The Role of The Keyperson and Settling In


Policy statement

We believe that children settle best when they have a key person to relate to, who knows them and their parents well, and who can meet their individual needs. Research shows that a key person approach benefits the child, the parents, the staff and the setting by providing secure relationships in which children thrive, parents have confidence, staff are committed and the setting is a happy and dedicated place to attend or work in. 


We want children to feel safe, stimulated and happy in the setting and to feel secure and comfortable with staff. We also want parents to have confidence in both their children's well-being and their role as active partners with the setting. 


We aim to make the setting a welcoming place where children settle quickly and easily because consideration has been given to the individual needs and circumstances of children and their families. 


The key person role is set out in the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Each setting must assign a key person for each child. 


The procedures set out a model for developing a key person approach that promotes effective and positive relationships for children who are in settings. 



  • We allocate a key person before the child starts.

  • We offer a home visit before the child starts,this is done by the manager and the child’s key person.

  • The key person is responsible for settling the child into our setting. The key person offers unconditional regard for the child and is non-judgemental.

  • The key person works with the parents to gain information about their child so that they can plan activities around the child’s interests for the child's well-being, care and learning.

  • The key person acts as the key contact for the parents and has links with other carers involved with the child, such as a childminder,and co-ordinates the sharing of appropriate information about the child's development with those carers.

  • The key person is responsible for developmental records and for sharing information on a regular basis with the child's parents to keep those records up-to-date, reflecting the full picture of the child in our setting and at home. The information gathered will form the child’s starting points on entry & continued assessment.

  • The key person encourages positive relationships between children in the setting.

  • We provide a buddy key person so the child and parents have a key contact in the absence of the child’s key person.

  • We promote the role of the key person as the child’s primary carer in our setting, and as the basis for establishing relationships with other staff and children.



  • Before a child starts to attend the setting, we use a variety of ways to provide their parents with information. These include written information (including our prospectus and policies), a welcome booklet detailing who the staff are and pictures of the setting, the daily routine and our activities.

  • When a child starts at the pre-school, we offer two weeks of taster sessions, and although parents are welcome to stay we do advised that they leave them for a period of time as we find this helps them to settle in to the pre-school routine.

  • We allocate a key person to each child and their family before they start to attend; the key person welcomes and looks after the child and their parents during the settling-in process.

  • We offer a home visit by the child's key person and manager, so the child can meet their key person within their own environment and to ensure all relevant information about the child can be made known.

  • When a child starts to attend, we explain the process of settling-in with his/her parents and jointly decide on the best way to help the child to settle into the setting.

  • Younger children will take longer to settle in, as will children who have not previously spent time away from home. Children who have had a period of absence may also need to re- settle.

  • We judge a child to be settled when they have formed a relationship with their key person; for example, the child looks for the key person when he/she arrives, goes to them for comfort, and seems pleased to be with them. The child is also familiar with where things are and is pleased to see other children and participate in activities.

  • When parents leave, we ask them to say goodbye to their child and explain that they will be coming back, and when.


The progress check at age two 

  • The key person carries out the progress check at age two in accordance with any local procedures that are in place and referring to the guidance A Know How Guide: The EYFS progress check at age two. 

  • The progress check aims to review the child’s development and ensures that parents have a clear picture of their child’s development. 

  • Within the progress check, the key person will note areas where the child is progressing well and identify areas where progress is less than expected. 

  • The progress check will describe the actions that will be taken by the setting to address any developmental concerns (including working with other professionals where appropriate) as agreed with the parent(s). 

  • The key person will plan activities to meet the child’s needs within the setting and will support parents to understand the child’s needs in order to enhance their development at home.

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