The Role of the Key Person
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.
The procedures set 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 before the child starts.
The key person is responsible for the induction of the family and for settling the child into our setting.
The key person offers unconditional regard for the child and is non-judgemental.
The key person acts as the key contact for the parents and has links with other carers involved with the child, such as a childminder, and co-ordinates the sharing of appropriate information about the child’s development with those carers.
A key person is responsible for developmental records and for sharing information on a regular basis with the child’s parents to keep those records up-to-date, reflecting the full picture of the child in our setting and at home.
The key person encourages positive relationships between children in her/his key group, spending time with them as a group each day.
We want children to feel safe and happy in the absence of their parents, to recognise other adults as a source of authority, help and friendship and to be able to share with their parents afterwards the new learning experiences enjoyed in pre school.
Children cannot play or learn successfully if they are anxious and unhappy. Our settling procedures aim to help parents to help their children to feel comfortable in pre school, to benefit from what it has to offer, and to be confident that their parents will return at the end of the session. This will be achieved by assuring that:
•We encourage parents to visit pre-school with their children before admission is planned.
•During their initial visit session, parents complete all necessary forms and fill out an “all about me” form which details their child’s personal likes, nicknames and favourite activities. This information is shared with staff members in order to get to know the children well.
•We suggest where possible the children stay for a whole allicated session to help them get used to the whole routine of the Pre-School including the parents return.
•We agree a settling in plan with parents which is written up on the “all about me” information sheet
•We introduce new children into the group on a staggered basis - for example two new children a day rather than all new children starting all at once.
•We encourage parents, where appropriate, to separate from their children for brief periods at first gradually building up to longer absences so as to alleviate any unnecessary distress to child and parent/carer.
•We make it clear to families from the outset that they will be supported in pre-school for as long as it takes to settle their child there.
•We reassure parents whose children seem to be taking a long time settling into Pre- School.
•We may ask new children to arrive later than the other children during the session, so that they will arrive when the play atmosphere is well established.
•Any special comforters i.e. toys, blankets, etc are to be allowed to give added security to the child.
•Contact numbers must be available for the children so that the parents or carers can be contacted if a child refuses to settle and becomes too distressed.
•If a child refuses to settle, rather than continuing to distress the child it may be wise to suggest a breathing space for the child of a few weeks and then try again.
•Our admission procedures are flexible to meet the needs of individual families and children.