The Baby Room by Kathy GoouchThe Baby Room by Kathy Goouch

The Baby Room

byKathy Goouch, Sacha Powell

Paperback | April 16, 2013

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This book considers babies' development with a view to disseminating good practice in out-of-home daycare for babies and young children. It is informed by a research and development project - the Baby Room Project - which examined the practices, attitudes and qualifications of those working with the youngest children in formal daycare settings.

Drawing on unique snapshots of practice and original research evidence the book considers development issues related to the care of babies and creates a ‘Baby Room Charter’. It explores key aspects of practice that nourish and support babies and very young children in day care settings as well as in other less formal arrangements. In particular, the book focuses on:

  • Baby care professionals: how policy and practice interact is examined as well as thorny issues of professional identity, supporting frequently inexperienced practitioners, and training
  • Relationships: the range and complexity of relationships within and around baby rooms and involving babies are considered, including practitioners’ own wellbeing
  • Talk: this theme, which is highlighted as absolutely central to baby room practice, is fully explored with challenging evidence from practice
  • Environments: the spaces and places within which adults and babies play, relate and relax are examined with clear recommendations for practiceEssential reading for all early years students and professionals, The Baby Room celebrates the commitment, energy and care that baby room practitioners dedicate to their work.

    "This carefully conceived and unique book, based on an extensive research project, examines the practices and daily experiences of a range of ‘baby room’ workers and their influences upon babies and their families. The authors sensitively question the functional versus educative role of practitioners, their status as perceived by our society and their needs in relation to professional and practice development, particularly as these individuals are often those with the least experience and qualifications and lowest salaries. The authors, with their practitioner research participants, explore the many issues which underpin beliefs and practices when working and playing with babies and show clearly the need for all day nursery practitioners to be more politically aware and able to critique current policy directives for their own sakes and those of the babies in their care and their families. For those in baby rooms who feel their role is purely functional and that they are there to provide just ‘care’ for the babies, this book will make them think again."
    Janet Moyles, Professor Emerita, Anglia Ruskin University, UK

    “In their brilliant book, Drs Goouch and Powell elevate baby care and education by presenting it in all its complexities, challenging common societal perceptions that dismiss it as ‘easy,’ and thus requiring of no special skill, education, or support of its workforce. Showing tremendous respect for practitioners, the authors articulate the emotional and physical difficulties of working day-to-day in birth to three settings, and the intellectual demands inherent in implementing ‘relational pedagogies’ with babies, families, colleagues, and the community at large. The authors foreground the lived experiences of practitioners with relevant research and theory, making fully transparent the nature of their critical interpretations – a tremendous contribution to the field. The Baby Room is a must read for students, scholars, teacher educators, and policy-makers, and all who care about the rights of our youngest global citizens; an essential handbook for those interested in joining forces with the authors to help reframe the prevailing baby/teacher discourses swirling around and about, and all of us who want to get serious about addressing the attendant need to fully support the professional development and well-being of those who care for and educate our babies.”
    Professor Mary McMullen, School of Education, Indiana University, USA

    “This scholarly book will never gather dust on a shelf. It is highly readable and helpful for lead practitioners in taking forward their work in very practical ways. It will also inform policy makers and future planning about how to give babies the best start in life – a doubly good book, which it has been a treat to read.”
    Professor Tina Bruce CBE, University of Roehampton, UK

    “Babies need quality care. Knowledge about the very early stage of life from conception through early developmental milestones can be seen as a factual base for work with babies and families: there are plenty of manuals about early development and maternal or parental role. There is a rich seam of scientific papers from, for example, psychology, biology and medicine, aimed principally at others in those fields. In the field of early childhood education and care manuals also exist, however high level academic publications have been few – it is as if thinking about children’s education and care and the impact of the people around them begins at three: and indeed here there is a proliferation of work. The messages from science cannot be ignored: young human beings need the highest quality of human companionship if they are to flourish in the ways of which they are capable.

    The Baby Room is a stunning book. Drawing from their experience of a research and development project with Baby Room practitioners and advisory staff, Kathy Goouch and Sacha Powell have created a powerful, scholarly, challenging, highly readable and well-evidenced book focused on the out-of-home care of babies. From it we can learn so much more about the importance of having well informed, motivated and articulate people working with babies. How to be with babies and how to care, the importance of talk, the importance of being both valued and challenged are some of the key messages their writing offers to adults who work professionally and on a daily basis with babies and toddlers: but also for those who employ, support and advise them.

    This book provides the reader with important and essential knowledge about why experiences in babyhood matter for the rest of life, and more than that, it provokes thinking about how babies, their families and the practitioners who work with them are placed by society, by our politic and by the babycare industry. What the authors describe as the ‘constant binding thread’ of the participants’ narratives show us what needs to be done, who can take responsibility and how collectively we need to shift not only babyroom practices, but policy, training opportunities, working conditions and not least, attitudes. This book speaks to all with a passion for providing well for our youngest children: let the reader in turn use it to open the conversation locally and nationally about what matters for babies.”
    Aline-Wendy Dunlop, Emeritus Professor, University of Strathclyde, UK

    “This fascinating book does not argue for or against baby rooms, but opens up issues and shares the voices of baby room practitioners – traditionally the least qualified and most poorly paid staff in the early years sector. Goouch and Powell have listened respectfully to these voices as well as challenging and questioning what they mean for babies, settings and society. Their research is important, democratic and unsettling and should be required reading for everyone who has ever wondered about what is best for our babies.”
    Helen Moylett, Early Years Consultant and writer

Dr Kathy Goouch and Dr Sacha Powell are both Readers at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK.
Title:The Baby RoomFormat:PaperbackDimensions:9.09 × 6.1 × 0.43 inPublished:April 16, 2013Publisher:McGraw-Hill EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0335246362

ISBN - 13:9780335246366

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Table of Contents

Foreword from Emeritus Professor Tricia David

The baby room: who is rocking the cradle?
The Baby Room Project
Baby care professionals
Relationships: pentagrams and hearts
Understanding talk
Environments: places and spaces for babies
A few out-of-home truths: paradigms andperspectives
Ecological contexts of influence
Baby rooms as contexts for democracy
Conclusion: from a double narrative to a doublehermeneutic