The welfare requirements from the Revised Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 1.11 states that
“Each child must be assigned a key person . Providers must inform parents and/or carers of the name of the key person, and explain their role, when a child starts attending a setting. The key person must help ensure that every child’s learning and care is tailored to meet their individual needs. The key person must seek to engage and support parents and/or carers in guiding their child‟s development at home. They should also help families engage with more specialist support if appropriate”.
About the role
Our understanding is that children thrive when they experience a secure familiar and loving bond with an adult. Whilst this is primarily the role of their parent or carer and close family, we can also strive to achieve a close relationship within the Playgroup setting by using a ‘Key Person’ approach.
All staff are aware of the Key Person concept at the recruitment stage. It is included in the job specification and job description We elaborate on this with their induction and as they settle into their role through various means: we explain the Key Person role according to the EYFS; introduce their allocated children and parents/carers; model procedures for observation recording and planning; provide ongoing training; monitor the quality of communications and record keeping.
The key person allocated to each child is scheduled to work, as far as possible, on the days that the child attends. Where a member of staff works for a limited number of hours, and to cover staff absence, we operate a ‘buddy’ system whereby we identify another member of staff to be available to support that child.
The key person is responsible for maintaining the child’s developmental records and communicating with parents anything from settling in, to progress or concerns in their child’s development. Any communication or action regarding concerns with the child’s development will be supported by the SENCO (Katharine Wright) Staff are given time in the setting for maintaining records and discussing any issues or concerns they may have.
We explain the Key Person role to parents at various times: when they are visiting the playgroup for the first time; when the children attend their induction session. Then when the child starts with us, parents are approached by the Key person for their child who will explain their role and set out any expectations. There is a list with the Key Person for each child published on the playgroup notice board.
We allocate a Key Person simply by the age of the child so that each member of staff has a mixed age group; and by days of attendance. It is possible that beyond these factors, a child may strike up a close bond with a different member of staff. We see this as a positive aspect of our setting and it means that the child isn’t dependent on one adult for support. We all take responsibility for the welfare and development of all the children. No child will be overlooked by a member of staff just because they are not his/her Key Person.
Information sharing between us and parents and carers has to be two way in order to support the child’s learning and welfare. The Key Person is available at the beginning and end of each session to share information about the child. Simple information can have a big impact such as if the child woke up particularly early that day, or a slight change in routine such as a parent who normally goes out to work, stays at home on an occasion. Likewise, the parent should be told of any triumphs or challenges the child has met in the session. Reporting to parents on a behaviour that is unusual for that child can sometimes provide an opportunity for talking at home to discover an issue that is otherwise missed. They will also discuss matters regarding the progress of the child, settling in, friendships, transition to school.
Over time, the Key Person is able to help the child to become familiar with the setting and to feel confident and safe within it. They can monitor and record progress and enhance activities within the session to meet the child’s individual learning needs. In addition, the parents can feel confident that they are handing over their child to a close and positive relationship.
|Date policy written: Nov 2013|
|Reviewed: Nov 2014|
|Reviewed Oct 2016|
|Signed: ________________________ Marion McMullan||Signed: _______________________ Katharine Wright|