Children thrive from a base of warm and loving care, provided by having close relationships with people whilst in the Early Years. When a parent cannot be there, a key person is someone that takes on the role of a main carer. They provide comfort and support when the child is distressed and upset. They get to know the child’s sensitivities and personality well, so they can understand and meet their needs.

The key person provides for a child:

  • Close attachment
  • Familiarity
  • Supported learning
  • Comfort
  • Encouragement
  • Learning opportunities
  • Consistent boundaries

What care is a key person responsible for?

Aside from meeting the child’s emotional needs, the key person is someone who meets the child’s physical needs too. They will usually help the child with mealtimes, care routines and dressing. Because of the close relationship they build with a child, a key person is also a point of contact for families, giving them regular feedback on the child’s development.

What development does a key person keep track of?

From the very first day in a nursery, a key person will use the EYFS to make decisions about whether a child is showing typical development for their age. They will assess and review a child’s progress between the ages of 24-36 months and again before that child transitions into primary school. This information is shared with parents and other care givers.

What impact does a key person have on the child?

The experiences and relationships a child has between the ages of 0-5 years will have a significant effect on shaping aspects of that child’s future: from their personality and resilience, to their ability to socialise with others. As such, the role of the key person is vastly important and has profound effect on a child’s development pathway.

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