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Keyworker Shifts

Guest Wolfie

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I'm hoping to implement a keyworker system in a nursery over the next few weeks and am trying to identify any possible stumbling blocks before presenting the idea to the staff at a training session; how do you overcome the fact that keyworkers may not see the parents/carers of their children for consecutive days due to staff shifts and rotas?


If a child is always dropped off at 8 and their keyworker doesn't start their shift until 10 every day for a week, how do you ensure that communication carries on effectively during that week? Notebooks? Paired keyworkers working opposite shifts? I know it probably works out OK because that keyworker could see the parent/carer at the END of the day but I just wondered if anyone else had tackled this issue and found a good solution?

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We are a sessional pre-school with 74 children on our books. We have 8 staff members and it is my job to allocate staff their key children. I allocate the key children by the staff members who do the same shifts as those children. It is very complicated and takes hours but basically the staff member may not see thier children every single session (it would be impossible for us) but the parents know that they can talk to any staff member or wait until the keyworker is in. It is not ideal but with the amount of children we have there is little choice, however parents have never complained and seem happy with the arrangements.

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allocate staff as to who is in the most sessions with them,

ensure parents know who the key worker is, and when they are available

let parents know they can actually speak to any staff member if key worker unavailable

let parents know they can make appointments with key worker for concerns they wish to discuss (usually in session time convenient to both parties)

tried books but found it took too long, and parents failed to bring them in,


we have a key worker policy which helps all understand role of key worker in our setting.




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We have paired keyworkers, although one more senior, and so far works well - always at least one of the keyworkers in, works during holidays, there is a cross over period so information can be passed on verbally as well as reading notes recorded.

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Hello :(

We work on a similar basis to everyone else who has posted. We've had a lot of training around birth to three recently which included keyworkers. The thinking at the moment appears to be pulling away from the 'key worker', :o to the same thing but calling them 'key persons'. As well as the key person, there is also what is termed 'paired and shared', another named person who takes over from the key person. These two people share information about the child, routines, interests etc. Child still have the so very important attachment to one person, who cares for their daily routines, but are also feel there is another close adult. We find this also helps over come upset and over attachment when the key person cannot be there 247, as we all need holidays are off sick etc.

Our staff work long days as discribed on another post, for this being one of the reasons. Working long 10.5hr xD days continuity of care is provided, staff have two half days where the paired and share person comes in.


Good luck with the introduction of your key worker/person system. Hope the above was of some help to you. :D

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Thanks for that Seashore - yes, I've been reading in Peter Elfer's book this weekend about the distinction between key persons and key workers...it's a very readable book for anyone who's interested, well worth the money and full of practical case studies and ideas.


It's just a case of selling it to the staff now! That's going to have to happen during an evening training session which I know isn't ideal but it's the only way that we can get the whole staff together, something that I think is very important when we're going to be introducing and then implementing something so essential to good practice.

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