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Introducing A Keyworker System


Guest Wolfie
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I want to introduce a keyworker system into a 2-5s room in a nursery where there is basically no effective teamwork, observations, assessments, record keeping, etc.etc. at present. :oxD:(

 

I've got plenty of experience of working with these systems, have got policies, etc. but need some top tips on selling the idea to the staff in the first place! Annything that means extra work is likely to met with a "Kev n Perry" gesture if you know what I mean! :D Obviously this system HAS to be introduced but I want to make the road as non-rocky as possible!!! :)

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How about saying that it is alot better for one person to deal with each family and child rather than mixed messages.

Also it is a good selling point with ofsted!!!!

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Tell them that OFSTED look on keyworker systems as good practice.

We have keyworkers and we feel the benefits are that parents and children know there is one person who will be there every day their child attends that they can speak to. We all work with all of the children but this is someone special they can relate to. It's nice to know you are a special person in a child's life!

Linda

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Hi Wolfie! Seeing as you've got lots of experience and info for key workers would you be willing to share? Although I have a keyworker system in place I feel it is not done properly. Any advise would be wonderful.

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Without breaching any confidentiality, I've already got Ofsted on my side...I've been banging my head against a brick wall for the last twelve months trying to introduce things, then Ofsted came last week and I found myself begging the inspectors to come down hard on the setting so that I'd finally got some weight behing my argument!

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my staff where pleased to incorporate a keyworker system as I explained it would mean less stress and pressure and stop the situations where one person who happened to be on nappy rota had to do 15 nappies (this was a big selling point) they also liked the idea of having there own group of parents and children to build up relationships with

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Without breaching any confidentiality, I've already got Ofsted on my side...I've been banging my head against a brick wall for the last twelve months trying to introduce things, then Ofsted came last week and I found myself begging the inspectors to come down hard on the setting so that I'd finally got some weight behing my argument!

 

Well, good luck Wolfie. Hope you get a really bad report. :oxD

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I was going to say that although 'Ofsted' is very useful for highlighting what can improve a setting, in terms of motivating staff it is difficult because staff don't have the ultimate responsibility like the registered person does. In my experience, (although over 4 yrs ago) when I had a bad Ofsted, half my staff left, leaving me to pick up the pieces. :o

The staff that remained were asked Why are they in the job? answer was about the children and not 'to pass Ofsted Inspection'

 

Working from how best we can provide for the children, ie: systems that help us know the children and families better, shared work loads, teamwork etc is the foundation we built from. Now had 2 subsequant, successful Inspections. :D Once started, the staff are motivated because the system of recording achievement, stronger relationships with parents enables the staff to feel valued for their contribution and to see how much they actually do in terms of 'educating' and caring for the children in their groups. :D

 

Good luck, I am sure you will be successful because you have the knowledge of how successful the keyworker system is and you are aware of the hurdles you need to face to impliment the system.

 

Peggy

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I agree with all that has been said about benefits to children and families/ childminders. Also...my initially sceptical staff were soon very enthusiastic about getting to know the children really well. It makes filling in Records of achievement much better, as you are collecting information about 'your' children. I feel children are much less likely to slip through the net, especially if the key worker system is linked to a good method for keeping up with observations (we observe 4 - 6 children a week so that each child is a focus for planned observation once a term). Staff also seem to naturally pass information about informal observations on to the key worker.

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I'm totally committed to a Keyworker/person system.... But many years ago (pre 'Desirable Outcomes', for anyone who remembers those days) when I suggested this for our playgroup (as it was then known), there was uproar!! I won, in the end, and eventually all staff admitted they really liked having a group of children they 'really' knew. I'm long gone from that setting, but they have stayed with it - because it works, as well as being good practice.

 

Stay with it!!

 

Sue

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How much time, say per week, could I reasonably ask the nursery manager to give her staff as non-contact time to keep keyworker files up to date? The nursery is open 8-6 and staff work 8 hour shifts with half an hour for lunch.

 

I want to be able to present as complete an argument and case for introducing a keyworker system as possible to the manager, with all practical implications thought of and considered! I do know that when I was a keyworker I took my files home on a regular basis but I want to make this as positive a change as possible for the staff and I just know that any suggestion of "outside hours" in connection with it is going to met with hostility :o so if I can get the management making the introduction as painless as possible, that will be good! :)

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Non-contact time in a nursery is difficult as you are bound by ratios. Depending on the numbers and whether or not the manager is super-numerary or not, you could try for some time per week, but I've never known this to work due to staff absences and holidays needing to be covered. I never had a problem keeping records up to date during the day as there was inevitably 'quieter' times during the week (post-lunch time was usually good!)

 

It is important to try not to increase workload by having the added pressure of keyworker files - observations don't have to be page long written essays; planning for individual children doesn't always have to be done in advance and retrospective planning is usually quicker as you can state what the children actually did, rather than what you want them to do; collecting evidence of work is fairly straightforward and doesn't require a long written explanation.

 

Try and stick to the systems that are already in place and you will probably (possibly?) find that the workload is more streamlined as the staff know what to look for when observing and know what the children's interests are, so can plan more effectively.

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Just a thought - in my setting there is a regular Keyworker time slot - half an hour in the afternoons. This is for more 'tailored' work with the group. Could it be that something like this could every so often be used as time for updating anything that can't be pulled in otherwise?

 

Sue

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I think a keyworker system is good for 'developing independance by having someone to depend on'.

 

We do not have any non contact time. Everybody does notelet type obs on all children throughout the session when they catch them doing something noteworthy. We have to find a quite time to do a focused observation (once per half term on each child). We are supposed to try to jot notes into the profile during the session but none of us is very good at that, including the supervisors. Two of our staff take profiles home to do at half term (am avoiding doing mine now) and 2 staff choose to stay on at the end of their morning to update theirs, through personal choice. All unpaid, although I like someone's suggestion on here of being paid £6 per file to complete once a half-term (I think?).

 

Good luck

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