The Green Door Nursery
green door nursery

The Role of the Key Person and Settling-in

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 Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Each setting must offer 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.
  • The key person is responsible for the induction of the family and 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 parent to plan and deliver a personalised plan 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.
  • A 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 key person encourages positive relationships between children in her/his key group, spending time with them as a group each day.
  • For babies and young children we aim to provide care on a one to one basis. With the key person performing his/her care tasks throughout the day.
  • We provide a second key person so the child and the 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 provide his/her parents with information. A brochure is given along with our parent information pack which contains relevant policies and procedures along with guidance documents which are emailed out to parents when the booking commences. 
  • Parents notice boards in the nursery display daily planning, weekly planning and focus for learning documents.  A Focus for learning newsletter is sent out termly to give information about the children’s interests and how this is being developed.  There are also day books which record the day’s events.
  • An information evening for parents is held once a year to give detailed information about the EYFS and learning reviews are held twice yearly with parents.
  • We provide opportunities for the child and his/her parents to visit the setting prior to the child’s first day. We hold an induction with the parents/carers to go through the child’s care plan and the information given in the parent information pack.  Also the registration documents.  At the induction we jointly decide on the best way to help the child settle into the nursery and arrange a review to be held at the end of the first month.
  • We give two free three hour starter sessions to parents with a booking of three days or more and one free three hour session to parents with a two day a week booking.
  • We allocate a key person to each child and his/her family before she/he starts to attend; 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.  A care plan is in place for each child.  The care plan is made up of information given by the parent/carer about their child’s individual needs.
  • Children may take longer to settle in if they have not previously spent time away from home. Children who have had a period of absence may also need time to re-settle i.e. holidays or sickness.
  • 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 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 if the child finds it distressing to be left and we feel it is detrimental to the child’s welfare to continue with the session. This is especially the case with very young children.
  • Within the first four to six weeks of starting we discuss and work with the child's parents to start to create their child's learning diary.

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The Green Door Nursery
0117 985 3267