1st Edition

Local Literacies in Early Childhood Inequalities in Place, Policy and Pedagogy

By Helen Victoria Smith Copyright 2022
    174 Pages 38 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    174 Pages 38 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book contributes to current debates about the importance of early literacy and the different ways that literacy resources offer support to parents with young children. It sheds light on the impact of policy discourse and austerity measures on community resources designed to support children’s early literacy learning.

    Based on an ethnographic study carried out in a small town in the East Midlands, UK, the book shows how government policy is enacted in four local resources – Sure Start children’s centres, pre-schools, a public library and privately run parent and child early education classes. It reveals how inequalities and contradictions exist in different forms of community literacy provision which can explain some of the educational differences evident when children start school. With a particular focus on mothers, the book reveals how parents are supported differently depending on where they go and how they are viewed by the professionals they encounter. The book contributes to the current literature around literacy in early childhood and combines a unique case study with theoretical concepts to offer a new way of thinking about early intervention, parental engagement and school readiness.

    Local Literacies in Early Childhood will be highly relevant reading for researchers, academics and post-graduate students in the field of early childhood education and literacy education. It will also be of interest to policymakers, early childhood professionals, literacy advisors and librarians from different local, national and international contexts wishing to support parents and children more equitably so that learning opportunities can be maximised and educational inequalities tackled.

    Part 1: Introduction 1. Ethnography in place  2. How policy represents the problem of poor parenting  3. Getting children ready for school literacy?  Part 2: The case studies - enacting policy  4. Sharing storybooks in the public library  5. Moving with mummy in the privately-run parent and child early education classes  6. Educating poor mothers in the Sure Start children’s centres  7. Leaving it to the pre-school professionals  8. The power of policy, pedagogy and place: Positioning parents, professionals and local resources  Part 3: Conclusion  9. Repositioning parents, professionals and resources


    Helen Victoria Smith is Assistant Professor at the School of Education, University of Nottingham, UK.

    "I strongly recommend this book as a timely and important contribution to contemporary issues and tensions on children’s early literacy learning. The book provides insights into current debates on early literacy policies by showing the practices and social implications of diverse community resources raising issues of inequality in provisions of education from an early age."

    Ola Erstad, Professor in the Department of Education, University of Oslo, Norway.