Author(s): Helen May
This text traces the history of early childhood education from the 18th century in Europe to New Zealand in the 20th century. It discusses attitudes to children and childrearing, and reviews practices of childcare and early childhood education over time. The development of early childhood education services has interfaced not only with the history of new educational ideas, but also with shifting ideas of how society believes children should be reared, changing roles of women and changing views on the welfare of children and families. This is a detailed discussion of an important aspect of New Zealand educational history, while at the same time providing an account of the development of ideas about children and childcare.