We believe that children settle best when they have a Key Person to relate to, who knows them and their parents well, and who can meet their individual needs. Research shows that a Key Person approach benefits the child, the parents, the staff and the preschool by providing secure relationships in which children thrive, parents have confidence, staff are committed and the preschool is a happy and dedicated place to attend or work in.
We want children to feel safe, stimulated and happy at Little Den and to feel secure and comfortable with staff. We also want parents to have confidence in both their children’s well-being and their role as active partners with our preschool. We aim to make Little Den Preschool a welcoming place where children settle quickly and easily because consideration has been given to the individual needs and circumstances of children and their families.
Children are eligible to start Little Den Preschool from 2 years. Little Den does not hold an annual intake; instead children and parents are encouraged to start the child at Little Den when mutually convenient. Induction into Little Den is child lead and can be flexible to accommodate the needs of parent and child. Children usually remain at Little Den until the July before they are due to start Reception class at school.
Your child will be treated as an individual and will be observed and progressed through the early learning goals covered in the Early Years Foundation Stage. We allocate a Key Person to your child who will maintain records within your child’s learning journey with details of your child’s development, observations made and photographs. This is available for parents to view at any time and will be handed out to parents to be taken home once a term.
Your key person will aim to help your child feel confident and safe by working closely with you and by taking a special interest in your child in order to develop a close bond with them. In order to achieve this your key person will endeavour to:
- Liaise regularly with you about your child.
- Get to know and understand your child.
- Allow you access to your child’s Learning Journey at all times.
- Ensure that your child’s Learning Journey goes home at the end of each term.
- Read and make written observations in your child’s Learning Journey.
- Review your child’s Learning Journey throughout the term so that planning activities is focused on their learning and achievements while noting their strengths and weaknesses.
- Share with you your child’s next steps.
Before your child starts to attend Little Den Preschool, we use a variety of ways to provide parents with information. These include our welcome pack, policies, news updates on Facebook, open days / events and individual meetings with parents.
During the half-term before your child is enrolled, we provide opportunities for you and your child to visit us in preschool. A Registration form must be filled in fully and returned before your child’s commencement date. We can use early visits to LittleDen Preschool to explain and complete your child’s registration records with you if required. Written confirmation will be issued to the parent confirming start date, sessions and times.
You and your child will be introduced to their Key Person on your child’s first day. The Key Person will go through the induction information with the parents and the ‘All About Me’ form can be completed together. We will explain the process of settling-in and jointly decide on the best way to help your child to settle into preschool.
We judge a child to be settled when they have formed a relationship with their Key Person and other staff members, for example the child looks for the Key Person when they arrive, goes to them for comfort, and seems pleased to be with them. The child is also familiar with where things are and is pleased to see other children and participate in activities.
If a child finds the progression to preschool difficult and is distressed, we work closely with you to find the best solution for each individual child. Within the first few weeks of starting Little Den Preschool, we begin to create your child’s Learning Journey and complete an Initial Assessment Form. We share this with you and explain how the Learning Journey is used to build a record of your child’s achievements with the addition of parental observations and comments.
We provide a programme, which meets each child’s individual needs. All children will be involved in exploring the environment and different activities will be provided which are appropriate to their age, stage and developmental needs.