What is the Book About?
Advanced Early Years: For Foundation Degrees and Levels 4/5, 2nd edition is directed towards those students who already have at least one qualification at level 3. It clearly links to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and is an update of the original book, treating the subject in greater depth. It covers the content of the twelve core outcomes and claims to give students a complete grounding in the basics of the subject. (For details of the contents, see below.)
It has a typical Heinemann structure, with boxed comments or tasks for readers to carry out. It also produces a conclusion and references section at the end of each chapter. It has managed to update the information and introduced a new chapter devoted to study skills - something that is often lacking in a number of popular texts where authors must assume that all students receive this training. We know this is not strictly true.
It is quite a weighty tome - 480 pages in all, and so it is not something that can be slipped easily into a pocket or even a briefcase unless the laptop or other things have been left out. This is a book to study at home.
The illustrations are clear and relevant. The language throughout is clear and non-patronising whilst maintaining an explanatory tone. The authors and editors are still (or have up to recent times been) practitioners either in a hands-on capacity or have worked in training or lecturing or support services for children and their families. Their knowledge is current which makes a nice change.
The introduction provides a very clear insight into the contents of each chapter. It also puts in a few recommendations which will aid study and learning such as the keeping of a diary or logbook.
I particularly enjoyed the chapter on the changing role of the child care professional. It has developed out of all recognition. There were some positive references made in the chapter relating to victimisation and abuse of children, the emphasis being on acknowledgement of the impact of abuse on the child and preventative strategies.
Is it Worth Reading?
Yes it is. It fulfils the ‘pick and mix’ element often lacking in text books. It is quite possible to read a chapter at random and make sense of the content. The information about EYFS is clear and thankfully concise. Terminology and professional expectations link closely to the Every Child Matters legislation as well as EYFS. Even though each chapter is owned by a different author, the language remains constant. There is nothing as confusing as a book where there is no standardisation of language and referencing.
The information relates to policies and procedures making it appropriate for leaders and managers as well as those who are directly working in the child care setting. There are case studies and development charts designed to challenge but not scare. The child development information and illustrations do leave Mary Sheridan way behind at last.
I would recommend this as a valuable resource for foundation degree work or study at level 4/5 in a university or doing an Early Years Professional Status Award.
Iain Macleod-Brudenell and Janet Kay (2008) Advanced Early Years: For Foundation Degrees and Levels 4/5, 2nd edition
1 Study skills
2 Traditions and trends in early years education and care
3 The reflective practitioner
4 Physical development
5 Emotional and social wellbeing
6 Learning and cognitive development
7 Communication and language development
9 Supporting children’s healthy development
10 Parenting and parent partnership
11 Developing strategies for supporting learning: Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1
13 Policy, practice, current legislation and critical issues
14 Safeguarding children
15 Research methods
16 Leading and working in multi-professional teams