Early childhood education and care (ECEC) has become a central policy issue. After tracing the development of ECEC policy from the early nineteenth century, the chapter considers the current role of ECEC as flagship policy of the new social investment strategy of rich countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It examines how the amalgamation of neuroscientific findings with economic discourse in policy-orientations has led to an oversimplified and constricted view on children’s development and learning, whilst silencing older debates about ECEC. The focus on childhood in policy-making offers great opportunities to improve the lives of children and their families. There is, however, a risk that the child, as creative and affective social agent, is lost within old moral conflicts about the role of ECEC for children and society. I argue for a renewed moral debate on how society can support rich and encompassing human development.
|Title of host publication||The Child's Curriculum. Working with the natural values of young children.|
|Editors||Colwyn Trevarthen, Jonathan Delafield-Butt, Aline-Wendy Dunlop|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Number of pages||20|
|Publication status||Published - 14 Sep 2018|