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If your baby or toddler spends time in a childcare setting, either with a childminder or in a nursery, then they will have a 'key person' assigned to them who must fulfil a number of obligations. Childminders must act as the 'key person' for children in their care, but in a group setting, one member of care staff will be nominated as the 'key person' for your child. Each child's 'key person' acts as the main contact with the family of the child and must lead the child's development to ensure that they grow up in a positive environment and have the support that they require in their early years.
The key person plays an important role in encouraging children to learn how to be independent. The law requires that the key person develops a genuine bond with the child and their parents, and respond sensitively to the feelings, ideas and behaviour of the children in their care. There is a responsibility to talk with parents and make sure that each child is given appropriate care.
Although statutory requiremens are quite clear in the overall goals of a key person, little guidance is offered in how to fulfil those obligations, so there will be distinct differences in the ways that different care providers discharge their duties. If you are not happy with the provision of care provided either by your childminder, or in a nursery setting, then you should raise your concerns with OFSTED. They will listen to your concerns and if they agree that the care provision is inadequate they will conduct an investigation, this may well include an unannounced visit to the care setting.
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