The Key Person in the EYFS
What is a key person?
It has been known that young children when they are not with their family need to have an adult on whom they can count. The term key person is used to describe this role. A key person should build up a strong relationship with your child so that your child always has someone there to whom they can go if they are feeling upset, happy or just want a cuddle. The role of the key person is considered to be so important that it is looked at as part of the Ofsted inspections.
How will I know who is my child's key person?
The revised EYFS requires all registered settings to allocate each child a key person. They are also required to let parents know who their child's key person is when the child starts in the setting.
What happens if my child's key person is ill or works part time?
To prevent children from becoming upset because their key person is not there, pre-schools and nurseries usually introduce a second member of staff to your child who will take over the role if their key person is not in.
My baby goes full time to nursery whilst I work. I am worried that if she has a key person, she might not develop a strong bond with me.
This is not an uncommon concern amongst working parents, but you have nothing to fear provided you do spend some time with your baby. Whilst babies and young children do become fond of their key persons, there is something so magical about the way that parents respond to their children that ensures that the special parent-child bond remains secure. On the other hand, research is clear that if babies or children are left in settings without having a key person, not only is their development delayed, but their relationship with their parents suffers. It is as if they have lost their trust in adults.