Policy is define as: ‘a set of ideas or a plan of what to do in particular situations that has been agreed officially by a group of people, a business organization, a government or a political party’ (Cambridge Dictionary, 2011, http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/policy_1?q=policy).
Levin (1997 cited in Baldock, et al 2005) identifies that policy has numerous meanings. These include, policy being a stated intention, an action such as Sure Start projects, an administrative practice for example if the government sets up funding there will be policy in place stating who is eligible, and an indication of action to be taken such as white papers produced by the government. Levin (1997 cited in Baldock, et al 2005) highlights that whilst there are a variety of meanings there are commonalities within the aforementioned meanings He suggests that policy will belong to someone e.g. government or a setting, it will be committed to a particular action, it has a status which is formally adopted and will emphasise specific ways of dealing with specific issues.
There has been much research emphasising the importance of quality early years education (Nutbrown 2012 and Sylva et al 2003). Baldock et al (2005) states that policy impacts on the daily life of early year’s practitioners. Miller and Hevey (2012) consider that policy is important in the early years providing practitioners are able to be critical and analytic of it in order for it to be continually evaluated and developed. Ball (2008) believes that policies can be ‘inflected,
Cited: Miller and Hevey 2012) states that ‘Children should be treated as human beings not human becomings’ (p. 172). Democracy – All humans (children and adults) have a right to take part in shaping their worlds Miller and Hevey (2012) highlight these principles stating that ‘Practitioners at a local level are not simply rational technicians implementing policy and guidelines but reflective practitioners and thinking, feeling and moral beings’ (p. 171).