Role Of The Day Care Key Worker
Ideally, each age group within a day care should have a key worker who supports and represents it. This person builds critical relationships with both families and children and coordinates information pertaining to their charges sharing it as needed with parents and other staff. This way consistency and continuity of care is maintained which is vital for supporting the foundations for their development and ensures the emotional and physical well being of the child.
The key worker communicates regularly with parents from the outset ensuring that the child settles into the day care with minimum upset. He/she learns as much as possible about the relationship between parent and child so as to apply that knowledge at day care. Additionally, they are responsible for maintaining progress reports and development plans for each individual child. This way any changes in the behaviour or interests of the child will be noted.
It is important to bring the worlds of home and day care together and that is a major aspect of the role of key worker. He/she uses the knowledge gleaned from parents to form a bond with the child which provides for continuity of relationship. The child is also encouraged to form relationships with the other carers so that there won't be too much upset should their key worker be unavailable.
If you have a key worker system in place at your day care you should develop a policy explaining how it works and include a summary in your parent/employee handbook. Staff need to understand the importance of the key worker and the commitment involved in being that key intermediary figure. The policy should ensure that all parties are aware of the benefits of this approach for all concerned.