In order to ensure every child in the nursery is given the appropriate level of attention and care, a key person is appointed for each child. A key person is a named member of staff assigned to an individual child to support their development and act as the key point of contact with that child’s parents or carers. The key person has special responsibilities for working with a small number of children and helps build and develop positive relationships with children and between parents, carers and staff.
The key person is the family of the child’s initial, but not exclusive, point of contact with the nursery. Other staff will also maintain contact as it is unlikely that the key person will not always be on duty every time a child is brought to or collected from the nursery, if a key person is away ill or on annual leave their key children will be observed by other staff in the room the maintain development.
Management of Key Person
All staff working in the nursery playrooms, that is the Deputy Manager, Room Leaders and Nursery Practitioners are required to assume key carer responsibilities. The Room Leaders supported by the Managers, will oversee the key person responsibilities of the staff in the playrooms. The Nursery Managers will monitor children’s records of development and learning under the EYFS and ensure they are updated regularly and to an appropriate standard. The room leaders are responsible for ensuring fair and even distribution of key person responsibilities and will monitor at regular intervals each key person’s assigned children.
Principles – Key Person policy
This policy will provide staff with a framework in which to operate the nursery key person system. It will define for staff the roles and responsibilities of a key person and how those roles and responsibilities translate into practice. By sharing with and gathering information from parents / carers relating to individual children, staff will be able to develop a full and accurate picture of each child’s level of skill, knowledge and understanding, and their interests. This will enable staff to closely match provision to each child’s individual needs.
The guiding principles by which the key person policy will be managed are:
- To build a trusting relationship with the child and their parent/carer.
- To ensure the happiness and welfare of the child within a stimulating and safe environment.
- To ensure a smooth settling in procedure for all key children both into the nursery, to their next room and ultimately onto school.
- To collect all relevant information about key children’s specific needs from the parent/carer. Information should be recorded in the child’s individual care plan. Management should be informed of any issues/requirements related to the child.
- To plan and provide a range of stimulating and age appropriate activities for key children to assist with their learning and progression.
- To continually assess key children and relate the assessment to EYFS planning.
- To value linguistic diversity and provide opportunities for children to develop and use their home language in their play and learning.
The Role of the Key Person
The key person will help to ensure their key children feel safe, secure and confident, if they are to develop to their full potential. Their parents/carers need a trusted person who they can talk to about their child’s individual needs.
- When a child settles into a new room, the assigned key person will perform a baseline assessment of that child, which will be shared with parents and carers.
- The key person is responsible for a group of children, but as a member of a room the key person is also responsible for all the children in their care.
- Where a child is attending other childcare settings at the same time as coming to The Wishing Tree, the key person will share information with those settings via the “All About Me” records.
- To complete a ‘2 Year Old Check’ in the term the child turns 2. Arrange a meeting with the parent to discuss the child’s progress and/or any developmental concerns the check brings to the key person notice. Discuss development concerns with parents and contact appropriate professionals with parents consent.
- To ensure that parents/carers are kept informed of the child’s day to day experiences.
- To change and check key children’s nappies as required and to assist with potty training and other toileting or intimate care needs.
- It is the Room Leader’s ultimate responsibility to ensure that this happens during sickness or other key person absence. Parents/carers are to be informed.
- The key person will assist the parent/carer and child with the settling process, taking time to listen to questions, and provide answers.
- Where a child is transitioning from one room to another, key persons from each room will liaise together to ensure information is passed on correctly. A room moving form will be completed and the parent/carer introduced to their child’s new key person.
- The key person will complete the care plan with the parent/carer at the child’s first settle and ensure that the other team members are aware of any allergies or special requirements.
- The key person will be the main contact responsible for greeting the parent/carers and child at all their settles, so that a bond can be established.
- The key person will be planning for their key children during activity times. This is a good opportunity to feedback assessments into the child’s EYFS planning needs. The key person is responsible for providing accurate observations of their key children and linking to the appropriate stage within the EYFS Development Matters guidelines. The observations will be used to inform planning about how to enable children to progress.
- The key person needs to record basic information about their key children such as sleep times, meal times and anything exciting or notable that happened during the day. This information is then passed on to the parent/carer at the end of the child’s session.
- When the child is due to leave nursery, the key person must ensure that their learning journey profile is fully up to date and that it is handed to the child’s parent.
The nursery is fully committed to continually evaluating its key person practice, managing changes and transitions as sensitively as possible and ensuring each child feels special and has the opportunity to develop an attachment.