We believe that children settle best when they have a key person to relate to, who knows them and their parents well, and who can meet their individual needs. Research shows that a key person approach benefits the child, the parents, the staff and the setting by providing secure relationships in which children thrive, parents have confidence, staff are committed and the setting is a happy and dedicated place to attend or work in.
We want children to feel safe, stimulated and happy in the setting and to feel secure and comfortable with staff. We also want parents to have confidence in both their children’s well-being and their role as active partners with the setting.
We aim to make the setting a welcoming place where children settle quickly and easily because consideration has been given to the individual needs and circumstances of children and their families.
The key person role is set out in the Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Each setting must offer a key person for each child.
This procedure sets out a model for developing a key person approach that promotes effective and positive relationships for children who are in settings.
- We allocate a key person when the child attends their settling in sessions.
- If a home visit is required it is done by the manager and key person. The key person is responsible for the induction of the family and for settling the child into our setting.
- The key person is responsible for sharing information on a regular basis with the child’s parents to keep them informed.
- The key person encourages positive relationships between children in her/his key group, spending time with them as a group each day.
- We provide a back up key person called a Buddy so the child and parents have a key contact in the absence of the key person or the manager. Each day the child’s picture will be placed on the boards outside each room to inform them if their key person is in or whether they have a ‘buddy’ that day. As far as possible each child will be allocated the same buddy if their key person is off. Parents will be informed of the name of their key person and buddy when their child starts or moves rooms.
- If a child has a better bond with another member of staff, who isn’t their key person, we will change the key person / buddy according to the needs of the child.
When moving rooms a child will have a minimum of 3 visits to their new room, to get to know the staff, children and routine changes, and most importantly their new key person. The parents will also be spoken to about their child’s new room for example changes in the routine, staffing and they will also be introduced to the new key person. Each child’s key person will complete a ‘key person handover sheet’. This includes information about the individual child, for example details of sleeping, eating and comforters. The child’s current key person will also complete a verbal handover to the new key person. Parents will be asked to fill in a ‘Getting to Know You’ form each time their child moves rooms so that their new key person can get to know the children in their care. A member of staff is always assigned to the new child as a ‘key person’ in order to make sure they know where the toilets are, to look after them at mealtimes, and to introduce them to other children.
A member of staff (and usually the manager) will speak to the parent at picking up time to let them know how their child has been during the day. We have photos of staff on the wall, so that parents can easily identify staff members – we know it is difficult to remember who everyone is simply by being introduced.
Revised May 2022
By: Michelle Sharp
Adopted as the policy of the nursery
By: Jacquelin Curtis Director,
Activeplay Nurseries Ltd