So it's a salutary time to sit back and take an in-depth look further afield - Reggio Emilia in Italy - at an approach that has been well-funded and consistently developed over time. It is an approach with a clearly articulated philosophy that has won admirers all over the world and has brought about fantastic experiences for young children.
In our six-page 'All About ...' guide this week, Linda Thornton and Pat Brunton explain the Reggio Approach and look at how it has influenced UK practice through a series of case studies (see pages 15-20).
The early years settings featured have applied aspects of the Reggio pedagogy to good effect in terms of the physical environment they provide, in planning, assessing and documenting children's learning, and in developing reflective practice.
The Reggio Approach is no easy free-for-all - it is a demanding and challenging way of working, but one that is immensely rewarding for children, staff and parents.
Its influence and practice has slowly spread to growing numbers of UK early years settings over the past decade, regardless of changes in domestic policy.
Will this continue? This may depend on whether the coalition Government's stated aims of freeing schools from rigid adherence to a curriculum give more scope for creativity, or whether the Conservative preference for traditional, back-to-basic teaching methods holds sway.