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Too Much, Too Soon?

Early learning and the erosion of childhood

Edited by Richard House


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SKU: 9781907359026 ISBN: 9781907359026


How to nurture young children’s well-being and learning to reverse the erosion of childhood? Children’s lives have been speeded up by commercialisation, ‘adultification’, and the government’s ‘nappy curriculum’ which ‘schoolifies’ them and pushes quasi-formal learning too soon. Now, in twenty-three hard-hitting chapters, leading educators, researchers, policy makers and parents advocate alternative ways ahead for slowing childhood, better policy-making and, above all, the ‘right learning at the right time’ in children’s growth — learning when they are developmentally ready. Following an extensive introduction by Richard House, looking at ‘toxic childhood’ in context, the book is divided into four parts:

  1. Policy Making and the Erosion of Childhood: the Case of the Early Years Foundation Stage
  2. The Foundations of Child Development and Early Learning: Perspectives, Principles and Practices
  3. Advocacy, Research and Policy Making for Children’s Early Years Learning
  4. Ways Ahead to Achievable Futures

About the Editor

Richard House, Ph.D. lectures in Early Childhood Studies in the Department of Education Studies, University of Winchester. He is a Steiner kindergarten educator and founder-member of the Open EYE campaign, which has recently merged with Early Childhood Action. With Sue Palmer, he orchestrated the two Daily Telegraph open letters on ‘toxic childhood’ (2006) and ‘play’ (2007), and the open letter on the erosion of childhood in 2011. Richard writes extensively on childcare, education and psychotherapeutic issues, including regular columns in Teach Nursery and The Mother magazines. Too Much, Too Soon is Richard’s tenth book.

Reviews of Too Much, Too Soon?

“The world of childhood is seldom represented in the educational bureaus of national governments. Governmental schools do not have the goal of fostering the authentic inner lives of our children. Instead, they focus on turning out productive and obedient citizens armed with the skills needed to take their places in the market-place. It may be that someday the pleas of those who truly understand the lives of children will be heeded by such national governments! This collection of distinguished essays addressing the need to care for the inner lives of our young might possibly help to being about such a change – but the adamancy of governments is notorious, so one can but hope!” —Mary Leue, Founder and Director of The Free School, Albany, New York

“Some of the most outstanding and capable advocates of children’s well-being in the UK today are represented in these pages.” —Steve Biddulph

“This timely book offers a wide-ranging collective wisdom on how to optimize the individual potential of the next generation.” —Dame Susan Greenfield

“These essays present an overwhelming case … we cannot afford to ignore their message.” —Oliver James

“Look no further than this visionary book … allow children to be young when they are young rather than force them into moulds.” —Prof. Janet Moyles

Useful Links

The Too Much, Too Soon Campaign
Putting Children First Manifesto

This title has been translated – for details contact

Additional information

Weight0.694 kg





376 pages


Publication Date