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

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

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

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

Our procedures

  • We allocate a key worker before the child starts.
  • The manager and Key worker are responsible between them for the induction of the family and for settling the child into our setting.
  • The key person will offer unconditional regard for the child and is non-judgemental.
  • The Key person will plan and deliver a personalised plan for the child’s well being, care and learning with the support of the parent.
  • The key worker acts as the key contact for the parent and has links with other carers involved with the child, such as childminders, and co-ordinates the sharing of appropriate information about the child’s development with those carers.
  • A key worker is responsible for the Learning Journals and for sharing the 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.


  • Before a child starts to attend the setting, we use a variety of ways to provide his/her parents with information. These include written information (including our prospectus and policies), displays about activities available at our setting and individual meetings with parents.
  • During the half term before a child is enrolled, we provide opportunities for the child and his/her parents to visit the setting.
  • We allocate a key worker before the child is enrolled and try to ensure the key worker welcomes the child and his/her parents at the child’s first session and during the settling in process.
  • We use the pre visits and the first session at which a child begins to explain and complete with the parents the child’s registration records.
  • 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 settle into the setting.
  • We treat each child as an individual and realise each child will settle in different ways and at a different pace. Younger children will take longer to settle in as will children who have not 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.
  • When parents leave we ask them to say goodbye to their child and explain they will be coming back and when.
  • We judge a child to be settled when they have formed a relationship with their key worker e.g. looks for key worker on arrival, looks for them for comfort, and seems pleased to be with them. The child is also familiar with where their things are and is pleased to see other children and particular activities.
  • We do not believe that leaving a child to cry will benefit or help them settle quicker. We will always ring a parent to reassure them that their child has settled or they are welcome to wait in the café area for that reassurance.
  • We see each child as individuals and realise that children with SEN, we will may need to spend more time with the family, understanding their needs
  • With children of families with EAL we will try and ensure that the parents understand our policies and procedures and we will support them and their children with in the best of our abilities. Staff are aware of their responsibilities with these families.
  • Each term we have an informal coffee morning where the parents can meet with the key worker, see the Learning Journal and discuss their child’s record of achievement and work together towards the next steps.

Published: 15th September 2021
Review: September 2022
© Jack in the Box Playgroup Limited trading as Jack in the Box Playgroup.