Children thrive from a base of loving and secure relationships. This is normally provided by a child’s parents but it can also be provided by a key person. A key person is a named practitioner with responsibilities for a small group of children who help those children in the group feel safe and cared for. The role is an important one and an approach set out in the EYFS which is working successfully in our nursery.
It involves the key person in responding sensitively to children’s feelings and behaviours and meeting emotional needs, by giving reassurance such as when they are ready for the transition to a new room or getting ready for school, and supporting the child’s well-being. The key person supports physical needs too, helping with issues like nappy changing, toileting and dressing. That person is a familiar figure who is accessible and available as a point of contact for parents and one who builds relationships with the child and parents or carers.
Records of development known as profile and tracking documents are created and shared by the key person, parents and the child. Small groups foster close bonds between the child and the key person in a way that large groups cannot easily do. These groups allow the key person to better ‘tune into’ children’s play and their conversations to really get to know the children in the group well. Children feel settled and happy and are more confident to explore and as a result become more capable learners. Each child is designated a key person, if you are unsure of your child’s please ask your child’s room supervisor.