Policy: Key Person

In this policy we run through the specifics for our key person programme within the school, looking at some of the systems we have to support key worker mapping across the age groups

Key Points:

  • Hatching Dragons operates a Primary and Secondary key person system - children are allocated two to reflect the two languages delivered within the setting
  • Primary Key Persons should have no more than 7 key children at any one time. Should there be strain on staff resources, temporarily this number may be increased to 10 up to and including the time wherein the new resource can be confidently allocated key children and key person responsibility
  • The primary key person is responsible for undertaking Observations / Assessments and Planning (OAP) for their key child (see policy) and will do so during his / her allocated Non Contact Time (see policy).  The secondary can be an apprentice and is there as a back up
  • The secondary key person is the second-language teacher and is primarily responsible for delivering second-language activities in song, music, stories and rhyme to structure the child's second language acquisition. The primary key person can / should video record the second language group activities and upload to EY Log as a Group Observation, tagged as Second Language (mandarin/ Spanish etc) observation in draft form, will allow the second language secondary key person to update the editorial / written content of that draft observation with video at a later date, during non contact time. The second language teacher is also responsible for delivering individual assessments of the key children wtihin the group against the language list for the month in tailored individual observations that are tagged accordingly in EY Log. See our Bilingual Method for more inforamation
  • Apprentices and junior staff can only be assigned key children after a full and comprehensive induction and training into OAP and managers will ensure that the secondary key person will always be the room leader / senior teacher within his / her room so that they can review observations and assessments prior to publication. Room Leader's non contact time is 2 hrs / week as a result.
  • It is the managers responsibility to allocate key persons (primary and secondary) during a family's onboarding - they do this via the EY Man Child Profile interface. Once done, managers need to:
    • Book in the new child's settling in on the Settling In Google Calendar, inviting the parents and key person so that all are aware, attaching any registration form details or parent baseline assessments undertaken in advance
    • Book in the staffer's non-contact time if not already done on the HR & Staffing calendar and train the key person on OAP
    • Ensure the child has both primary and secondary Key persons listed as per the above guidance
    • Ensure that room staff have updated key person lists on their room boards on an ongoing basis.
  • If it is a new staffer, managers are responsible for allocating key children to their profile and for training the new staff in:
    • How to use EY Log to review their key children - do they know medical / allergy / dietary needs and have they had the required training to support the child in full (e.g. with complex needs and / or care plans).
    • What constitutes an effective handover at the end of the day to cover all aspects of their care AND EDUCATION i.e key developmental areas achieved that parents can progress at home - we require accurate and honest feedback to parents to establish partnerships that matter and can provide value for our child's development
    • How to sign in / out children and mark them as sick or absent and how to communicate with management via Slack for who is off
  • Key workers are responsible for all aspects of the child's administration for teaching and learning- all planning, observations, learning and developmental tracking and all analysis pertinent to their welfare and safeguarding - accident forms, medication forms etc
  • Transitions - managers also have to reallocate key workers during transitions - please see the transition policy for more information 

Key Person Policy

Hatching Dragons operates a key person system. This means that a nominated member of the staff team will have special responsibility for a particular child.  In the case of a key person being on holiday or sickness leave, there will be a named secondary key person to meet the child’s individual needs.

Hatching Dragons is a bilingual nursery, therefore the key person will be a native speaker of the child’s home language (Mandarin or English) and will be supported by a secondary key worker who will deliver the other language.

The child's key person in partnership with the parent will settle him/her into nursery and will be responsible for meeting his/her direct and indirect needs.  The key person will communicate regularly with the parent regarding what the child has been doing while at nursery and also discuss his/her progress, every quarter. Managers maintain key person allocations on the nursery management system the school employs to manage children and staff schedules

As the child moves from one room to another, the key person will change, the framework for which is articulated in our policy on Transitions. The parent will be involved in the transition arrangements, in partnership with the present key person.  This will include updating any personal details.

The Key Person

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 member of staff with responsibilities for a small group of children who helps 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 settings and in Reception classes. 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 new to a setting or class, 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.

What Are Key People Responsible for ?

Records of development and care 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. That means the key person will be primarily responsible for the issuance of all EYLog and parent related communications, all diary entries and all observations regarding the child. He / She will also be primarily responsible for arranging the developmental updates parents receive face to face in the nursery.

Why Attachment Matters
What is attachment and why is it important for young children? Attachments are the emotional bonds that young children develop with parents and other carers such as their key person. Children with strong early attachments cry less when separated. They engage in more pretend play and sustain attention for longer. They are less aggressive and are popular with other children and with adults. Their sense of who they are is strong. Children need to be safe in the relationship they have with parents or carers. They are vulnerable but will develop resilience when their physical and psychological well-being is protected by an adult. Being emotionally attached to such an adult helps the child feel secure that the person they depend on is there for them.  When children feel safe they are more inclined to try things out and be more independent. They are confident to express their ideas and feelings and feel good about themselves. Attachment influences a child’s immediate all-round development and future relationships.