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Book review—Politics in the Playground: The World of Early Childhood in New Zealand (second edition), by Helen May

Janette Kelly

In the first edition of Politics in the Playground, Dr Helen May chronicled the ups and downs of early childhood in postwar New Zealand, including both periods of significant growth and change. She deftly wove an historical and cultural narrative of attitudes, ideas, events, campaigns, personalities and policies related to early childhood education (ECE), which she referred to as “the see-saws, swings and roundabouts in a seeming playground of political, educational and social  opinion” (May, 2001, p. 1). Now, in the introduction to the second edition, called “Investing in the Early Years”, May  explains that this book “... updates a story that concluded prior to the publication of Politics in the Playground in 2001 ...

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