Key Person and Settling In Policy
Statement of Intent
We believe that children settle best when they have a keyperson to relate to who knows them and their parents well, and can meet their child’s individual needs.
We want children to feel safe, stimulated and happy in the setting and to feel secure and comfortable with staff. We also want parents to have confidence in both their children’s well-being and their role as active partners with the setting.
- We allocate a keyperson when a child starts who is responsible for settling the child into the preschool.
- The keyperson offers unconditional regard for the child and is non-judgemental.
- The keyperson works together with the parents to plan and deliver personalised learning, well-being and care for that child.
- The key person is responsible for developmental records and for sharing information on a regular basis with the child’s parents to keep those records up-to-date, reflecting the full picture of the child in our setting and at home.
- Before a child starts to attend the setting, we use a variety of ways to provide parents with information.
- We offer an initial visit whereby the parents are given a tour of the preschool and session requirements are discussed. We give out a Welcome Pack which includes the registration form and other important paperwork which needs to be completed about the child and the preschool, ie. dietary and medical requirements, what your child needs to bring with them, etc.
- When the child starts to attend, we explain the process of settling-in with the parent and jointly decide on the best way to help their child settle into the preschool.
- We may offer a home visit if a child is finding it difficult to settle into the preschool and separate from their parent.
- 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 as and when the child is able to cope.
- Younger children will take longer to settle in, 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, and when the child is 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 and explain that they will be coming back, and when.
- We recognise that some children will settle more readily than others, but that some children who appear to settle rapidly are not ready to be left. We expect that the parent will honour the commitment to stay for at least the first week, or possibly longer, until the child can stay happily without them.
- We do not believe that leaving a child to cry will help them to settle any quicker. We believe that a child’s distress will prevent them from learning and gaining the best from the setting.
- 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.
Progress checks at age two
- The key person carries out the progress check at 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 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 the setting to address any developmental concerns (including working with other professionals where appropriate) as agreed with the parent(s).