By exploring the key issues, arguments and messages that exist in the field, Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Early Childhood provides an international, comparative look at aspects of early childhood education and care. Pedagogical practices, learning cultures and the professional development of practitioners are considered within the wider political agenda of different countries. Pertinent policy and practice issues, such as numeracy and literacy, are carefully examined. Theodora Papatheodorou and Janet Moyles highlight how important it is to engage with and listen to children, to provide positive learning encounters.
The 21st century started with early childhood being at the top of national and international policies, initiatives and regulations with aspirational outcomes and targets for children, their families, communities and societies. From being a service to the child, early childhood provision has been acknowledged as a service to families and communities aiming to achieve societal economic well-being, cohesion and stability. While such policies offer many opportunities for improved practice, they have not been without challenges.
In this introduction, we will first provide an overview of the commitments and policies of supranational entities that have promoted and increased early childhood provision by referring to the relevant research. We will then discuss the challenges and opportunities created by them for practice and research, considering a ...