`This multi-professional book is just what is needed for students and practitioners, as it raises important issues and challenges, and invites dialogue and reflection in a reader friendly way' - Tina Bruce, Freelance Consultant. The second edition of this best-selling textbook provides students and practitioners with a broad introduction to the main theories and issues within the field of early childhood studies. The book adopts a multi-disciplinary approach and pulls together all the key themes involved in the study of young children and childhood, and successfully demonstrates how these can be translated into real-life practice. Written by a team of leading academics and practitioners, this is a lively and engaging textbook, illustrated throughout, with student-friendly features such as `real-life' case studies and guides for further reading. The chapters cover all key aspects of the curriculum, including: the sociololgy of childhood; child health; child development; and the realities of working with children. This thoroughly updated and revised new edition also includes completely new chapters on research with children and leadership in early year settings. It is a core text for all those involved in the study of childhood, particularly undergraduates in the fields of child social care; social work; social policy and education. It is also an invaluable resource for practitioners and policy makers working with children.