The role of the key person 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. We are committed to the key person approach which benefits the child, the parents, the staff and the setting. It encourages secure relationships which support children to thrive, give parents confidence and make the setting a happy 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 our staff. We also want parents to have confidence in both their children’s well-being and their role as active partners with our setting. We aim to make our 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 child must have a key person. These procedures set out a model for developing a key person approach that promotes effective and positive relationships for children.



  • We allocate a key person before the child starts, along with a second key person as soon as possible.
  • The key person is responsible for:
  • Providing an induction for the family and for settling the child into our setting.
  • Completing relevant forms with parents, including accident forms / pre-existing injuries forms.
  • Offering unconditional regard for the child and being non-judgemental.
  • Working with the parents to plan and deliver a personalised plan for the child’s well-being, care and learning.
  • Acting as the key contact for the parents.
  • 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
  • Having links with other carers involved with the child and co-ordinating the sharing of appropriate information about the child’s development with those carers.
  • 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 adults and children.


  • Before a child starts to attend our setting, we use a variety of ways to provide his/her parents with information.
  • We provide opportunities for the child and his/her parents to visit the setting.
  • The key person welcomes and looks after the child and his/her parents at the child’s first session and during the settling-in process.
  • We may offer a home visit by the person who will be the child’s key person 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.

Settling at Kea Preschool

  • We offer three settling sessions:
  1. This first settling session will take place outside or in our Annex with one parent and the child’s key person. It is a lovely opportunity for parents and children to get to know the key person and settle in the environment. This session lasts around 45 minutes.
  1. The second settling session is where the child comes into the main room with their key person/s to meet the other children. Parents are welcome to stay in the annex/outside to be nearby if needed. If for any reason the child is not happy, we start in the annex and then try to come into the main room and if they needs parental support this is ok and parents are welcome to come into the main room. We go by the child and how they are. It is important that they feels happy and secure here at Kea preschool. The second settling session lasts for 1 hour.
  1. The third settling session is where the child attends a session 9.15am-11.30am. This is a lovely opportunity for us to see children in the setting. Parents will be asked to drop and leave if this is possible.
  • 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 their parent to be on hand to re- settle them.
  • 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.
  • We recognise that some children will settle more readily than others, but that some children who appear to settle rapidly are not ready to be left.
  • We do not believe that leaving a child to cry will help them to settle any quicker. We believe that a child’s distress will prevent them from learning and gaining the best from the setting.
  • We reserve the right not to accept a child into the setting without a parent or carer if the child finds it distressing to be left. This is especially the case with very young children.

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 us to address any developmental concerns (including working with other professionals where appropriate) as agreed with the parent(s).
  • The key person will support and 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.
  • Settling sessions will not take place during national or local lockdowns.

Key person supervision

Staff taking on the role of key person must have supervision meetings in line with this procedure.


  • Supervision meetings are held every once a term for key persons. For part-time staff this may be less frequent but at least every 6-8 weeks
  • Key persons are supervised by the setting manager or deputy.
  • Supervision meetings are held in a confidential space suitable for the task
  • Key persons should prepare for supervision by having the relevant information to hand.


The child focused element of supervision meetings must include discussion about:

  • the development and well-being of the supervisee’s key children and offer staff opportunity to raise concerns in relation to any child attending. Safeguarding concerns must always reported to the designated person immediately and not delayed until a scheduled supervision meeting
  • reflection on the journey a child is making and potential well-being or safeguarding concerns for the children they have key responsibility for
  • promoting the interests of children.
  • coaching to improve professional effectiveness based on a review of observed practice/teaching
  • reviewing plans and agreements from previous supervisions including any identified learning needs for the member of staff
  • During supervision staff can discuss any concerns they have about inappropriate behaviour displayed by colleagues, but must never delay until a scheduled supervision to raise concerns.
  • Staff are reminded of the need to disclose any convictions, cautions, court orders, reprimands and warnings which may affect their suitability to work with children that have occurred during their employment. New information is referred immediately to the designated officer.


  • Key person supervision discussions are recorded and is retained by the supervisor and a copy provided to the key person.
  • The key person and supervisor must sign and date the minutes of supervision within 4-6 weeks of it happening and disagreements over recorded content must be minuted.
  • Each member of staff has a supervision file that is stored securely at all times.
  • Concerns raised during supervision about an individual child’s welfare may result in safeguarding concerns not previously recognised as such, these are recorded on 06.1b Safeguarding incident reporting form and placed on the child’s file. The reasons why the concerns have not previously been considered are explored.
  • Additional safeguarding or welfare decisions made in relation to a child during supervision are recorded on the individual case file. The supervisor (if not the designated person) should ensure the recording is made and the designated person is notified.

Checking continuing suitability

  • Supervisors check with staff if there is any new information pertaining to their suitability to work with children. This only needs to be recorded on the supervision meeting record.
  • Where staff are on zero hours contracts or are employed as and when needed, their line manager completes the staff suitability self-declaration formquarterly, and/or at the beginning of every new period of work.
  • Regarding the use of agency staff/support workers/self-employed persons there is an expectation that as part of the agreement with agencies they have sought information regarding their employee’s suitability to work with children. Line managers must review this regularly.
  • The position for students on placement is the same as that for agency staff

Exceptional Circumstances

Where exceptional circumstances prevent staff from conducting supervision as outlined in this procedure, the line manager is informed in writing, a copy placed on the supervision file and the appropriate actions agreed to ensure that the setting meets its obligations within the EYFS.

Further guidance

Recruiting Early Years Staff (Pre-school Learning Alliance 2016)

People Management in the Early Years (Pre-school Learning Alliance 2016)

Further information

  • Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2024
This policy was adopted by Kea Preschool Ltd
Adopted On 1st October 2021
Date reviewed 25th October 2023
Date to be Reviewed October 2024
Signed on behalf of the provider TMKEMP
Name of signatory Tracey Kemp
Role of signatory (e.g. chair, director or owner) Manager