It’s important that every child is in regular contact with someone who makes them feel safe, confident and cared for.
According to the statutory framework for early years education (EYFS) - which sets the standards for your childs learning and development - ‘every child must be assigned a key person.’ This person is vital to your child’s success at nursery school, but why?
First things first: what is a key person?
A key person provides individual, tailored care to every child assigned to them. From an early age, it’s important for a child to develop key cognitive skills like confidence and social interaction, and this person offers nursery school children a place where learning can be performed in a safe and trusting way.
According to the EYFS, children under the age of two must be assigned an adult on a ratio of one adult to every three children. For those over the age of two, it’s a ratio of one adult to four children.
The principles for early years education
The principles for early years education provides nursery schools with curriculum guidance. It states that:
- Practitioners should ensure that all children feel included, secure and valued.
- Early years experience should build on what children already know and can do.
- No child should be excluded or disadvantaged.
- Parents and practitioners should work together.
It is the role of the key person to fulfil these requirements when your child is at nursery. Children are unique and individual, and it’s vital to their development that each child receives the correct level of learning.
How does a key person help your child?
‘Infants who have a close, intimate relationship with at least one parent or carer are less likely to experience emotional or behavioural problems in childhood,’ according to a study conducted by the University of Iowa.
Of course, this person is not a parent, but the principles of development are the same. Children, whether in the presence of their parents or not, should always feel welcomed, comfortable and unjudged. In doing so, they have a greater chance of healthy development throughout infancy.
Because children learn and develop at such different rates, it’s up to this person to understand and tailor their care to each child’s needs. Education.com explains this well:
‘For children in any preschool classroom setting, the differences in temperament, personality, intelligence, achievement, and physical factors such as height and weight, are noteworthy and reflect a wide range of normal variation. Some children grow rapidly and others grow more slowly.’
How does this help parents?
As a parent, you want the best for your child. By pairing them with someone who fully understands their learning, development and individual care, it gives you confidence that your child is developing at a healthy rate.
But your child isn’t the only who should be building a connection with this person. Your relationship with your child’s key person is just as important. A partnership with the parent ensures there is full transparency in your child’s learning and development, and it helps you to take your child’s development even further at home.
The key person and Stars: what we do
Here at Stars, our team observes each child at play. It helps us to understand and support their well-being and development. Every child is unique with special skills, interests and ideas, and the more we understand about your child, the better we can support them in the right way.
That’s why all of our children are paired with a key person. A healthy attachment to a key person is vital to development, and gives your child a nurturing environment for them to learn and grow. If you'd like to find out more, contact us here.