Key Person Policy

Learning and Development Requirement 1.10

Safeguarding and Welfare Requirement: 3.27

"The key person ensures that within the day to day demands of the setting, each child for whom they have special responsibility feels individual, cherished and thought about by someone in particular while they are aware from home."
- DfES Early Years Foundation Stage Effective Practice: Key Person p.7.

The team at Little Tinkers realises the importance of ensuring that each child's individual needs are identified and met. Therefore, the nursery operates a system in line with the EYFS wherein each child is assigned a 'key person' and a 'buddy'. Each key person is responsible for a group of 'key children', liaising with parents/guardians, planning for the development and learning of their key children as well as maintaining records of said development and learning.

All staff that work directly with the children on a regular basis and those with a relevant level of knowledge and experience are required to assume the key person role at the nursery.

Little Tinkers places the child's needs at the centre of key worker system but also recognises the entitlements and expectations for others involved such as: the parents/guardians, key staff, buddies and nursery manager.


  1. To have a key person to provide a secure attachment during their time at the nursery.
  2. To have the key person available during settling in visits whilst they become familiar with the setting.
  3. To have a flexible and supported induction period that is sensitive to their needs.
  4. To have a key person who is supportive and allows them to explore and learn and their own pace.
  5. To have a key person who is primarily responsible for their care routines.
  6. To be 'held in mind' by their key person during their time at the nursery.
  7. To have the opportunity to form a secure attachment with their key person who will support their security, independence and their well-being.
  8. To know what happens in the absence of their key person and to be special to another person in the nursery (buddy) and not have their care compromised.


  1. To be provided with information/literature about the key person system at Little Tinkers and why the system is in place.
  2. To understand the relationship between themselves and the key person/buddy and how this is implemented, e.g. daily communication, diaries, meetings, drop in sessions.
  3. To have their family culture, values and heritage respected and represented within the nursery to develop their sense of belonging within the setting.
  4. To be continually updated about information in regards to their child.
  5. To be warned, when possible, regarding the absence of their child's key person so that the child can prepared and can understand what will happen and to know that the child's buddy will act as their key person.


  1. To be primarily responsible for their key children and their care routines.
  2. To develop a good relationship with the parents/guardians so they can ensure the child is cared for appropriately as well as accommodating for their individual needs within the daily routine of the nursery.
  3. To be responsible for sharing the development of their key children with parents/guardians as well as other professionals (as required) in the case of children with additional needs or identified children.
  4. To be responsible for the welfare of the children in their care, monitoring patterns of absence, injury and development and to refer to the relevant authorities when necessary.
  5. To feel supported by their buddy, especially during times when new children are settling into the nursery.
  6. To have allocated time to complete paperwork.
  7. To be responsible for the observational records of their key children and using said information to inform next steps and planning and to complete development profiles for each of their key children.
  8. To receive on-going support from senior members of staff (room leaders, nursery manager) and to have the opportunity to discuss and problem solve the challenges within their role.

THE BUDDY (in addition to key person entitlements):

  1. To be provided with adequate information by the key person to ensure the continuation of high standard care in the absence of the child's key person.
  2. To have the support and help of the nursery team if necessary when they are carrying out their role as both key person and buddy.
  3. To be introduced to the parent/guardians of the key child's first visit to aid the buddy relationship.


  1. To oversee the key person responsibilities of the staff in their room.
  2. To ensure fair and even distribution of key person responsibilities.
  3. To monitor at regular intervals the number of key children that each key person has under their care.


  1. To ensure staff are motivated and committed to the key person system and are willing to attend relevant support and training.
  2. To receive personal guidance and on-going support from other professionals such as the Early Years Team.
  3. To work in partnership with the families and to have their support to making the key person system successful.
  4. To provide opportunities for the nursery staff to give feedback and to support staff in their role, ensuring that all developmental needs are met.
  5. To monitor the children's records of development and learning and to ensure they are updated regularly to a high standard.

When a child transitions to another room in the setting, to another setting or to school, their record of development will move with them. It is the responsibility of the key person to ensure all records are up to date and accurate. If transitioning to another room in the setting, the responsibility will transfer to the new key person, if the child is leaving the setting then the record will be handed to their parent/guardian.