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Key Person Question's.


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Hi Everyone

I'm currently studying my HND in Childhood Practice which is a college based management qualification for the Early Years and as part of my qualification I have to implement a change within a Nursery Setting.


Now my proposed change is to implement the “Island of Intimacy” and Personal Key Care routines within a 2’s room in a privately run nursery.


Being a Scottish nursery, there is a Key Worker system in place but its not as detailed or in-depth as a EYFS nursery as the Key Person approach is not a mandatory requirement of the Scottish frameworks. So they do the paperwork but have a relationship with all children in the room.

I basically want the staff to have more time with their Key Group of children though them carrying out personal care and having a time during the day where they can spend 1-2-1 time with their key children doing something that specifically interests their key children, (called the island of intimacy by Goldschmied) the hope is observations will become more focused and detailed with social and emotional support being offered to the children by their Key Person and not just a random member of staff.



My question to you all is, what have you found to be the pro’s and con’s of this approach, both the Key Person and the Island of Intimacy if you apply it??


I’ve read and researched loads but nothing is going to be more beneficial than experiences from individuals who either carry out this role daily or support/manage practitioners.


I will be using the information gained to give an insight into how other nurseries implement the approach and how it works, but will omit all be it forum names from the transcript before submission to maintain confidentiality.



Really look forward to your views on this, and thank you in advance for taking the time to read this!! :D

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Welcome to the forum, funkyduckling, and thanks for making your first post :1b

Although I don't currently work in a setting, I do visit lots of settings, supporting students, etc. In the vast majority, key persons complete the paperwork (learning journeys, etc) and work closely with the child and family, but also know all the other children extremely well too. In this respect, it is very similar to the set-up you describe. In addition, there is often a back-up/buddy KP who will take over if the main KP is away. The KPs do, if they possibly can, all the intimate care routines.

If planning is efficient, and based on observations, then I think KPs will be engaging with children doing things that specifically interests them- much as you describe above. KPs sometimes have group time, just with their key children. Sometimes, KPs are stationed at a particular area in the setting and wait until their key children join in with their activity, and take it from there, using their detailed knowledge of the children. I don't think it would involve such a huge change from your usual practice- but I'm happy for current practitioners to put me straight!

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I endorse all Helen has said. In practice all staff engage and relate to all children, just that as a KeyPerson there are particular ties to those children in their group - intimate care routines, paperwork etc. And certainly her remark that if the KP is stationed at an area then what she suggests will usually happen.



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Hi funkyduckling, welcome from me too :D ::1a


I once worked in a nursery were they had a rota system in place for intimate care so no one member of staff would be able to build what they described as an 'inappropriate relationship' with any one child. :ph34r:


In our playgroup anyone who's free changes nappies, gives cuddles and takes activities taking notes on all children and passing them to the KP concerned. They know all children, but tend to be the one person parents know to go to with specific concerns or for parent/practitioner sessions.

Edited by Rea
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'I once worked in a nursery were they had a rota system in place for intimate care so no one member of staff would be able to build what they described as an 'inappropriate relationship' with any one child'


When doing my degree placement i worked in a nursery where each day one member of staff was in charge of changing all the nappies, aka a production line, without even chnaging gloves in between children. When I queried this practice, the staff reported me to the head and I had to go to her office for a dressing down, at 47 it had been a long time since I had had to stand outside the headmistresses office, suffice to say my placement was short and sweet!

Edited by max321
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I know I shouldnt laugh Max, but that me giggle.

I got called to the managers office in one nursery when I was on supply, the manager immediately said ''dont worry, you're not in trouble' to which I replied 'I know that'. :rolleyes: ;)

She had some beef about me not changing nappies and not working as a team. Trouble was no-one had asked me to, and in a lot of nurseries agency staff werent allowed. She was never really my best friend. xD

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