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This Encyclopedia is a reference work about young children in the USA, designed for use by policy makers, community planners, parents of young children, teacher and early childhood educators, program and school administrators, among others. The field of early childhood education has been affected by changes taking place in the nation’s economy, demographics, schools, communities and families that influence political and professional decisions. These diverse historical, political economic, socio-cultural, intellectual and educational influences on early childhood education have hindered the development of a clear definition of the field. The Encyclopedia provides an opportunity to define the field against the background of these influences and relates the field of early childhood education to its diverse contexts and to the cultural and technological resources currently affecting it.