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With the rapid change experienced by the Early Years Workforce over recent times, this book considers what constitutes professionalization in the sector, and what this means in practice. Bringing a critical perspective to the developing knowledge and understanding of early years practitioners at various stages of their professional development, it draws attention to key themes and issues. Chapters are written by leading authorities, and provide case studies, question and discussion points to facilitate critical thinking. Topics covered include: - constructions of professional identities - men in the early years - multi-disciplinary working in the early years - professionalization in the nursery - early childhood leadership and policy Written in an accessible style and relevant to all levels of early years courses, the book is highly relevant to those studying at Masters level, and has staggered levels of Further Reading, that encourage reflection and progression.