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Key person and positive relationships

Positive relationships

Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.

Practitioners have a key role in building the right conditions for learning, respecting each child's own rate of development. Adults need to ensure that children feel valued as individuals, safe and cared for and the role of the key person is central to building trusting relationships and supporting the home learning environment.

  • This extract from All about...developing positive relations with children (opens in new window) may help you explore and reflect on the key person approach
  • Attachment influences a child's development, their sense of self, confidence and resilience. Read more about attachment now! (Opens in new window.)
  • Children need time to become deeply involved in their activities and follow their ideas through, including returning later to continue their explorations or creative expressions. As a practitioner it is important to understand and support the concept of sustained shared thinking (opens in new window).

Key person

'Each child must be assigned a key person (also a safeguarding and welfare requirement - see paragraph 3.27 of the early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework). Providers must inform parents and / or carers of the name of the key person, and explain their role, when a child starts attending a setting. The key person must help ensure that every child's learning and care is tailored to meet their individual needs. The key person must seek to engage and support parents and / or carers in guiding their child's development at home. They should also help families engage with more specialist support if appropriate'. Paragraph 1.10 of the early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework.

These Principles into practice cards from the 2008 EYFS framework still carry lots of very useful information about best practice - see card 2.4 about the key person.

Relevant resources