Previously published as The Early Years Professional's Complete Companion, this new edition has been thoroughly updated and is the essential resource for aspiring and existing leaders of early years practice. Covering a wide range of theoretical and practical concepts, this book helps the reader consider how they can develop excellent practice within their unique setting. Divided into three distinct sections, the book begins by exploring the origins of early years practice, before discussing principles in development, social policy and child protection. The second section considers what constitutes high quality practice, and reflects on the role of emotional security, environment, and adults in shaping children's learning and development. The third and final section examines how activities associated with continued professional development impact on teaching standards, before finishing with a discussion on international perspectives on early years practice. Key features include: New chapters on safeguarding, children's rights, continuous professional development and international perspectives of early years practice. Chapter objectives, tasks and links to the Early Years Foundation Stage. Case studies with questions for reflection to promote critical thinking. New developments in the early years practice arena are outlined, including the emergence of Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS). This book is an essential text for those working towards qualifications in early years teaching and leading practice, and provides a flexible basis for tutors, trainers, assessors and mentors to further develop programmes of education and training. It will also appeal to teachers and practitioners interested in considering potential routes for continuing their professional development.