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Key Person & Buddy System

At Moorwell Miracles, we endeavor to make every child feel safe and confident here at the setting through a special relationship with a key person. We create a welcoming environment where children settle quickly, providing individual care to the child by working closely with parents and families.

We recognise that for some children and parents, starting a new setting can be a worrying time. We make sure we have a settling in procedure and a thorough key person approach for us to get to know the child and parents from the start, giving them reassurances to feel safe.

As outlined in the EYFS:

‘Each child must be assigned a key person. Their role is to help ensure that every child’s care is tailored to meet their individual needs, to help the child become familiar with the setting, offer a settled relationship for the child and build a relationship with parents.’

EYFS, 2012, p.18

​​Practitioner Responsibilities

Whilst all staff in the nursery work with every child and support their individual needs, personal care requirements and ongoing development, each member of staff will have specific responsibility for their own group of key children.

  • They help these children settle in and become familiar with the setting.

  • The key person will provide a secure attachment for their designated children.

  • They ensure the needs of these children are met, responding sensitively to their feelings, ideas and behaviour.

  • They provide a ‘secure base’ by being there to support, encourage and allow them to explore at their own pace.

  • They are primarily responsible for the child’s care routines, for changing and for other personal care needs specific to them. They support their dressing and washing, where possible. Also supporting the child’s growing independence and development of skills.

  • The key person will comfort the child when distressed by calmly and gently acknowledging their feelings, offering explanations and reassurances.

  • The key person will work closely with a key buddy. The key buddy steps in as a secondary key person in the event of absence. It is part of the key persons role to ensure their buddy is aware of the children’s needs and have a strong relationship with the parents to enable clear communication.

Relationships with Parents/Carers

  • The key person acts as the key contact for parents, carers and children.

  • The key person will lead the settling in sessions alongside the parents/carers to discuss the child’s individual routines, the people who are special to them, their likes and dislikes and any other information to ensure this is incorporated into the daily care of the child.

  • The key person has a sound knowledge and range of skills to provide parents with advice and guidance, supporting any concerns. Also answering any questions in relation to transitions between rooms and starting school.

  • Key people will develop a close professional working relationship with parents/carers, ensuring that each child is cared for appropriately and their individual needs are accommodated for.

  • The key person will develop a two-way flow of information between themselves and the parent/carer to ensure they become aware of any significant aspects of family life that may be important to the child.

  • The key person has responsibility for sharing their key child’s development with parents and other professionals as required.

  • The key person is responsible for communicating with parents and holding parent evenings to discuss progress.

  • They are also responsible for communicating with parents daily, both in person and over the phone, wherever possible.

To summarise, we say that a key person is a significant, valued, fundamental and essential person in a child’s journey within the nursery. A key person holds the vital knowledge to unlock a child’s potential, happiness and learning. A key person is there to tune in to the child, so that the two harmonise their shared understanding of one another. A key person adjusts their approach to fit with the child’s needs; they bond, and so an attachment relationship is formed.

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