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Key Workers/person


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Hi there. Im just wondering if i can pick your brains about how exactly Key workers are used in your settings? Ours are mainly just set up for the paperwork/learning journey side of things but im looking to change this soon.

 

Sort of just looking for info as to what a key worker or person does for their child and are resposiblie for on a daily basis, such as do they care only for those children? Nappies, toileting, feeding etc. Or do they have 'key worker' time but share the care for the other children equally between staff?

 

Any comments, ideas, examples are welcome?

 

Thank you :o

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i think it depends on the size of your setting and how many children and staff you have, how often the children attend etc.

in my 'playgroup' setting the key persons are responsible for the learning journeys of their children, for the obs, next steps, for ensuring their childrens interests are discussed during planning. they are also the contact for the parent -speak to them at drop off and collection, parents meetings etc, or if there is something that needs to be discussed with the parent.

 

as for the day to day running we all 'muck in' - we are only a small playgroup , some children come on different days, their key person may not be in on every one of that childs sessions. so the jobs are done by any of the staff really.

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Guest pamgreen

At our nursery the children go to their key person at the start of the session, for a short group time. At this time over the week they will do a SEAL activity, a sounds and letters activity perhaps discussion about childrens interests. At about 11.30 the children go back to their group for story.

The key person for the rest of the session will be in a particular area of nursery working with all of the children. The key person is responsible for drawing up medium term plans for their group. She is responsible for the learning journals of her group.

She also compiles a newsletter for the parents of her children to inform parents of the learning that has taken place during group for that week. The key person changes nappies for her own children.

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as said will depend on your circumstances b ut ours did the paperwork, planning, next steps etc for their children, communicated with the parents and were there to talk to them when they wanted...

 

changing, daily care was done by whoever was available at the time... not always keyworker as they were not always present, but also because we wanted the children to be comfortable with all staff, so if keyworker was off ill it did not cause any issues with a child who may not be comfortable with others doing the care needed.

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The point of key people is not to be an administrative role, but to support the emotional development of young children. Chidlren will settle better and be happier if they have one special person they can form a really strong bond with. Often their key person will know them best and take charge of compiling learnign journeys and planning, but all staff can input.

 

Sadly, in the resreach from Sheffield Hallum of childrens experiences of the EYFS, children in large settings didn't know who their key person is.

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If you 'google' Elfer,Peter, or Goldschmidt, E. you will (hopefully) get lots of information on the important role of the key person, as lolo says, a key person's role is to form an emotional attachment (Bowlby) to their key children in an endeavour to meet their individual needs, especially vital during settling in and also forming a relationship with key children's mother/father, as well as the other paper based/planning type tasks others have mentioned.

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If you 'google' Elfer,Peter, or Goldschmidt, E. you will (hopefully) get lots of information on the important role of the key person,

Don't forget Dorothy Selleck who has done a lot of work with Peter Elfer on the role of the key person. Also, Sally Thomas has developed the theory somewhat, and advocates a paired and shared key caring system.

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Our setting is just like fimbo and Inge settings.

 

I'm not sure if our children would necessarily know who their KP is (each key group is colour coded and they know their colour group) They are allocated only by who has less children than the other staff so that the work is shared out as equally as possible.

 

The child might not have a specific attachment to the person we allocate them to but they will receive the same care and support from any member of staff. If they really wont engage with one person for whatever reason we will change the KP to make it easier for everyone. I dont think they should be encouraged to make an attachment to one person when there are 5 staff in a large church hall, maybe its different in nurseries.

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In our nursery class the 78 children are split between the 3 staff into 3 key person groups- ladybirds, butterflies and caterpillars. We each have 13 children per session, 26 each in total. We have a nursery teacher, a nursery nurse and a level 2 TA.

We are responsible for our children's initial visit to nursery/ form filling with parents, the upkeep of their 'work books', observations and have group/circle time with our children.

We take photographs and do 'catch as you can' post-its on any of the children in the nursery and although the parents know who their child's key person is they will approach any of us if they wish to share information. The children know who their key person is and to which group they belong.

We all contribute to the children's baselines but the nursery teacher has overall responsiblity for these and linking the observations/ evidence we have in our children's 'work books'.

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All our children have primary and secondary key persons, mainly due to staff working such part time hours. As well as maintaining key files and conpiling learning journeys, they also have the first meetings with parents where they discuss and complete the 'all about me' book, this forms that initial bond with the family. In most cases we always try to ensure changing is done by either key person to limit the ammount of people tending to these personal needs, parents seem to appreciate this too. They also complete the daily home/school book in which they are both named, make calls to parents if child is absent/ill or if a problem arises while the child is at the setting, run their own key meetings and so on.

 

Each member of staff has a poster on display with their's and their key children's photo's on and these are discussed quite alot with the children who are often referred to as our special group. Key people are also the main player in the initial settling period and also for then encouraging bonds to form with other adults in the team. I think it works really well and the children certainly know who their special grown up is, even after a year or two in the setting, having formed multiple bonds across the board, mine still seek me out in times of pain or upset or just to share special news with! we also look frequently at the key files with the children who often ask to see or add to their 'special books'.

 

I love the system, and having two key persons means we all have someone to bounce off and share the load to a degree, especially important as manager as I do sometimes struggle! :o

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I struggle a bit with key person in Reception. We do have a key person for each child; I, as teacher have more than my TA. We carry out post-it obs on all of the children in the class (which I then reference to profile) but longer observations are carried out by key person (TA then discusses hers with me and we plan next steps together.) Each of us maintains our key children's learning journeys (TA is given curric time to do this) but I have overall responsibility for all. The children meet in key person groups sometimes to review learning.

 

I would not feel comfortable asking her to plan (other than verbally contributing to weekly planning meeting,) liaise with her key children's parents or to be involved in parent consultations, as I see that as my role as teacher. I would also feel embarassed to ask since I am paid so much more than her. I know that parents would not be happy if they thought their child was not getting sufficient 'teacher' time.

 

I would be interested to hear how other Reception teachers organise their key person system.

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I can only speak as a soon to be Reception parent. I think that TAs in Reception can be Level 3 qualified and experienced and in short could be room leader of a 3-5 room at a Day nursery, or running a pre-school. As such, I see no difference in their abilities as in a teacher, who may be inexperienced, not have the background in child development that an NNEB qualified Nursery Nurse would have, etc.

 

I think that it can be appropriate to ask her to plan - she gets release time for this. Woudl she be intrested in being an HLTA, in which case she woudl get an enhanced pay to cover her additional responsibilities?

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I can only speak as a soon to be Reception parent. I think that TAs in Reception can be Level 3 qualified and experienced and in short could be room leader of a 3-5 room at a Day nursery, or running a pre-school. As such, I see no difference in their abilities as in a teacher, who may be inexperienced, not have the background in child development that an NNEB qualified Nursery Nurse would have, etc.

 

I think that it can be appropriate to ask her to plan - she gets release time for this. Woudl she be intrested in being an HLTA, in which case she woudl get an enhanced pay to cover her additional responsibilities?

 

My TA is paid on a level1/2 and has only been in early years for a couple of months. She is developing quite nicely as a practitioner but there is no money in the pot to offer enhancements. I am quite happy to work through my lunchtime and stay late at school, but she is not paid for lunchtimes and so does not work over them or stay after school (nor do I expect her to.) In a school setting, its's quite difficult to ask early years TA's to have these extra responsibilities when none of her colleagues further up the school have them but are paid the same rate.

 

Teaching in Reception, whilst great fun and fulfilling, is a bit like being pulled in two directions: EYFS principles in practice but subject to the same expectations as the rest of the school. I feel I constantly have to fight the EYFS corner.

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