Recent authoritative evidence suggests that an estimated 200 million children under five fail to achieve their developmental potential due to factors including poor health and nutrition and the lack of stable high quality care. A significant number of the world's children today lack the basic rights to health, development and protection. In light of such statistics, early childhood services for young children have expanded around the world. The SAGE Handbook of Early Childhood Policy draws critical attention to policy in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) its relationship to service provision and its impact on the lives of children and families. The perspectives of leading academics and researchers from Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Australasia and Asia have been arranged around five key themes: Part 1: The Relationship Between Research, Policy And Practice: Country Case Studies Part 2: Equitable Early Childhood Services: Intervention to Improve Children's Life Chances Part 3: Extending Practice: The Role of Early Childhood Services In Family Support Part 4: Participation, Rights and Diversity Part 5: Future Directions for Early Childhood Policy This handbook is essential reading for practitioners, stakeholders and others committed to working within early years services to achieve an awareness of policy and its implications for services and practice.
An increasing number of early childhood (EC) stakeholders across the globe are focusing on the policy problem of ensuring all children enter school ready to succeed (UNICEF, 2012). This issue emerged on their policy agendas as a result of empirical studies demonstrating that a large number of children enter school lacking the academic and/or social skills needed for success (e.g. Wildy & Styles, 2008) and that there appears to be a correlation between being ready at school entry and later success in school and in life (e.g. Matthews, Kizzie, Rowley & Cortina, 2010). These research studies have led many EC stakeholders to frame their reforms that address improving children's school readiness as both an ...