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Responding to current debates on the place of play in schools, the authors have extensively revised their groundbreaking book. They explain how and why play is a critical part of children's development, as well as the central role adults have to promote it. This classic textbook and popular practitioner resource offers systematic descriptions and analyses of the different roles a teacher adopts to support play, including those of stage manager, mediator, player, scribe, assessor, communicator, and planner. This new edition has been expanded to include significant developments in the broadening landscape of early learning and care, such as assessment, diversity and culture, intentional teaching, inquiry, and the construction of knowledge.