What is the Keyperson Approach
The keyperson approach is aimed at enabling close attachments between individual children and their families. A keyperson helps the child to feel familiar with the setting and to feel confident and safe within it. When children feel happy and secure they are confident to explore and try out new things. Research has identified that close attachments allow this to happen. The keyperson approach ensures that parents have the opportunity to build a personal relationship and it is a necessary process in young children’s development.
The benefits to young children is that it can provide them with a deeply satisfying and enriching experience of preschool life that complements their home life as a close emotional relationship with a keyperson in the setting does not undermine children’s ties with their own parents.
The keyperson is there to greet the child in the morning, to provide comfort to them if they are upset, to play and enjoy time with them and be the one whenever possible to change them should they be wet. This staff member will also have other children for whom she is a keyperson and part of the skill of the job is being available for all children, although she cannot do everything for everybody all of the time. What is certain is that children who are enabled to feel safe and secure will be much more able to be themselves and try out new ideas and experiences in the preschool.
The keyperson plans with the family how they will work together to introduce the child and settle them in, how they will combine efforts to make sure that life at the nursery and life at home dovetails together.