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.



A Child Born in England in 2000: Michael's Story

Michael was born in May 2000. His mother, Suzanne, had a normal delivery. He lives with both parents and an elder (by two years) brother, Samuel. Both parents are educated to graduate level; mother to postgraduate level. Both parents are employed and have their own car; Michael's mother took extended maternity leave for both children, and his father, Paul, took five days paternity leave when Michael was born. Extended maternity leave would have meant some loss of income.

Michael lives in a rural part of the south west region of England in a village with a population of approximately 800. Suzanne returned to part-time work when he was ten months old (having previously worked full-time). Michael had already ...

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