Early childhood education (ECE) encompasses a variety of considerations related to educating young children from birth until the age of eight. A growing body of work from early childhood researchers, theorists, and practitioners aims to determine how to best facilitate child development and education in high-quality environments. This entry identifies the importance of early childhood programmes, and provides justification for a focus on high-quality early learning experiences. Second, this entry outlines the history of ECE including the ways in which children have been viewed and key contributions that have been made to the field. Next, it will look at central features of ECE in practice such as accreditation, standards, curriculum, and programme philosophy are considered, followed by available service delivery, best practices, and defining features of the ECE programme. Finally, it will discuss controversies and challenges facing the field today.