Encyclopedia of Teacher Education

Living Edition
| Editors: Michael A. Peters

Early Childhood Education (ECE) Philosophies and Services

  • Valerie MargrainEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-1179-6_90-1


Early childhood education (ECE) is many different things, operating in different ways, reflecting diverse sociocultural contexts and with differing philosophies of childhood, learning, and teaching (Brooker et al. 2014; Pearson and Degotardi 2016). This entry is organized in four parts starting with an overview of diversity of approaches. The second part considers key structural forms of ECE provided, while the third part provides a brief overview of internationally recognized philosophies which guide pedagogy and what happens day to day in an ECE setting. Finally, there is a brief discussion and conclusion which includes acknowledgment that early learning is also happening in the home and community, not just in institutional settings.

It is challenging to try to differentiate between what is an ECE provision and what is an ECE philosophy. Some countries classify service provision according to different kinds of funding (e.g., in New Zealand kindergartenis reported as a...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Brooker, L., Blaise, M., & Edwards, S. (Eds.). (2014). The SAGE handbook of play and learning in early childhood. Los Angeles: Sage.Google Scholar
  2. Farrell, A., Kagan, S. L., & Tisdall, E. K. M. (2016). The SAGE handbook of early childhood research. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  3. Fleer, M., & van Oers, B. (2018). International handbook of early childhood education (Springer International Handbooks of Education). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-0927-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. May, H. (2009). Politics in the playground: The world of early childhood in New Zealand. Dunedin: Otago University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Nutbrown, C., & Clough, P. (2014). Early childhood education: History, philosophy and experience (2nd ed.). London: Sage.  https://doi.org/10.4135/9781446288863.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Pearson, E., & Degotardi, E. (2016). Innovative pedagogical approaches in early childhood care and education (ECCE) in the Asia-Pacific region: A resource pack. Singapore: UNESCO.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Educational WorkKarlstad UniversityKarlstadSweden

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sue Stover
    • 1
  • Valerie Margrain
    • 2
  1. 1.Auckland University of TechnologyAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Faculty of Humanities and Social SciencesKarlstad UniversityKarlstadSweden