Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Key Person Role


Guest
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi, I'm Katieo and new so I hope I'm doing this right :o (I like these smiley things)

 

I'm currently studying and am in the middle of a self-directed assignment on the Key Person Role. I'm interested to know what people's thoughts are; is this role new in your setting? Do you think its working well - perhaps you don't think its a good idea. I just want to get a feel for how people are managing it and what issues may be arising.

 

Hope you can help.

 

Thanks

 

 

Katieo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Katieo. We've been using the Key Person system for well over a decade now, although they've not always been called that (key worker, team leader etc)

 

We find it works really well, breaking the children down into small 'family units' who look after each other and bond cohesively as a unit.

 

Last year there were just two members of staff, as the third was on maternity leave and numbers were low enough to manage with just 2 of us for two thirds of the year until she came back in the summer - when numbers went up again. We broke the children down into two groups by age; I had the older group and my deputy had the younger ones. As there were new children joining around the year, they joined the younger group and as children became 3 years old they moved up to my group. We had a ceremony and a certificate and their tray was moved. It worked nicely, and the parents really loved it, but we found that making a bond with a child right through the year was better for us.

 

...................

 

Actually - scaring myself now, my son is 21 and I started the Preschool as there was no-where in the village for him to go, so, er 18 years, not just 'well over a decade'. That's a bit, hmm -ooh - we could have an 18th birthday party - we've come of age!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Katieo - and welcome to the forum - enjoy!

 

Key Person system completely new to us - adopted in Sept. in line with E.Y.F.S. requirements. We are a very small rural pre-school - with a roll of 25 - but we only take 12 children per session - does that make sense?

 

We are all very happy with this new way of working - it took a while to get used to - I found it hard to 'let go' e.g. up until then I had completed the children's 'Learning Journeys' myself - but once we got into the 'swing' of things I have to say it's great. My staff really enjoy their new roles and have said that they feel much more involved.

 

Hope this is of use to you.

 

Sunnyday

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Katieo

We have had a key person system in place for over 12 years now. I personally really like it, and so do my staff. We feel it is a good way of getting to know parents and carers as well as the children.

We have tweaked it on a number of occasions over the years. Our older children have small group sessions with their key person, and this used to be the same for the younger ones. But recently we changed it for our young ones to one member of staff taking both small group sessions. This means that they don't become too reliant on their key person and have time with other members of staff. Then if their key person is absent they have somebody else they can go to. I don't find this is quite so necessary for the older children as they have been with us for some time and so are used to all members of staff.

Hope this is of some use.

Linda

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Key person, keyworker or what ever they will think to call them next......... gosh when I think back now I have always had them wherever I have worked.. for last 21 years... think I was ahead of my time.

 

Over the years we have had them as age groups, or mixed ages, and currently the groups tend to be sorted by the child and who they bond with best, or occasionally with some parents who need extra help or reassurance who they respond to best...

 

In our case the only difference now over 20 years ago is that we have a mountain of paperwork to complete on each child, we did the same before just not had to write it down.

 

Our key persons complete the journeys, observations, etc for their children and also get to know the parents. they add to the planning for their children .

 

Key person is not always present for their children as staff and children are all part time and rotate sessions, so they each have a second key person .

 

We don't do small group work with the groups, our children choose where to go and have small group time during the session through choice.

 

Inge

Edited by Inge
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

Thanks for your replies, its all helpful - I was just getting a feel for whats going on. Clearly Bowlby's work has been out there for a long time, similarly Mary Ainsworth and research is ongoing (3rd phase) and yet the key person role has only been mandatory since the EYFS. I am interested in whether people are adopting the philosophy or the role.

 

Thanks

 

 

Katie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't see the point in adopting the role without the philosophy too.

In an ideal world I'd agree with you Cait. However we don't embark on our careers with the same levels of experience and knowledge and in many settings people will be taking on the role of key person without having the necessary underpinning knowledge to do the most effective job. For some, it is only with the support and guidance of colleagues/college tutors/mentors that their knowledge grows as their practice develops, and some practitioners need more support than others.

 

We have always had a key person system in my current setting, but in a previous setting only the four year olds who had key workers as they were then. This function was mainly administrative and concerned with assessing children's learning (usually with the aid of a ticksheet!). Times have changed since then, and as with Linda's post, we have tweaked our systems over the years to continue to meet the needs of the children. So we now have a paired and shared key person system which will no doubt need to be changed and amended as we go on. So for us nothing has changed with the advent of the EYFS - for us a key person system is more about meeting the needs of the children than meeting the requirements of the EYFS.

 

However, there is no doubt that the EYFS is providing the challenge involved in enabling practitioners to develop the knowledge and skills they need by making it a statutory requirement to have a key person system in place. Meeting the statutory requirements of the EYFS is a good starting point - but settings and individual practitioners will need lots of support (and resources) to make a success of the key person system.

 

Maz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with you both, Maz and Cait. The issue is going to be whether it becomes a paper exercise or will practitioners in general be supported and mentored to develop the skills, which brings me on to the next issue which is, of course, training. I'm hoping someone will have done some and can share.

 

I should have said earlier - I'm in the second year of an MEd. (Early Years) and I am researching how people are interpreting the role of key person. Most of the general research I have done (magazine articles etc) are long on rhetoric but don't give much "in depth"; they talk about it being a "Complex Role" (Work Matters Early Years Training 2008) and the offer lists of necessary skills and talk about training and meeting the needs of the child. Even the EYFS doesn't really give any real insight as to why its so crucial - you have to go to the heavyweight "stuff" for that and how many people are going to go that far!

 

Perhaps it is too "early days" and the idea needs to be embedded in practice for a little while longer, although I know many people have been working such as system for a long time.

 

For me, the idea of a Key Person is crucial, it's the bedrock from which children begin to learn the art of communication, develop self esteem and an ability to develop sound relationship skills and judgements.

 

For the purpose of my study, there is still some resistance to the role and I wonder, without training and an understanding of why it is so neccesary, will the role become just a practical issue!

 

Thanks - sorry, don't I go on!!

 

Katie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Hello

 

Can I ask I have been told that my staff who do not have their NVQ 3 can not be key persons is this true????. At my last setting we had key persons who where not qualified.

 

Hello Katieo. We've been using the Key Person system for well over a decade now, although they've not always been called that (key worker, team leader etc)

 

We find it works really well, breaking the children down into small 'family units' who look after each other and bond cohesively as a unit.

 

Last year there were just two members of staff, as the third was on maternity leave and numbers were low enough to manage with just 2 of us for two thirds of the year until she came back in the summer - when numbers went up again. We broke the children down into two groups by age; I had the older group and my deputy had the younger ones. As there were new children joining around the year, they joined the younger group and as children became 3 years old they moved up to my group. We had a ceremony and a certificate and their tray was moved. It worked nicely, and the parents really loved it, but we found that making a bond with a child right through the year was better for us.

 

...................

 

Actually - scaring myself now, my son is 21 and I started the Preschool as there was no-where in the village for him to go, so, er 18 years, not just 'well over a decade'. That's a bit, hmm -ooh - we could have an 18th birthday party - we've come of age!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can I ask I have been told that my staff who do not have their NVQ 3 can not be key persons is this true????. At my last setting we had key persons who where not qualified.

I haven't seen this written down anywhere, however I am beginning to think that since a key person does have to have good observation technique and the ability to plan the next steps for children's learning it may be that a certain level of training should be undertaken by practitioners before they assume the role of key person.

 

I think it can be very daunting for practitioners to learn and develop these skills and I wonder if having to maintain a child's learning journey, observe and assess their stage of development when they are still learning the techniques may put them under additional pressure. Perhaps practitioners who have not received training or whose observation and assessment skills are still developing could work alongside another key person until they are confident and can take on the key person's role?

 

It may not be about having a qualification though - it might be more about judging when a practitioner is competent and has the necessary skills to do the job.

 

What does everyone else think?

 

Maz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)