Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Essentials of Early Childhood Education, 4th Edition

  • Jane Bertrand
  • Carol Gestwicki
  • ISBN-10: 0176502440
  • ISBN-13: 9780176502447
  • 0 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2008, 2003, 1999
  • COPYRIGHT: 2012 Published
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About the Product

Essentials of Early Childhood Education remains one of the best-selling and most revered texts in the field. The text emphasizes the importance of experience, interactions, and environments to support children in development. This edition highlights up-to-date coverage, statistics, and references to new Canadian studies as well as validates Early Childhood Education as a critical and meaningful vocation. Essentials of Early Childhood Education will provide students with the foundations necessary to study further in their field and achieve success in their field placements and practicum. The book is intended for the Introduction to Early Childhood Education courses found in all Early Childhood Education Departments. The book focuses on issues that must be addressed to prepare individuals to work with young children and families in early development stages. The book can be used for one semester with other slimmer texts on topics such as curriculum, philosophy, etc. The book was the first Canadian introductory text in the market.


  • Each chapter features objectives, review questions, study activities, and suggested readings. Key Terms are defined at the end of each chapter.

  • Research in Practice feature highlights examples of evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence that guide early child development policies and practices.

  • Making It Happen boxes feature early child development programs from across the country.

  • Most photographs were taken on location at childcare centres, family childcare homes, schools, and hospitals, and feature children who responded spontaneously, in order to provide accurate "snapshots" of real world early childhood education.

  • We welcome you to consider studies in early childhood education. We hope that you and your fellow students will discuss the topics and issues in depth and work through some of the additional readings and assignments at the end of each chapter. There are specific activities that will encourage you to explore the Nelson ECE Resource Centre website that accompanies this book, at The site is a wonderful resource that contains free downloadable activities and a wide variety of ECE-related links.

About the Author

Jane Bertrand

Jane Bertrand is an early childhood educator who graduated from the ECE diploma program at St Lawrence College in Kingston in 1975. She also has a B.A. in psychology from Queen’s University and a M.Ed. in early childhood from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Jane is currently a faculty member in the Early Childhood program at George Brown College. She has had many opportunities to work across the early childhood sector - in programs, policy development and research. Recently she has participated on the Toronto First Duty Research and Development team, the research and writing team for the Early Years 2: Putting Science into Action and contributed to the development and revisions of the Science of Early Child Development, a multi-media curriculum resource.

Carol Gestwicki

Carol Gestwicki was an instructor in the early childhood education program at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina, for over 30 years. Her teaching responsibilities have included supervising students in classroom situations as they work with families. Earlier in her career, she worked with children and families in a variety of community agencies and schools in Toronto, New York, New Jersey, and Namibia (South West Africa). She received her MA from Drew University. She has been an active member of the NAEYC for many years, including making numerous presentations at state and national conferences. She has been a Fellow in the Early Childhood Leadership Development Project at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and she has been associated with the T.E.A.C.H. Model/Mentor program. Her other publications include more than two dozen articles about child development and family issues and scripts and design for 14 audiovisual instructional programs. She has three other books on topics in early education published by Delmar Learning: Developmentally Appropriate Practice: Curriculum and Development in Early Education, Fifth edition (2013); Essentials of Early Education (1997); and Authentic Childhood: Exploring Reggio Emilia in the Classroom (2002). Currently, she writes a regular column titled “Grandma Says” for Growing Child.

Table of Contents

Section One: Early Childhood Programs Today
Chapter 1: Early Childhood Programs
Chapter 2: Early Childhood Education Curriculum
Chapter 3: Quality in Early Childhood Programs

Section Two: The Early Childhood Workforce
Chapter 4: Early Childhood Educators
Chapter 5: Becoming An Early Childhood Educator
Chapter 6: The Work Environment

Section Three: The Early Childhood Workforce Comes of Age
Chapter 7: The Roots of Early Childhood Programs in Canada
Chapter 8: The Modern Profession
Chapter 9: Advocacy

New to this edition

  • The end-of-chapter summaries are in bullet form, making it easier for students to quickly review key concepts.
  • 20 new photos have been added to this edition.
  • Canadian statistics and legislation have been thoroughly updated.
  • Chapter 7 includes an update of public policies related to early childhood programs in the past two decades.
  • Chapter 8 contains an overview of current credentialing in Canada.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Instructor's Manual & Test Bank for Essentials of Early Childhood Education (online only)  (ISBN-10: 0176651624 | ISBN-13: 9780176651626)

The Nelson Education Teaching Advantage (NETA) program delivers research-based resources that promote student engagement and higher-order thinking and enable the success of Canadian students and educators. NETA Assessment Recognizing the importance of multiple-choice testing in today’s classroom and in response to instructors’ concerns, Nelson Education has created the NETA Assessment program. This is a research-based program that improves the quality of our test banks by ensuring that they measure not just recall (as is typical with test banks) but higher-level thinking skills as well. The NETA Assessment program was created in partnership with David DiBattista, a 3M National Teaching Fellow, professor of psychology at Brock University, and researcher in the area of multiple-choice testing. All NETA test banks include David DiBattista’s guide for instructors, Multiple-Choice Tests: Getting Beyond Remembering, which is designed to assist you in using Nelson test banks to achieve the desired outcomes in your course. The Test Bank for Essentials of Early Childhood Education was written by Professor Jane Bertrand at George Brown College.