Transforming Early Childhood in England
Towards a Democratic Education
Edited by Claire Cameron and Peter Moss
Early childhood education and care has been a political priority in England since 1997, when government finally turned its attention to this long-neglected area. Public funding has increased, policy initiatives have proliferated and at each general election political parties aim to outbid each other in their offer to families. Transforming Early Childhood in England: Towards a Democratic Education argues that, despite this attention, the system of early childhood services remains flawed and dysfunctional. National discourse is dominated by the cost and availability of childcare at the expense of holistic education, while a hotchpotch of fragmented provision staffed by a devalued workforce struggles with a culture of targets and measurement. With such deep-rooted problems, early childhood education and care in England is beyond minor improvements. In the context of austerity measures affecting many young families, transformative change is urgent.
Transforming Early Childhood in England offers a critical analysis of the current system and proposes change based on young children’s universal right to education. The book calls for provision built on democratic principles, where all learning by all children is visible and recognised, educators are trusted and respected, and a calmer approach called ‘slow pedagogy’ replaces outcomes-driven targets. Combining criticism and hope, and drawing on inspiring research and examples from home and abroad, the book is essential reading for students, educators, practitioners, parents, academics and policymakers - anyone, in fact, who seeks to understand the policy problems for early childhood education and care in England, and see better prospects for the future.
Claire Cameron is Professor of Social Pedagogy at the Thomas Coram Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education, London.
Peter Moss is Emeritus Professor of Early Childhood provision at Thomas Coram Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education, London.
List of figures and tables
List of contributors
1. Introduction: the state we’re in
Claire Cameron and Peter Moss
2. Families living in hard times
Abigail Knight, Rebecca O’Connell and Julia Brannen
3. Child health and homelessness
Diana Margot Rosenthal and Monica Lakhanpaul
4. Towards a unified and unifying ECEC system
5. Towards a ‘rich’ ECEC workforce
6. Towards a public ECEC system
7. Towards a child-centred curriculum
Georgina Trevor, Amanda Ince and Lynn Ang
8. Towards valuing children’s learning
Kate Cowan and Rosie Flewitt
9. Towards a listening ECEC system
10. Towards a democratic ECEC system
11. Towards a pluralist and participatory accountability
12. Towards empowerment for food and eating in ECEC
13. Towards an ECEC system in synergy with parenting leave
Margaret O’Brien and Peter Moss
14. Conclusion: from the state we’re in to what we want for our children
Peter Moss and Claire Cameron
Copyright: © 2020
Publication: August 01, 2020