel, an instructional leadership professional development initiative. In collaboration with the Buffett Early Childhood Fund and Educare Learning Network of schools, she guides the Educare Learning Network through high quality innovative early childhood practice, research and policy efforts. Prior to joining the Ounce, Cynthia was National Director of Training and Technical Assistance for Healthy Families America at Prevent Child Abuse America.

    Sonia Jackson is Emeritus Professor at the Thomas Coram Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education, University College London. She has led numerous research studies on the health and education of children and youth in out-of-home care, including the EU-funded YiPPEE project, and has published extensively on these and related topics as well as on her other main research interest, preschool childcare. Recent co-authored books are People Under Three: Play, Work and Learning in a Childcare Setting (Routledge, 3rd edition, 2015); Improving Access to Further and Higher Education for Young People in Public Care (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2014) and Educating Children and Young People in Care: Learning Placements and Caring Schools (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2015). In addition to her academic work, she is active as an advocate for disadvantaged children and a member of organisations that promote their wellbeing. In common with some of her earlier studies, her current research on the youngest children in foster care explores an overlooked subject crossing conventional subject boundaries.

    Lucky Jacobs began his child and youth care career in 1998 as a volunteer teacher at Thutong Ya Bana Special School in South Africa for children living on the streets, with no prior experience of working with children. Driven purely by passion and personal energy he spent two years at this centre learning child behaviour ‘on the hoof'. In 2001 he trained as a professional foster carer and became foster parent to a young teenage boy. This training opened his eyes to the world of child and youth care and he was privileged to lead the very first team of 12 community-based child and youth care workers as a project manager when the Isibindi programme was first launched in his community in 2003. A year later he was appointed assistant mentor to supervise two additional teams of community-based child and youth care workers for five years, facilitating many special programmes with groups of young people. Thereafter he became a trainer and assessor and moved into training in 2008 to train newly recruited child and youth care workers, leading to the award of the Further Education & Training Certificate in Child Care Work, the minimum qualification required to work with children in South Africa. In 2013, Lucky joined the government institution known as Lerato Place of Safety as a child & youth care supervisor in charge of the child care unit.

    Jytte Juul Jensen has been Associate Professor and Senior Researcher at VIA, Pædagoguddannelsen, Aarhus, Denmark. She has for many years been training pedagogues, the early years professionals, and her latest research project is on Danish pedagogues’ understandings of Danish practice in early childhood services. She has undertaken a wide range of cross-national work, including research, and given numerous lectures and papers at international conferences in many European countries, as well as outside Europe.

    Jacqueline Jones is currently the President and CEO of the Foundation for Child Development. She served as the first Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Early Learning in the US Education Department. Previously, she was the Assistant Commissioner for the Division of Early Childhood Education in the New Jersey State Department of Education. For over 15 years Jacqueline served as Senior Research Scientist at the Educational Testing Service in Princeton. She is a board member on the National Academies’ Board on Children, Youth and Families and served on the National Academy of Sciences committee that produced Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation (2015). She attended Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY) and earned a Master's and PhD from Northwestern University.

    Yoshie Kaga is Programme Specialist in early childhood education and care (ECEC) at UNESCO, Paris. Since 1998, Yoshie has supported various ECEC projects around the world to strengthen early literacy development, gender-sensitive early childhood practices, ECEC policy, governance and workforce development. She is currently managing the Survey of Teachers in Pre-primary Education (STEPP) Project, implemented in the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Namibia, the Philippines, Togo and Viet Nam. Her publications include Caring and Learning Together: A Cross-national Study on the Integration of ECCE within Education (Kaga, Bennett and Moss, UNESCO, 2010) and Investing against Evidence: the Global State of Early Childhood Care and Education (Marope and Kaga, eds., UNESCO, 2015). She has a Master's in Social Anthropology of Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and a PhD in Education from the UCL Institute of Education, University College London.

    Sharon Lynn Kagan is the Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Early Childhood and Family Policy and Co-Director of the National Center for Children and Families at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Professor Adjunct at Yale University's Child Study Center. Scholar, pioneer, leader and advocate, she has helped shape early childhood practice and policies in the United States and throughout the world. She has worked on early childhood programmes and policies in over 70 countries in seven regions of the world and is recognised internationally and nationally for her accomplishments related to the care and education of young children, authoring over 200 articles and 13 books. She is the only woman in the history of American Education to receive its three most prestigious awards: the 2004 Distinguished Service Award from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the 2005 James Bryant Conant Award for Lifetime Service to Education from the Education Commission of the States (ECS), and the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education.

    Shin Ji Kang serves as Associate Professor in the Department of Early, Elementary, and Reading Education and Fellow of the Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Terrorism and Peace at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia. She is a critical praxis researcher attempting to bridge the divide between practitioners and researchers. She has two major foci in her educational research: teacher beliefs and refugee education. While learning about teacher spirituality and efficacy beliefs, she has endeavoured to better understand teachers’ lives. Another thread of her scholarship on refugee education emerged from critical and spiritual consciousness on her identity in relation to global society. She is currently working with North Korean refugee students and South Korean service providers to address diversity and justice. An example of her research can be found in the recent article: Postcolonial Reflection on the Christian Mission: The Case of North Korean Refugees in China and South Korea (Social Sciences, 2016, 5(4), 67).

    Venita Kaul is currently Professor Emerita Education and Executive Chairperson of the Advisory Committee of the Centre for Early Childhood Education and Development (CECED), Ambedkar University Delhi. Prior to this assignment she was Professor and Director of School of Education Studies and Founder Director of CECED, Ambedkar University Delhi. Her past assignments also include Senior Education Specialist in the World Bank and Professor and Head of Department of Preschool and Elementary Education at the National Council of Educational Research and Training, New Delhi. She has led several Education projects within and outside India and been on several national and international committees. She has a PhD in Psychology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and has several national and international publications in Education and Child Development to her credit.

    Portia Kennel is a Senior Advisor to the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, having previously served as Senior Vice President, Program Innovation, at the Ounce of Prevention Fund and Executive Director of the Educare Learning Network in the United States. She has more than 25 years of experience designing, implementing and scaling effective, research-based early childhood education and family support programme models. In 2000, she created the first Educare School in Chicago to serve young children from birth to 5 years old. As the Executive Director of the Educare Learning Network, she led the national expansion of the Educare model to a diverse range of communities. Her work is grounded in an understanding of early childhood development, teaching practices, family systems and clinical issues related to working with families in low-income communities. She holds a Master's degree in social work from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a ZERO TO THREE Fellow.

    Nicole Klinkhammer works as Senior Researcher at the International Center Early Childhood Education and Care (ICEC) at the German Youth Institute in Munich. Currently, the focus of her work is quality development and assurance within early childhood education and care (ECEC) systems, especially with regard to aspects of governance. In her PhD at the University of Halle-Wittenberg she did a discourse analysis on the changing construct of childhood within German early childhood education policies. After studying political science, sociology and educational science at the University of Bonn and the University of Aalborg, Denmark, she held a fellowship and worked as a research associate at the German Youth Institute. From 2004 to 2008 she worked on a variety of projects concerning the conceptual development and flexibilisation of ECEC services, and from 2008 to 2012 held a postgraduate fellowship of the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation.

    Emily Seulgi Lee is a doctoral student at the University of Georgia, pursuing her PhD degree in the Department of Educational Psychology. She graduated from Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Educational Studies. Emily has worked closely with North Korean refugee students in South Korea as a programme coordinator, implementing after-school intervention programmes that provided aide in the North Korean students’ acculturation process. Her work, Preparing for Reunification: Yeomyung School's North Korean refugee remedial education program, was featured at the Annual Conference for Association for Childhood Education International in 2015. Her current research interests include using social network analysis to explore the role of friendships and clique memberships in child development. More specifically she is interested in understanding the importance of interpersonal relationships in the socialisation/acculturation process of minority students (immigrant students, international students, refugees, etc.) in elementary school.

    Hui Li, PhD, is Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education (ECE) at the University of Hong Kong, where he is the Director of the Master of Education (MEd) programme and Coordinator of the MEd (ECE) specialism. His research interests lie in early Chinese literacy, developmental psycholinguistics, early childhood curriculum and pedagogy, and educational policy. He has published more than 160 academic works including books, book chapters and journal and conference papers. He is the co-associate editor of Journal of Research in Childhood Education, as well as editorial board member of Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, Early Education and Development, International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy, and International Journal of Early Years Education.

    Eva Lloyd is Professor of Early Childhood in the Cass School of Education and Communities at the University of East London. She is Director of UEL's International Centre for the Study of the Mixed Economy of Childcare (ICMEC), which she co-founded in 2007 with Professor Helen Penn. Eva's research focuses on early childhood policy, in particular the marketisation and privatisation of early childhood provision and its relationship to child poverty and social exclusion. She has published widely on this topic, including a 2014 evidence review of the links between early childhood provision and poverty for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, an independent British development and social research organisation ( In the course of her career Eva has gained extensive experience of early childhood policy articulation and evaluation processes, collaborating with policy makers in the UK and beyond. Her background is in psychology and she also spent 15 years working for children's NGOs. In 2013, Eva was awarded an Honorary OBE for services to education.

    Seeng Mamabolo is a Sesotho-speaking person who stays with Xhosa speaking people, who began her journey as a residential child and youth care worker in 1996 with Bethany Children's Home in Mthatha, Eastern Cape. After completing a Diploma in Child and Youth Care from the University of South Africa in 2003, she began working for the National Association of Child Care Workers in 2006 as an Isibinidi Mentor. In 2009, Seeng became an Isibindi Senior Mentor in the Eastern Cape Province and then went on to obtain a BTECH degree in Child and Youth Care in 2014 from Durban University of Technology. In 2016 Seeng began working as a Provincial Programs Manager for the Eastern Cape Province and has also facilitated child and youth care training in Zimbabwe.

    Sandra Mathers is Researcher at the University of Oxford. Her main research interests are the quality of early years education and care, and the relationships between quality and children's development. Sandra's research is strongly policy-focused and she has led a number of large-scale government evaluations of early childhood initiatives. Her most recent research studies have considered whether disadvantaged children receive comparable quality early years provision to those from more advantaged backgrounds, and explored the early years experiences of children in care. Sandra is currently leading the development and implementation of an early years professional development intervention designed to improve children's oral language skills, which is being tested as part of a randomised controlled trial.

    Helen May is an Emeritus Professor of Education and former Dean of the University of Otago College of Education (2006–2011) New Zealand as well as an Adjunct Professor at the Victoria University of Wellington. She has been involved in advocacy and advisory roles covering a range of early childhood policy initiatives. She is the author of a number of books and papers on the history, politics and pedagogy of early years education.

    Nora Milotay is Policy Analyst at the European Parliamentary Research Service, working on issues of European social policy at the Economic Policies Unit. A historian by training, she holds a BA Hons from Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, an MA from the Central European University, Budapest and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. After having worked on several aspects of education policy in Hungary and for many years at the European Commission, from 2010 onwards she has built up European policy cooperation within the field of early childhood education and care that has gained an increasingly important role within the Europe 2020 strategy. She lead the thematic working group of member states’ experts on early childhood education and care (ECEC) within the Open Method of Coordination (2012–14) that has prepared a proposal for a quality framework in ECEC in 2014. With a background in both research and practice, her focus is on the intersection of research, policy and practice.

    Peter Moss is Emeritus Professor of Early Childhood Provision at the Thomas Coram Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education, University College London. His interests include early childhood education and care; the workforce in children's services; the relationship between care, gender and employment; the relationship between early childhood and compulsory education; social pedagogy; and democracy in children's services. Much of his work has been cross-national, in particular in Europe. He has been coordinator of the European Commission Childcare Network and of the International Network on Leave Policies and Research; editor of the multi-lingual magazine Children in Europe; and co-editor of the book series Contesting Early Childhood. Recent books include Loris Malaguzzi and the Schools of Reggio Emilia (co-edited with colleagues from Reggio Emilia, Routledge, 2016); Transformative Change and Real Utopias in Early Childhood Education (Routledge, 2014); Radical Education and the Common School: A Democratic Alternative (with Michael Fielding, Routledge, 2011); Early Childhood and Compulsory Education: Reconceptualising the Relationship (as editor, Routledge, 2013); and Social Pedagogy and Working with Children and Young People: Where Care and Education Meet (edited with Claire Cameron, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2011).

    Michelle J. Neuman is Program Director for Early Childhood Development at Results for Development (R4D), a global non-profit organisation, in Washington, DC. She has faculty affiliations with the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Victoria, British Columbia. Throughout her career, Michelle has taken a comparative approach to study policies and programmes for young children around the world. Her recent research focuses on strategies to strengthen and support the early childhood workforce globally and on financing early childhood programmes in low- and middle-income countries. In her previous roles at the World Bank, the Open Society Foundation, UNESCO and the OECD, she led analytical work and provided technical guidance to government officials to inform the design and implementation of early childhood systems. She has an undergraduate degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and a PhD in Politics and Education from Columbia University.

    Milagros Nores is Co-Director of Research at the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER). She earned her PhD in Education and Economics at Columbia University and an EdM in Educational Administration and Social Policy from Harvard University. She previously worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Taubman Center in Public Policy, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. Her expertise and interests are in early childhood development, data-driven policy development, evaluation design, economics, cultural diversity and English language learning. Milagros’ current research includes an early childhood study in Colombia, a study on parent–child educational practices for minority children in the United States and evaluations of West Virginia's and Seattle's preschool programmes. She also participated in the seminal benefit–cost analyses of the Perry Preschool programme. Milagros also supports the work of various organisations working in Latin America and Asia.

    June O'Sullivan is Chief Executive of the London Early Years Foundation (LEYF), a social enterprise which currently runs 38 nurseries across 11 London boroughs. She is also an inspiring speaker, author and regular media commentator on Early Years, Social Business and Child Poverty. June is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Director of Early Arts, Trustee of London Hostels Association, Non-Executive Director of Social Enterprise UK, and Founding Member of International Early Years. June was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2013, for her services to London's children. She was awarded the Social Enterprise UK Women's Champion Award in November 2014 and in February 2015 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Middlesex. June is a published author, with an Master's in Primary and Early Childhood Studies and an MBA from London South Bank University.

    Alula Pankhurst was Associate Professor in Social Anthropology at Addis Ababa University. He joined Young Lives as Ethiopia Country Director in 2009. His role involves coordinating Young Lives research work in Ethiopia and leading on topics including urban relocation, child work, early marriage and violence against children as well as early childhood. Alula has also worked in the Wellbeing in Developing Countries project at the University of Bath, and is also a lead researcher for WIDE, a longitudinal study of community change in rural Ethiopia. He has co-edited books on Children's Work and Labour in East Africa (2015), The Rights of Children in Ethiopia (2016) and Change and Transformation in Twenty Rural Communities in Ethiopia (2017).

    Marcela Pardo holds a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology and a Master of Arts in Educational Psychology, Early Childhood. She is Associate Researcher at the University of Chile's Center for Advanced Research in Education, and coordinator of its Early Childhood Education area. Her research comprises studies on early childhood teachers’ professional identity, as well as policies for early childhood teachers’ initial preparation and professional development. Her recent publications include Estado del arte y criterios orientadores para la elaboración de políticas de formación y desarrollo profesional de docentes de primera infancia en América Latina y el Caribe. Proyecto Estrategia Regional Sobre Docentes (with Cynthia Adlerstein, OREALC-UNESCO Santiago, 2016); and Improving the Quality of Early Childhood Education in Chile: Tensions between Public Policy and Teacher Discourses over the Schoolarisation of Early Childhood Education (with Christine Woodrow, International Journal of Early Childhood 46(1), 101–115, 2014.). She gratefully acknowledges funding from PIA-CONICYT Basal Funds for Centers of Excellence Project FB0003.

    Jan Peeters is the Director of VBJK, Centre for Innovation in the Early Years, at Ghent University (Belgium). He was involved in international policy-oriented research commissioned by the European Commission Directorate-General for Education and Culture: Competence Requirements in Early Childhood Education and Care, (2009–2011), and the Study on the Effective Use of Early Childhood Education and Care in Preventing Early School Leaving (2013–2014). He was the promoter of the Eurofound research Working conditions, training of ECEC workers and quality of services – A systematic review (2013–2015), about the link between Continuous Professional Development and Quality of Early Childhood Education and Care and outcomes for children. He is an expert in policy advocacy and was consultant in five UNICEF projects, to increase the quality of ECEC in CEE/CIS countries (2012–2017). He is co-editor of a book Pathways to Professionalism in Early Childcare Education and Care (Routledge, 2016) and the author of many articles on professionalism, diversity and policy in ECEC.

    Brecht Peleman is Junior Researcher and Project Manager at the Centre for Innovations in the Early Years (VBJK) and the Department of Social Work and Social Pedagogy (Ghent University). His research topics concern experiences of children in general and more specifically of those living in a vulnerable situation transitioning to school; quality in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC); and professionalisation. Brecht was a member of the research team of the Eurofound study Working conditions, training of early childhood care workers and quality of services – A systematic review (2013–2015). Brecht is also involved in projects about pedagogical coaching, the transition to pre-primary education, school-aged childcare and family day care. He has developed several training tools to support ECEC practitioners.

    Nkidi C. Phatudi is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Early Childhood Education, College of Education at the University of South Africa, Pretoria. The position requires her to provide leadership and vision to the department so that it remains relevant in pursuance of early childcare development research and education. She supervises postgraduate students and is responsible for English First Additional Language pedagogy. She participated in the EU–Department of Higher Education (DHET) funded project involving universities around the country. Consequently, she produced open educational resource (OER) learning materials. She is the treasurer of the South African Research Association for Early Childhood Education (SARAECE) and has a Special Interest Group (SIG) in the association for mother tongue learning group. She has contributed the chapter Restoring Indigenous Languages and the Right to Learn in a Familiar Language: A Case of Black South African Children in Children's Rights and Education: International Perspectives (Peter Lang, 2013).

    Frances Press is Professor, Early Childhood Education in the School of Teacher Education, Charles Sturt University, Australia. She has a long-standing interest in early childhood policy and its impact on the quality of the education and care services provided to infants and young children, including the experiences of children and families. Frances, along with her colleague Christine Woodrow, has written extensively on the impact of the marketisation of early childhood education and care in the Australian context.

    Birgit Riedel is Head of the Education and Provision of Services of the Welfare State for Children Section at the German Youth Institute in Munich. The current focus of her work is on developments of policy and governance in ECEC services and how they impact on inequalities between children of different socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. Another strand of her work comprises international comparative analyses of childcare systems and policies. More recently she has been involved in research on refugee children's access to ECEC. Birgit studied Political Science in Vienna where she worked as Researcher at the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research. She was involved in international projects focusing on various areas of welfare state reform such as care for the elderly, civic engagement and early childhood education and care.

    Jack Rossiter joined Young Lives at the University of Oxford in 2015 as an Education Research Officer working on Ethiopia. Prior to joining Young Lives he was a civil servant and ODI Fellow in the Ministry of Education, Ethiopia, with specific responsibility to support the development of the country's fifth Education Sector Development Programme. He has previous experience in a large NGO and as a consultant in the private sector. Jack is interested in the policy links between Young Lives’ research and implementation through the Ministry of Education. Currently, Jack is involved in the delivery of Young Lives’ third Ethiopia school survey and Young Lives’ research support to the Ministry of Education to improve the design and implementation of pre-primary education in Ethiopia.

    Jessica L. Roth is the Research Assistant to Sharon Lynn Kagan at the National Center for Children and Families (NCCF) at Teachers College, Columbia University. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts in Narrative Psychology from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, with a minor in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies. In her time at NCCF, she contributed research and analysis in a number of areas including the cultural content of early learning and development standards, Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programmes, international early childhood systems and infrastructure, and children's transition from preschool to kindergarten.

    Shipra Sharma is currently Senior Project Associate with the Centre for Early Childhood Education and Development (CECED), Ambedkar University Delhi. Prior to this she was associated with Pratham Delhi Education Initiative. She has a Master's degree in Human Development and Childhood Studies from Lady Irwin College, Delhi University. Currently she is leading the technical assistance unit in CECED for providing technical policy and programme-related support on Early Childhood Education (ECE) to the states of West Bengal, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Specific areas of support include developing evidence-based strategies for the capacity building of functionaries of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS); curriculum restructuring and reviewing preparation of training modules and conduct of evidence-based training in the area of ECE with a view to bridge the gap between research and practice.

    Antonia Simon is a researcher and programme leader of the MSc Systematic Reviews for Social Policy and Practice. She has extensive experience of undertaking and managing mixed-methods research projects involving children and families. She has over 20 years’ experience of analysing official statistics, administrative, cross-sectional and longitudinal data. Additionally she leads systematic review projects. Most recently, she led a research study examining the provision and usage of childcare in Britain (ESRC funded). Her research interests include the childcare and social care workforces, ECEC provision and usage, and child health and wellbeing, including food and poverty.

    Mere Skerrett of Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Māhuta, Ngāti Unu, Ngāti Pikiao and Ngāti Pākeko tribal groupings, (Indigenous to Aotearoa/New Zealand), is an enthusiastic supporter of the regeneration of indigenous languages, having dedicated much of her career to establishing and working in Kōhanga Reo (Māori language nests) and Kura Kaupapa Māori (the schooling extension of Kōhanga Reo). She is also interested in equity issues as they relate to Māori as Tāngata Whenua (the people of the land), women's issues, children's rights and social justice. She is also an applied linguist and keen to grow the spaces at the interface between indigenes and their colonial counterparts in counter-colonial contexts. A recipient of numerous awards, her most recent is the Te Pā Harakeke Award of commitment to Kāi Tahu (South Island tribal grouping) whānau and leadership in te reo Māori in 2015. She is currently a Senior Lecturer, Victoria University of Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand.

    Anne B. Smith†, Emeritus Professor at the University of Otago College of Education, passed away after a short illness not long after she submitted her chapter for this Handbook. She had a long and distinguished career spanning four decades of research and vigorous policy advocacy for children and their families in Aotearoa/New Zealand. She founded the Children's Issues Centre at the University of Otago New Zealand and was its Director from 1995 to 2006. She was the recipient of numerous research and community awards. Her books include Understanding Children and Childhood: A New Zealand Perspective (5th edition, Bridget Williams Books, 2013); and (with colleagues) Children's Voices, Research Policy and Practice (Pearson, 2000); What does it mean for children to be citizens? International perspectives; Learning in the Making: Disposition and Design in Early Education (Sense Publishers, 2010); and Children's Rights: Towards Social Justice (Momentum Press, 2016).

    Dawn Tankersley, Ed.D., has worked as an early childhood education consultant and program specialist for the International Step by Step Association (ISSA) and for Open Society Foundations/Institute (OSF/OSI) for the last twenty years as a trainer, program advisor, researcher, and materials developer in Central/Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and South America on the topics of quality early childhood care and education, respect for diversity, bilingual education, and social justice. She is the lead author on many of ISSA's materials pertaining to the ISSA Principles of Quality Pedagogy as well as ISSA's recent publication, A Quality Framework for Early Childhood Practice in Services for Children Under Three Years of Age.

    Zorica Trikic is a Psychologist and holds a Master's degree in Education and Human Resources Development. She has more than 25 years’ experience in the early years sector, working with children, parents, communities, educators, early childhood development professionals and policymakers with a special focus on the most vulnerable groups, especially Romani children. She has experience in developing training and professional development programmes, with a special focus on quality in early childhood services, respect for diversity and social justice issues. She has also participated in the development of different policy reports and by-laws, as well as in international working groups. Since 2014, Zorica has been Senior Program Manager at ISSA (International Step by Step Association) where she is in charge of several ISSA initiatives such as Embracing Diversity, the early childhood development response to immigrant and refugee crises, and building the capacity of home visitors through Supporting Families for Young Children's Wellbeing: Resource Modules for Home Visitors.

    Michel Vandenbroeck is Head of Department of Social Work and Social Pedagogy at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of Ghent University, Belgium ( In collaboration with the Centre for Innovation in the Early Years (, he conducted many innovative projects, including professional development projects on diversity in early childhood care and education. His current research is on family policies and early childhood education policy and practice, with a particular focus on issues of diversity and processes of inclusion and exclusion. The voices of children and families with migrant histories and families living in poverty in both childcare and kindergarten are a recurrent theme in his studies.

    Jingying Wang is a PhD student at the University of Hong Kong, where she is studying educational policy development and implementation in Chinese societies. Her research interests lie in early childhood education, primary education and the sociology of education.

    Martin Woodhead is Emeritus Professor of Childhood Studies at The Open University, where he was based from 1977–2013 and pioneered interdisciplinary teaching in Childhood and Youth Studies. International policy studies in early childhood has always been one of his specialist interests, beginning with a major report for the Council of Europe in the 1970s. More recently he was Special Advisor to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, in preparation of General Comment 7: Implementing Child Rights in Early Childhood (2005) and led on the preparation of the topic guide ‘Early Childhood Development: Delivering Intersectoral Policies, Programmes and Services in Low Resource Settings’ (2014). Martin joined the Young Lives study based at the University of Oxford in 2005 and has contributed to the development of child-focused survey methods, qualitative research, early childhood and school-based research, including the work reported in this handbook. Martin's extensive publications can be found at

    Christine Woodrow is Senior Researcher in the Centre for Educational Research at Western Sydney University, Australia. Her work is keenly focused on issues associated with quality early childhood education in local, national and international contexts. Using this lens she conducts research on leadership, professional identity, pedagogies for equity, parent engagement, early childhood provision in high-poverty communities and analysis of policies that frame these endeavours. She has led a number of research projects focused on equity and community capacity building in outer western Sydney and in highly disadvantaged contexts in northern and central Chile. Much of her policy analysis work is undertaken in collaboration with Frances Press, with whom she has written a number of articles on the commodification of early childhood and its implications for children, families and the community.

    Noreen Yazejian is Senior Research Scientist at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). She received her PhD in Educational Psychology at UNC-CH. She has extensive experience conducting large-scale, multi-site research and evaluation studies exploring questions about early education quality and children's outcomes, particularly for children living in poverty. Her research focuses on early childhood programme evaluation, including work related to models of programming birth to 5, quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS), home visiting and professional development. Her research has been published in Child Development, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Early Education and Development, Social Policy Report and NHSA Dialog.

    Mary Eming Young, MD, DrPH, is a pediatrician and specialist in global health and child development. For the past three decades, she has worked at the World Bank, guiding efforts in international public health and child health and development. Currently, she is Director of Center for Child Development at the China Development Research Foundation and Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at University of Hawaii Medical Center. During her tenure at the World Bank, she led global efforts to inform world leaders and policymakers about Early Childhood Development (ECD). Her recent publications include: Converting the Science of Early Human Development into Action: Closing the Gap between What We Know and What We Do in The SAGE Handbook of Early Childhood Research (Sage, 2015); Addressing and Mitigating Vulnerability Across the Life Cycle: The Case for Investing in Early Childhood for the UNDP Human Development Report (UNDP, 2014); The Role of the Health Sector in Early Childhood Development (2013) in The Handbook of Early Childhood Development Research and Its Impact on Global Policy (OUP, 2013; contributor to The Lancet series on Early Child Development in Developing Countries, (2007).

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