Young Children and Their Communities: Understanding Collective Social Responsibility, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Young Children and Their Communities

Understanding Collective Social Responsibility, 1st Edition

Edited by Gillian Sykes, Eleonora Teszenyi


144 pages

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By approaching the concept of community through the lens of early childhood, this valuable book acknowledges the role that diverse and multiple communities play in supporting a child’s early development, and explores how their value can be harnessed in our ever-evolving and fast-changing world.

Young Children and Their Communities delves deeper into the many layers of communities to which children belong. With a focus on key theoretical perspectives, such as social empathy and the pedagogy of friendships, the book seeks to expand readers’ understanding of the concept of community by considering a range of both established and emerging communities, including peer groups, digital communities, the extended family and intergenerational learning. Chapters explore how various communities contribute to and enhance young children’s lives, and examine how children can in turn enrich the communities they are part of. Illustrative vignettes and points for reflection are included throughout, along with helpful research summaries and links to current policy.

Reiterating the importance of communities and illustrating the rich opportunities they offer to children, Young Children and Their Communities will inform students’ and early years practitioners’ practice as they confront new challenges and opportunities in fields of early childhood education, social work and sociology.


"This book aims to raise questions about the value of community in children's lives. It raises the issues of citizenship and belonging, and of course, the frightening thought of 'the opposite of belonging'." —Neil Henty, EYE (Early Years Educator)

Table of Contents


About the Editors and Contributors

Foreword by Dr Eunice Lumsden


Chapter 1: Constructing Future Communities around Collective Social Responsibility

Chapter 2: Building Communities in Early Years Settings and Schools

Chapter 3: Friendships in Children’s Communities

Chapter 4: Children’s Communities of Mixed-Ages

Chapter 5: Never Too Old - Mature Practitioners and Children’s Communities

Chapter 6: Intergenerational Communities - The Young and the Old Together

Chapter 7: Communities of Childminders - A Valuable Resource

Chapter 8: Communities of Children’s Centres: Decline and Fall

Chapter 9: Children’s Communities of Extended Families from Asian Backgrounds

Chapter 10: The Use of Technology to Build Digital Communities

Final thoughts from the editors

About the Author/Editors

Gillian Sykes is Senior Lecturer in Early Years Education at the University of Northampton, UK.

Eleonora Teszenyi is Senior Lecturer in Early Years Education at the University of Northampton, UK.

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