Key Persons in the Early Years: Building relationships for quality provision in early years settings and primary schools, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Key Persons in the Early Years

Building relationships for quality provision in early years settings and primary schools, 2nd Edition

By Peter Elfer, Elinor Goldschmied, Dorothy Y. Selleck


164 pages | 26 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2011-09-09
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Key Persons in the Early Years aims to explain what a Key Person is, the theory behind the approach and the practicalities of implementation. Practical in its approach and containing case studies as examples of reflective practice, this second edition details the role of the Key Person across all ages in the early years. This new edition has been fully updated in line with the EYFS and features a new chapter on the Key Person approach with 3-5 year olds.

The book offers guidance on:

  • making the Key Person approach work in your setting with realistic strategies;
  • the benefits of this approach for children's well being, for their learning and to ensure equal chances for all children;
  • potential challenges and problems and how to overcome them drawing on accounts from practitioners of their journey in implementing this approach.

This book will be an essential text for practitioners and students who wish to fully understand the Key Person role and how it can benefit children, parents and their setting.


Key Persons in the Early Years makes compelling reading for everyone in the early years community! The authors have skilfully brought together a rich discussion of the theory which underpins the origins and philosophy of the Key Persons approach, alongside their own expert knowledge and ways of knowing young children.’

Dr Jools Page, Programme Director, MA in Early Childhood Education (UK & Malta), University of Sheffield

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Parenting and working, children and nurseries –achieving life balances 2. What is the key person approach? 3. A strategy for implementation. An approach, not a system 4. The key person approach for three to five year olds 5. The key person journey: its benefits and challenges References and further reading Index

About the Authors

Peter Elfer is Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies at Roehampton University.

Elinor Goldschmied was an internationally renowned trainer and early years consultant and her work continues to have a profound influence on theory and practice today. She is best known for introducing the Treasure Basket, Heuristic Play with objects and the Key Persons approach into early years practice.

Dorothy Y. Selleck is an independent early years consultant working in local authorities around the UK, leading training and mentoring for schools and settings on the Key Persons approach.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Elementary
EDUCATION / Preschool & Kindergarten