"Keeping Early Years Unique (known as KEYU for short) is more than a just another social media group.  It's a movement passionate about the vital role of all-consuming play in promoting holistic, child-centred learning"

Elaine Bennett KEYU Founder 

Welcome to Keeping Early Years Unique.  This is our official website!


People often ask me: "What is Keeping Early Years Unique?" The answer is simple.  It is a fantastic group and our very own not-so-little Early Years haven!  


Before I go any further I must stress that KEYU (Keeping Early Years Unique) is NOT an approach- it's not a set way of working. It's a community and haven for like minded practitioners on a journey to put the child firmly back at the centre of all we do.  


Our facebook page is a forum where members have a shared belief that the child leads the way and it's the role of the adult to make sure that they have the best start possible and the firmest foundations for life.

Back in March 2015 I decided to found KEYU in response to the “activity” and “outcome”  focussed and not “child” or “process” focussed nature of early years I was hearing, seeing and reading about. I was also concerned about the direction EYs seemed to be heading in general and also in terms of political agendas. 

KEYU is about research, theory and practice. It's about following the pathways of our Early Years founding mothers and fathers: Froebel, Steiner, Montessori, McMillan, Isaacs,  the Reggio Emilia and Te Whariki approaches et al and their modern day contemporaries: Tina Bruce, Lilian Katz, Janet Moyles, Margaret Edgington, Chris Athey, Julie Fisher, Ferre Laevers et al.  


The title of the group reflects a key belief that the Early Years ARE Unique and that play has a vital role in promoting holistic learning (learning and development) alongside a sound knowledge of child development (the unique child). In KEYU, the term "Early Years" refers to children from birth to aged 7, not just birth to 5...just as it did when I studied to become a Nursery Nurse and teacher many years ago. 

Keeping Early Years Unique is..


...all about promoting play, developmentally appropriate practice and the very best start for the children in our care.


...a community for like-minded people who share a passion for play based, child centred learning; where children learn through enabling physical and emotional environments and positive relationships.