What is the Keyperson Approach?
Every child deserves to be special to someone and the Keyperson Approach recognises this.
The Keyperson Approach is one of the vital principals in the Early Years Foundation Stage and now a statutory requirement of the framework. It is a reciprocal relationship between a member of staff, individual child and their family. It provides the child with a sense of security so that they feel confident to explore their world and form further relationships.
The Keyperson has an ‘invisible elastic thread’ of attachment to their key child, holding them in mind throughout their time at nursery. It does not mean that they ‘shadow’ or cling to the child or that they have to manage on their own.
What is the role of the Keyperson?
The role of the Keyperson is to know their individual child and to support their sense of identity and individuality. They need to be aware of their individual child’s and family’s needs, preferences and development.
The Keyperson will usually be the person who welcomes the child and carer to the nursery and helps to settle the child into the session. They would also be the main person providing the child’s intimate care such as nappy changing, putting to sleep and physical closeness. Any information shared with the parents is also done mainly through the Keyperson.
· The key person provides a secure attachment for their key children in nursery.
· They help their key children settle in and become familiar with the setting.
· The key person meets the needs of their key children responding sensitively to their feelings, ideas and behaviour.
· The key person provides a ‘secure base’ for the children by being there to support them and allowing them to explore at their own pace.
· They are primarily responsible for their key child’s care routines.
What happens when the Keyperson is absent?
Each Keyperson works closely with the other staff in our nursery setting. There are frequent discussions about the individual children which is facilitated by our nursery leader. Therefore in the Keyperson’s absence, another qualified adult will be able to carry out the role and responsibilities with the support of the other staff. It is part of the Keyperson’s role to ensure that the other staff are aware of their child’s needs. The key person ensures that within the day to day demands of the setting, each child for whom they have special responsibility feels individual, cherished and thought about by someone in particular while they are away from home.