Imagine yourself in the position of Alice in Wonderland;

reduced in size so all the everyday objects tables, chairs, cup - boards and most of all, people suddenly loom over you in a vast and frightening world.

That's the experience of every little three or four-year-old who makes the momentous move from home to nursery or playgroup.

Thankfully, for most of these intrepid little people making their first steps towards independence, there is one person at this strange, new place who takes the place of mummy or daddy.

That person is the keyworker. Ignore the cold - sounding word it's what they do and how they respond to your child that matters.

Every child at nursery or play-group has a keyworker: the person they run to when they arrive, the person who knows what they like to eat, the books they enjoy and the activities they prefer.

If your child had a fall and grazed their knee the day before, then the keyworker will know and be ready with a cuddle.

A runny nose? The keyworker will mop it up with a tissue. What your child will not be aware of is that the keyworker is also guiding his or her development and ensuring that all the children in her (or his) group acquire the skills and knowledge to underpin the more formal education that will take place at big school.

Essentially, this means structured play based round the six early learning goals a topic which has dominated this column in recent weeks.

But the children know nothing of education and are blissfully unaware of these behind-the-scenes activities. Rather, they are having fun, enjoying a wide of range of experiences and being stimulated in a way that most parents can't maintain for an hour, let alone day in, day out.

The clear lesson that emerges is learning is fun. If you are starting to think this is exactly the person whose ear you would like to bend, then feel free to do so.

Not only does the keyworker keep a record of your child's physical, social, emotional and intellectual progress, but she (or he)is ready to share it with you.