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Paired Key Person System


Guest Wolfie
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Does anyone operate a system in their setting whereby their key persons are "paired" so that a child always has someone "special" there, no matter which shifts the staff are working?

 

A parent has commented today that she rarely sees her child's key person at both the beginning and end of her child's day and that she misses the regular contact. How do people get around this issue, apart from maybe setting up home/nursery liaison books? This parent would prefer a verbal discussion and so I don't think that written feedback is going to solve the problem. I'm sure that I've heard that some settings have key persons working in pairs?

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I'm sure that I've heard that some settings have key persons working in pairs?

We do Wolfie - but in our little setting this usually isn't a problem for us! We have home/pre-school books too which are very useful indeed.

 

Paired and shared key caring is one of the things Sally Thomas strongly advocates (really must meet up at some point and show you her book!). A system like this means that a child always has a key person around who knows them well, and spends time with their key group each day. This way two practitioners are involved in the child's care and also in planning for the child's learning and development needs. As you say, parents always have someone to talk to who really knows their child so its a win-win situation really.

 

It can be tricky to work out which two key persons to pair when setting up though - but it is a good way to get more experienced practitioners to mentor the less experienced onces, and to have good practice modelled and shared between the team.

 

Does that help at all? My brain has gone to mush and I'm not even back at work yet!

 

Maz

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we too had a paired system... with part time staff and children in different times we ahd to do something or some children/parents would only see key worker 1 day..

 

it was hard working out which pair was best and we still had some days where we simply cpuild not make it work but in the majority we could.

 

Staff had a primary role and a secondary role .... the primary role who was in most with the child, completed the learning journey and was the main contact for the parents... secondary was a back up, helping with the books , and parents knew to contact if needed.

 

we did find that being a smaller setting parents were happy to chat to anyone who was in the same time as their child that day for information.

 

Inge

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We work as paired key workers. There are 4 of us in a 30/30 nursery but only 3 adults work each day.One teacher, 1 nursery nurse, 2 T/A's 3 of us work 4 days only and the teacher who is the only one who works 5 days gets a days PPA! The teacher works with one T/A as a team and I the nursery nurse work with the other TA. We introduce ourselves to parents as a pair and explain that they can see either of us.There is always one of the pair working.

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Does that help at all? My brain has gone to mush and I'm not even back at work yet!

 

Maz

 

Yes, perfect sense! I don;t suppose there's any way of reading what Sally Thomas has to say about it all without getting hold of the book? Has she written any articles anywhere?

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Yes, perfect sense! I don;t suppose there's any way of reading what Sally Thomas has to say about it all without getting hold of the book? Has she written any articles anywhere?

Not sure. If she hasn't then I'm sure others will have!

 

Maz

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This post has interested me xD can I ask how many key children each person had...im wondering if this would make a difference?

 

Seems like a very good idea, as already mentioned if you could work it so you paired the more experienced staff with the not so this would help them, their would always be a verbal contact for the parent :( .

 

I would just like to say though that all the staff make a point of building up good relationships with all the children in the setting not just their key children :o

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We (the pair ) have 30 in all-15 in each session. We work as a team to ensure observation coverage for each child with a mapping system. 3 out of 5 days we are both in for 'greet and leave' and the main session so that enables us to confer on our children which I find really useful. Sometime we have different view points of a childs behaviour or have seen something the other has missed. Children have a choice of 2 adults and like adults they have preferences based on our personalities.We can support each other if we find situations challenging-behaviour, parents.The parents also tend to favour one or the other of us as main person but know they have a fall back. Luckily I work well with my partner and our personalities compliment each other (she's the quiet one :o ) We can use good guy/bad guy approach with the children. We both have health issues so we can also support each other on a personal level. All though we are good friends at work we don't socialise etc out of nursery so when we are together its very much a working professional relationship.

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I would just like to say though that all the staff make a point of building up good relationships with all the children in the setting not just their key children :o

Well of course - and children gravitate towards whoever makes them feel comfortable when they are upset or a bit uncertain anyway. I have known practitioners who have tried to 'ring fence' their key children, and it can be very hard to break this down! xD

 

Maz

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this year our shift pattern has changed and so we have decided to work like this. I was unsure if this could work out but your posts seem rather positive.

what happens if the person you are paired with is shall we say less forthcoming with obs and record keeping than yourself? this is the bit I am concerned at, last year the differing levels of how staff completed a learning journey was vast some had reams and some much less.

the meet and greet and relationships with children and parents for all staff is very good so not concerned about this . we are a small setting so often parents and children don't actually care who their key person is as we are all approachable if you see what I mean.

how do you ensure equality of shared work load with the paper work?

sue

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ours were paired with a primary or first key person who had the responsibility of doing the paperwork and ensuring the obs etc were done for their group of children and the second keyworker as back up/ to work with them.

 

All staff had some children as primary keyworker and all had some as second.

 

In our case it was not always the same pairing so while they all had for example 8 children as main keyworker,and they all had 8 as second, but they were mixed.

 

hard to explain but it worked out that all staff had to work together at some time there was no keyworker who had same second keyworker for all the children... this was because of the staff rota and children's sessions,

 

 

And if this seems like s lot of keyworkers and confusion you should try working out the list :o

 

but it did work for us and ensured all had a responibility for files, obs etc.

 

 

Inge

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myself and my deputy worked out much the same system that one would be a lead and the second person. also like you not all the staff are pared with the same person each time. I thought that each child would have snap shot obs done by all staff who see anything of note and then each staff member would do a specific ob for whatever reason and how they prefer(like we have done before)for their lead key children this usually happens once per half term. then get together as a whole staff team to work on compiling the journeys together at the end of each half term. We also do lots of photos etc.

in the past we have discussed the next steps/interests of the children to use for our weekly plans along with any obs evaluations from our adult focus activities and then staff have completed the journeys in their own way (we do use the same format) then share these with parents each term for comments etc. the rub came when I was putting together info for transition to school nursery and noticed the vast differences in how the staff worked eg quality and quantity if you see what I mean. some children attend differing amounts of sessions(we are a pre-school). This means some children have more in than others because of time etc.

I thought that giving staff set dates and targets for each half term and a group meeting to compile them would perhaps help with motivation and ensure equality of work load. What do you think?

sue

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Hi there.

 

I have six memebers of staff at the pre-school. 4 prat time, 2 fuul time. 5 are keyworers and 1 is the buddy. She has no keyperson resposibilitys but is a buddy for the 5 keyworkers. If any of the staff are needing help or are away she is there. She does short obs on all the chidren and will write long obs to help out any of the 5 keyworker. It works really well. Shes there to be a constant player and to assist the staff. All the children have a good bond with her and their own keyperson.

 

Kat

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We have a buddy system . It is rewuired as part of the EYFS.

 

I haven't come across this smiles - can you point me in the right direction in the written framework? :o

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Do you mean that there needs to be a second key person, in case the first is away? That's the way I read it & I guess a buddy system is one way round that.

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