The role of the key person and settling-in
- Key Person Policy.
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. We are committed to the key person approach which benefits the child, the parents, the staff and the setting. It encourages secure relationships which support children to thrive, give parents confidence and make the setting a happy 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 our staff. We also want parents to have confidence in both their children's well-being and their role as active partners with our setting. We aim to make our 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.
We allocate a key person before the child starts, if after a time we find the child is building a bond with another member of staff we will rearrange the key person accordingly.
The key person is responsible for:
- Introducing Rabbit Patch to the family and for settling the child in to our setting.
- Making sure parents have completed all relevant forms prior to leaving the child for their first session.
- Explaining our policies and procedures to parents with focus on sickness, safeguarding and collection policy. The key person will also go through what the child will need for their session each day.
- Offering unconditional regard for the child and being non-judgemental.
- Working with the parents to plan and deliver a personalised plan for the child’s wellbeing, care and learning. This will be in the form of an Initial assessment completed on Tapestry.
- Acting as the key contact for the parent or pointing them in the right direction of who to talk to.
- Developmental records and sharing information on a regular basis with child’s parents to keep these records up-to-date, reflecting the full picture of the child in our setting and at home. We will carry out at least 2 observations a month on the child, along with termly assessment and a transition assessment. The key person will also explain how we plan for the child using information contributed by the families.
- Having links with other carers involved with the child and co-ordinating the sharing of appropriate information about the child’s development with those carers.
- Encouraging positive relationships between peers in their key group, spending time with them as a small group each day.
- We promote the role of the key person as the child’s primary carer in our setting, and as a basis for establishing relationships with other adults and children.
- Before a child start to attend our setting, we use a variety of way to provide their parents with information. This includes written information (including prospectus, website, social media, policies and welcome bags), individual meetings and visits to the setting.
- The key person welcomes and looks after the child and their parents at the child’s first session and during the settling in process.
- We may offer a home visit by the key person to ensure all relevant information about the child can be known.
- When a child starts to attend, we explain the process of settling-in with their parents and jointly decide on the best way to help the child to settle in to the setting.
We have an expectation that the parent, carer or close relative, will stay for most of the session during the first week, gradually taking time away from their child; increasing this time as and when the child is able to cope.
- Younger children will take longer to settle, as will children who have not previously spent time away from home. Children who have had a period of absence may also need their parent to be on hand to re-settle them.
- We judge a child to be settled when they have formed a relationship with their key person, for example the child looks for the key person when they arrive, goes to them for comfort and seems pleased to be with them. The child is also familiar with where things are and is pleased to see other children and participate in activities.
- When parents leave, we ask them to say goodbye to their child if appropriate and explain that they will be coming back and when.
- We recognise that some children will settle more readily then others, but that some children who appear to settle rapidly are not ready to be left. We encourage the parent to stay for at least the first week or possibly longer, until their child can stay happily without them.
- We do not believe that leaving a child to cry will help them settle any quicker. We believe that a child’s distress will prevent them from learning and gaining the best from Rabbit Patch.
- We reserve the right not to accept a child into the setting without a parent or carer if the child finds it distressing to be left. This is especially the case with very young children.
- Within the first four to six weeks of starting, we discuss and work with the child’s parents to begin to create their child’s developmental record.
The progress check at age two.
- The ley person who carries out the progress check as age two in accordance with any local procedures that are in place and referring to the guidance: A know how guide, The EYFS progress check at age two.
- The progress check aims to review the child’s development and ensures that parents have a clear picture of their child’s prime areas of development.
- Within the progress check, the key person will note areas where the child is progressing well and identify areas where progress is less than expected.
- The progress check will describe the actions that will be taken by us to address any development concerns (including working with other professionals where appropriate) as agreed with parents.
- The key person will plan activities to meet the child’s needs within the setting and will supports parents to understand the child’s needs in order to enhance their development at home.
- The Progress check at two will be carried out alongside the integrated check and a health professional.
Reviewed by: A.T and S.P June '18