The primary purpose of this book is to speak to the construction of the field of early childhood education and child care, children and families, as well as the concept of welfare and well-being in the United States of America. A second purpose is to contextualize an historical and policy analysis of early education and child care within the United States as part of a broader dialogue that examines alternative and critically-oriented theoretical framings for policy analysis and action, situating US educational and child care policy debates as part of, and yet different from, a broader set of discourses that construct concepts of welfare and childhood(s) globally and locally. The proposed volume will use a notion of the "history of the present" to examine the rise of different governing discourses that have resulted in different truth regimes within the United States that remain difficult to penetrate, or to question today. The dominance of developmental discourses and the privileging of "hard science" as the only ways to construct what is normal and good, effective/ineffective, high or low quality, remains.
In addition, currently these discourses and practices appear to be "traveling" or spreading beyond the borders of the USA to other countries, with the discursive rationalities and practices from other countries only now beginning to be influential in the US. However, ideas have circulated in complex directions at other periods, and they continue to travel in complex ways today, also.