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Wider Issues In Early Childhood Education

Chapter in book
Authors Patricia Giardiello
Tarja Karlsson Häikiö
Published in Empowering Early Childhood Educators: International Pedagogies as Provocation
Pages 203-222
ISBN 9781138309647
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Oxon England, New York USA
Publication year 2019
Published at School of Design and Crafts
Pages 203-222
Language en
Keywords early childhood education,health, globalization, social issues, well.being
Subject categories Children, Pedagogy, Learning


In this chapter we discuss wider issues affecting childhood and education in the 21st century (in particular England, Finland and Sweden) which is characterised by an increasingly globalised, but also more unstable, world economy and recurring financial crisis. For example, the beginning of 2008 saw the onset of one of the world’s financial crises in modern capitalist history (Reinhart and Rogoff, 2011). Because of this economic downturn the gap between rich and poor families has widened in an alarming number of industrialised countries. For many of these children place of birth determines their rights and opportunities in life (UNICEF, 2014). This chapter focuses on three key aspects of wider contemporary issues that have impacted on global childhoods (as identified by UNICEF, 2016). These are, children’s health and well-being, child poverty and migration. Consequently, firstly, children’s health and well-being is examined in light of damaging UK austerity programme with cuts in services, alongside government priorities on outcomes and testing in early childhood education. Following on, we explore the wider multifaceted range of issues which affect young children’s varying lived experiences in the current political climate. This includes child poverty, children with English as an Additional Language (EAL), inclusion and refugee and immigrant children. Case studies are used to provide different insights and lenses. In doing so the reader will be invited to consider new ways of seeing and considering alternative possibilities within an ethical framework.

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