Key Worker System
At Waltham Pre-school, we operate a key worker system. 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 that is also a safeguarding and welfare requirement.
“Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.” (EYFS).
Your Key Worker
Your key worker will generally be the person who welcomes you and your child into our setting and supports them in settling into the session. They will also be the main practitioner carrying out the child's intimate care needs, such as nappy changing and takes a lead on planning for their specific needs and interests. Any information shared with the parents is also done mainly through the key person.
We believe that being with warm, responsive adults is vital for young children; these close relationships assist their all-round learning, behaviour and development. Happy, secure children learn better; closeness and emotional wellbeing is good for young developing brains, too! Where young children can ‘stay close’ to an adult carer, it is often easier for them to be separated from their parents which gives parents peace of mind and confidence in us that their child is being well-cared for and nurtured effectively.
As we are a small team who work closely together on a daily basis and therefore know all children well, if your child’s key worker is absent then rest assured that our Manager, Sian Morris, will ensure your child has the same quality of care as any other day.
For the Parents
The key person approach provides each parent with a dedicated staff member who fully understands the learning, development and care needs of their child, this gives you the confidence to leave your child at Waltham pre-school knowing they will be cared for in a way that is tailored to the information that you provide.
Sharing of information allows the key person to maintain a continuity of care and ensure collaborate partnership working between home and our setting. The key person will seek to engage and support you in guiding your child’s development at home and will also help families engage with more specialist support if appropriate.
At Waltham Pre-school your key person will meet with you during your 'settling in visits'; during this time they will discuss your child's individual routines, the people who are special to them, their likes and dislikes and any other key information to ensure this is incorporated into the daily care of your child. It enables your child to feel more confident and comfortable in their new surroundings and with the new adults in their lives.
Staff will chat with you and your child, finding out about the things they enjoy, about the important people in their lives and all those other things that are important to them – digging, toy cars, cuddly toys, their pet dog or their baby sister, for example. During this time, your child will begin to form a bond with a particular member of staff – the one they look for when they come in, the one they will turn to if they are unsure or the one they will tell if they have done something they are proud of. It is this person that will become you and your child’s key person.
Each key person has a sound knowledge and range of skills to enable them in providing parents with advice and guidance and supporting any concerns with starting Pre-school or completing transitions from room to outside and later on to school.
Children with Additional Needs:
We are happy to discuss individual circumstances. If your child needs additional help, please do not hesitate to ask. All discussions will be carried out in complete confidence.
Communication is Key!
Communication is vital to the key worker-parent-child relationship so we encourage continual collaboration to ensure your child has a happy time with us. A sample of methods your key worker and other staff use, include:
- Parent Pigeon Hole – We will use these to get any printed letters or information to you personally, so please check them regularly.
- Notice boards – We will keep you updated with information about what the children have been doing on the notice boards in the main entrance.
- Tapestry. A secure, on-line communication system that enables us to send direct messages to one another in an open, safe manner; share photographs of your child’s learning; and report on progress towards meeting the Development Matters Criteria.