Kathy Brodie is an Early Years Professional, consultant and trainer. Her latest book Routledge book, The Holistic Care and Development of Children from Birth to Three, is publishing this month! In our Q&A we ask Kathy a range of questions, including why holistic development is so important within the birth-three age range. Read our exclusive interview with Kathy below to find out more about her new textbook!
Kathy Brodie has worked in the Early Years Sector for many years in a variety of roles, including Early Years Professional (EYP) and Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO). For the last 10 years she has been an author, consultant, lecturer and online training specialist, for practitioners and educators of all levels, around the world.
Kathy organises the ground-breaking Early Years Summit, a free, twice-yearly, online conference, where she interviews Early Years experts about their specialist areas. She has written and edited several books and writes a regular resources column for Practical Preschool magazine and articles for Teach Early Years magazine.
What motivated you to write The Holistic Care and Development of Children from Birth to Three?
I have felt for a long time that separating young children’s learning and development into arbitrarily defined ‘areas’ has many limitations, because young children are constantly learning in multiple ways all the time. This is especially true of babies, who move from being totally dependent on care-givers to independent personalities in such a short space of time. The holistic explosion of learning and development in all areas must be integrated to be truly effective.
However, there are very few texts for practitioners and educators that explain in detail how the different aspects of learning and development can affect each other. It is essential that practitioners and educators understand and respect the holistic nature of development of babies and young children from birth to three so they give the appropriate care to meet babies and children’s needs. Therefore, I wanted to write a book that highlighted these inter-relationships and show how good practice and plenty of play in early years settings supports babies and young children holistically.
Why is holistic development so important within the birth-three age range?
Birth to Three is such a critical age range, where good foundations can transform a child’s life and increase the chances of reaching their full potential. This relies on the integration of babies and young children’s experiences, senses, physical development and cognitive development, as well as the care and love that babies need. The integration of many sensory, concrete experiences through play enables babies and young children to make sense of their world and to become confident, capable life-long learners. If one area of learning and development is neglected, this can cascade into other parts of young children’s learning. Conversely, quality, holistic play experiences can support all areas of learning and development in a virtuous cycle.
Can you tell us about some of the key holistic themes covered within the book?
The primary themes are the core of babies and young children’s learning, which is personal, social and emotional development (psed); physical development; and communication and language. Using these as a starting point, other areas of learning and development are woven in to show how they depend on each other. For example, how physical development can impact on social development.
Also included are the ways that play affects all areas of learning and development, the ubiquitous nature of mathematics, creativity across all areas and how literacy can affect other areas of learning and development.
What do you hope students will take away from this book?
I hope that students become even more aware that babies and young children fundamentally learn holistically. I hope they focus more specifically on the links and interrelationships between all types of learning, development and growth, rather than trying to compartmentalise or reduce learning into a single aspect. Most importantly, I hope they realise that care, learning and development are complex, interwoven and interconnected facets of babies and young children’s lives.
Can you sum up the book in one sentence?
This book will help you understand the essential holistic, interdependent and multi-faceted nature of babies and young children’s care, learning and development.