Currently, the majority of textbooks for early childhood education in the UK focus on the situation in England. As a result, readers may have a skewed perspective on policy and practice, and not be aware of the varying and different contexts in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Also, those working in settings not in England have to work hard to apply texts to their own contexts. This book gives the reader easy access to information on the policies and practices in ECEC across each of the countries in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Each chapter covers background information; policy and practice in early childhood education and care; transition; schooling and curriculum; quality assurance, examination, and inspection; professional development and training; future and imminent changes; and case studies of children's lives.


Margaret MClark

We hope this book will help you to understand the similarities and differences between the developments in early childhood education and care across the United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) and the Republic of Ireland. As far as we are aware there is no current publication that distinguishes the developments across these five countries. Indeed many publications are misleading in that they refer to the United Kingdom, then discuss only developments specific to England.

The impetus for this book was our awareness that:

  • Many of those involved in framing government policy, and its implementation, may not consider the broader picture.
  • Not all students are made aware of just how different developments are in those parts of the UK other than where they are studying ...
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