Life at Two – Ava starts nursery

At 26 months we look at how Ava is settling into nursery. This comprehensive documentary clip introduces the key person approach – acting as a secure base.

Contents of section

  • Introducing key person approach
  • Main attributes of key person
  • Elfer - separation anxiety
  • Key person shows availability, sensitivity and warmth
  • Elfer - secondary attachments don't undermine attachments at home
  • Mum leaving
  • Elfer - key person professionalism - boundaries
  • Playground - coping with peers - key person acts as secure base
  • Reunion with mum
  • Elfer - parents anxieties about nursery attachments

What did you notice?

  • What is separation anxiety, why is it normal and what’s a good way to deal with it?
  • Why would a key person help Ava?
  • What are the main attributes of a key person?
  • What does Claire do to help when mum is leaving?
  • What does Ava do when the girl takes her doll?
  • How does Claire help Ava in the playground?
  • What does the reunion between Ava and her mum say about their attachment relationship?
  • What does Claire do to begin to establish a good relationship with mum?
  • How do you think attachments at nursery may affect attachments at home?

These days a large number of children spend a considerable amount of time at nursery. Ava’s mum is returning to work and has chosen a nursery for her to go to. While Ava is at nursery, she will be looked after by her key person, Claire. They have visited the nursery together several times and mum and Claire have already built up the start of a good parent – key person relationship. Claire has helped to make sure mum feels welcome and at ease at the nursery. Claire will be Ava’s ‘secure base’ when mum is away.


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