By Elinor Goldschmied and Sonia Jackson.
Child care has been transformed in the past six years. So it’s timely that the second edition of this seminal text for practitioners and parents alike has been updated to embrace the Sure Start revolution.
Despite the national policy developments there is a shortage of material for those working with very young children in child care. The great attraction of this book is its accessibility, which also makes it ideal to help inform parents about their choice of child care.
Inevitably in this fast-moving sector, this edition misses some of the latest developments. More space could also have been given to the Sure Start Unit’s Birth to Three Matters pack, which builds on much of the good practice represented in this book.
The importance of parental involvement in child care to improve outcomes for children is well established. The next phase of the child care revolution rests on a better understanding by parents of child development and how good quality experiences in child care can boost their children’s learning and development.
As the authors highlight, if we value children, then we should value their care and education in the crucial first three years of life. And that means giving those who care for children much higher status.
Stephen Burke is director, Daycare Trust.