When a child starts at nursery they are allocated a key person /worker. This member of staff will be the main point of contact for parents and more importantly for the child.
We allocate the key person prior to your child starting nursery, usually whilst you are having your settling visits. On occasions we may change the member of staff if your child forms a bond naturally with another staff member.
Research shows that children thrive when they have strong and secure attachments, when warm and loving relationships exist, where comfort is given and sought when distressed and upset.
Of course parents are the main provider of this secure base but grandparents, aunts and friends are also part of this. When the main carer cannot be there and the child attends a childcare setting a key worker is someone who takes on that role. As such, the role of the key person is vastly important and has a profound effect on a child’s development pathway.
The key worker will generally;
- spend time talking with parents to learn all they can about the child before they start at a setting. (At Children’s House Nursery we use a document called ‘All About Me’)
- get to know the child’s sensitivities and personality well so they can understand and meet their needs.
- develop an excellent knowledge of their children and understand their non verbal and verbal communication; they get to know when each child is tired, hungry, upset.
- be highly motivated to ensure each child’s needs are met
- have a genuine interest in the childrens’ development, celebrating and taking pride in the childrens’ achievements
- ensure personal care is consistent with home routines, such as feeding and settling down to sleep and nappy changing
- ensure children also build strong relationships with other staff members so that they remain happy and confident when the key worker is off duty
- assess and review a child’s development, setting next steps to continue the learning journey
- share development tracking with parents
- be the first point of contact for parents, giving feedback and happily discuss any aspect of a child’s needs.