The importance of high quality early childhood education is now universally recognised, and this quality crucially depends upon the practitioners who work with our young children, and their deep understanding of how children develop and learn. This book makes a vital contribution to this understanding, providing authoritative reviews of key areas of research in developmental psychology, and demonstrating how these can inform practice in early years educational settings. The book's major theme is the fundamental importance of young children developing as independent, self-regulating learners. It illustrates how good practice is based on four key principles which support and encourage this central aspect of development: secure attachment and emotional warmth; feelings of control and agency; cognitive challenge, adults supporting learning and children learning from one another; and, articulation about learning, and opportunities for self-expression.Each chapter includes: typical and significant questions which arise in practice related to that area of development; an up-to-date review of key research, including insights from observational and experimental work with young children, from evolutionary psychology, and from neuroscientific studies of the developing brain; practical exercises intended to deepen understanding and to inform practice; questions for discussion; and, recommended further reading. This book provides an invaluable resource for early years students and practitioners, by summarizing new research findings and demonstrating how they can be translated into excellent early years practice. Watch this video of David Whitebread at his book launch, presenting the key points of the book and his reasons for writing it. David Whitebread is Senior Lecturer in Developmental Psychology and Early Years Education in the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.