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We Don't Have Key Workers. Are We Mad?


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Hello!

 

I'm the nursery teacher of a church school in Wales. We go up to 40 children a.m., 40 p.m. in January and the staffing ratio is 1:10.

We don't have key workers. All staff are involved in observations but I write all reports and report to all 80 children's parents.

Are we mad? Please tell me about key workers - pros and cons. Do key workers remain the same throughout the year? What if a member of staff is 'weaker' than another??

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Hello!

 

I'm the nursery teacher of a church school in Wales. We go up to 40 children a.m., 40 p.m. in January and the staffing ratio is 1:10.

We don't have key workers. All staff are involved in observations but I write all reports and report to all 80 children's parents.

Are we mad? Please tell me about key workers - pros and cons. Do key workers remain the same throughout the year? What if a member of staff is 'weaker' than another??

 

 

The way I understood it we have to have key workers... we've even had to allocate them for the pre-schoolers at After School Club. Unless you are teh key worker for all 80. We will have 100 children on roll by next year and we have 6 key workers. We update the records half termly using obs done by all staff. The key workers make the final decision on where the children 'are' and I, as manager, moderate the key files to ensure all the workers are doing their files accurately etc. We have termly parents' evenings where key workers meet with 'their' parents. We are all there though, so if parents have any questions that the key worker can't answer they can ask me or the SENco if appropriate.

 

 

ETA - just seen you're in Wales - are there different rules to England? Sorry I'm a bit ignorant :/

Edited by Hello Kitty
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It took me a while to come round to the idea. we too have 80 children with 7 staff that are key workers. Yes we all work together and observe all children. Key workers are great for settling in especially those children who struggle its great to have one point of call then eventually that child then goes to anyone. The other plus is each key person updates their own records so approx 13-17 children. This info is passed to me as manager to weave into planning or if any extra resources are needed.

 

Its hard to step back but takes the pressure off.

 

You could add your comment on the bottom of reports like at school if you wanted to still feel part of it.

 

Buttercup

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I think for building relationships with children and parents the key person system is perfect

I also feel that a key person truly knows their children inside out, it helps to plan individually and effectively for each child

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Every child must have a key person. It's a statutory expectation in the EYFS and will by all accounts remain so in the next version.

 

Some settings run a key worker system where ratios allow. in schools often this is just the teacher as key person, but children are older and so have developed generally secure attachments with their other key people ie family etc.

 

Cx

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Hi KittyHP and welcome to the forum.

 

Congratulations on your first post!

 

I'm Preschool and we have 34 children at the moment, rising to 46 in the summer term. There are 4 staff and we are all Key Persons to a group of children. I have the actual pre-school group of 10 children in the mornings when we're in different rooms, but we're all together in the afternoons.

What happens in practice is that we all plan together and so are aware of what steps are being made for which children, and if any of us spot something, we jot it down for the key person.

The Key Person is the parents first 'port of call' but I'm available too. So it might just be a comment that 'Peter's out of nappies now, can someone take him to the toilet' or something. Key persons are responsible for writing in the home diaries and making sure 'their parents' have all the info they need.

I think it's a good system, it seems much easier than me having to juggle all the balls in the air, and although I have my own group to 'manage' I have a good overview of my staff's groups too and I'm given their obs to read and comment on

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hello and welcome to the forum Kitty as Catma says it is mandatory to have a keyworker system in place :o

i dont think it is mandatory in wales is it KittyHP? but i assume you are thinking that it may be an advantage to do so? how do your staff feel about it?

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Welcome to the Forum Kitty. I guess you're working with the Foundation Phase rather than the EYFS? Is there any mention of keypersons/workers in your system? Even if not, it sounds like you're thinking it might be a good idea to introduce it, so the task here is to let you know how the concept works in theory and practice.

 

Just to kick off with, I think the common way to do it is to provide enough continuity as possible, so the answer to your last question, do the keyworkers stay the same throughout the year is yes - in an ideal world. Of course staff leave and are replaced, or sometimes it turns out that some staff will have a particularly good relationship with a child and will thus take over as their keyperson. Some settings have more than one keyperson per child (if, for example, staff are only part time but the child is full time. The rules aren't hard and fast, so it's quite possible to arrange things in a way that suits your setting.

 

Regarding a weaker member of staff, I guess that's more of a question of ongoing professional development. I've seen settings where all the staff, for example, sit around a table outside of the opening hours, cuttting up photos and inserting observations into special books or learning journeys, and can discuss how and what should be done. Might not be appropriate in your setting but it works well when it is possible.

 

Hope that helps!

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