Children's experiences and well-being in their earliest years underpin and highly influence their future development and learning. Drawing on research with parents, children and a range of professionals in the early childhood field, this book considers how well-being is interpreted in the early childhood field. It includes snapshots of what our youngest children think about their well-being, and examines external environmental contexts that impact on well-being. The book raises a number of important issues and clarifies priorities that need to be kept at the forefront of practice and provision, such as the fundamental importance of prioritizing children and families' socio-cultural contexts, addressing inequalities and developing a listening culture. Importantly, there is also focus on appropriate pedagogical approaches and aspects of practice that support children's well-being in early childhood settings, such as adult-child relationships, quality interactions, physical play and creative expression.
The book also highlights the inseparability of adults' and children's well-being and therefore the need to consider contexts that enhance the potential for parents and practitioners to experience well-being. For all students and practitioners who want to put young children's well-being at the forefront of their practice this is a fascinating, thought provoking and illuminating read. Contributors: Deborah Albon, Mary Dickins, Melian Mansfield, Penny Holland, Micky LeVoguer, Penny Mukherji, Jasmine Pasch, Linda Pound, and Judy Stevenson. "The 'now' of children's experience emerges as a critical factor from the 'Talking about Young Children's Well-being' Project. It is a timely reminder that young children have a right to be listened to. Well-being as a concept is redefined using the voices of children, parents and practitioners. Important questions are raised about the cost to individuals and society if this is not taken seriously. The authors of each chapter use the research findings to reflect on current early years policy and practice. Their conclusions catch us at the crossroads of a deeply political debate."
(Dilys Wilson, Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies at Middlesex University, UK). "At a time of austerity and pressure on family life and early childhood, I consider this book to be both insightful and thought provoking which has both breadth and depth. Dedicating a book to exploring well-being in early childhood demonstrates a commitment by the author and colleagues to delve deeper into the vital issues of well-being and the impact within early childhood. This text brings together research literature, theoretical understanding and practical application. Recognising the practitioners and leaders who work within early childhood and their well-being is a testament to all involved in co-constructing this text. This book captures the essence of early childhood and provides a dialogue and debate of holistically challenging well-being for all. This is a book to be treasured." (Dr Lesley Curtis, Headteacher/Head of Centre, Everton Nursery School and Family Centre). "This book is an essential discussion and authoritative account of the explorations and research outcomes of the LMU/NCB project 'Talking about well-being in early childhood'.The strength of the book is that it represents multi-faceted perspectives about children's well-being that underpin the values and principles of inclusion, understanding that children are citizens with personhood and rights.
The influences and barriers to children's well-being are raised and challenged throughout each of the chapters, looking through the multiple lenses of policy, contemporary practice and professionalism. The social, cultural and political chronology is useful for novice researchers, practitioners and policy makers to consider where well-being of young children is positioned in the here and now. The importance of the well-being of the practitioners is addressed for development in early childhood settings, and completes the essential requirement for reflexive and supportive practice as part of supporting children's well-being. This book will be useful for academics, and practitioners working directly with children and families and anyone studying well-being and applications to contemporary practice in cultural contexts." (Estelle Martin, Anglia Ruskin University, UK). "This book really does explore well-being - thoughtfully, actively and practically and from a range of points of view.
It is based on a deep and honest respect for young children and the adults who work and play with them and it illustrates with passion and insight the ways in which emotional and physical well-being are built on positive relationships and connections between people." (Helen Moylett, Early Years Consultant and writer). "This is a comprehensively researched book deriving from collaborative work in the early years. It discusses the complex concept of the well-being of young children and how this determines their life opportunities. From an equality perspective it identifies key issues that practitioners, trainers, policy makers and academics should note with serious concern, including the disproportionate impact of inequality on particular groups. Furthermore, and critically, it opens up the way for future analysis of how society can become more at ease with itself so that the unwitting consequences of deeply embedded institutional discrimination, intolerance, negative assumptions, expectations and judgements are removed from young children's lives." (Jane Lane (advocate worker for racial equality in the early years)).
Publisher: Open University Press