Circle of Security

Circle of Security Parenting is an evidence-based program that helps parents understand and nurture secure attachment with their children.

Program details

  • Priority area: Wellbeing (social and emotional)
  • Primary audience: Educators, parents/carers
  • Delivery mode: Group training, online, resources (books, kits, manuals)
  • Strength of evidence: Level 7 – Requires further research
  • AEDC sub-domains:
    • Emotional maturity anxious and fearful behaviour
    • Emotional maturity aggressive behaviour
    • Emotional maturity hyperactivity and inattentive behaviour
    • Social competence responsibility and respect
  • Item cost: Variable

Program description

Circle of Security Parenting

Circle of Security Parenting (COS-P) provides parents with education and psychotherapy based on attachment theory. COS-P operates on the assumption that attachment theory can be understood and be useful to parents in interactions with their children if taught in a user-friendly manner. As a result, the program focuses on teaching selected core concepts of attachment theory.

The program aims to enhance parents' capacity for caregiving and child attachment. It can be delivered in a group context, in individual counselling, or in the home.

Circle of Security Classroom for educators and teachers

Circle of Security Classroom is intended for early childhood teachers and educators working with children from birth to 6 years of age. This program aimed at enhancing attachment and relationships in early care settings, is idle for educators wanting to create emotionally supportive environments for all children.

The learning series also supports educators to look beyond behavioural approaches to see the ways attachment needs are communicated by behaviour (and often misbehaviour). The importance of the teacher as an attachment figure in responding to these needs is highlighted through reflection questions and handouts created specifically for early care professionals.

Detailed cost

Course costs vary. Contact providers for information.

Implementation considerations

Target population: the program is designed for parents/carers who:

  • want to understand and respond to their children's needs more effectively
  • want to enjoy parenting more
  • want parenting to be less stressful
  • have children newborn to 6 years old
  • are concerned about their relationship with their child and/or their child's behaviour
  • lack confidence in parenting
  • have experienced family violence/trauma/disconnection with their own parents/carers as a child
  • have experienced perinatal depression and anxiety.

Educators can also complete the COS-P training to provide them with the skills to support caregivers in their parenting.

Program/practice descriptions and details: parenting courses consist of 1.5-hour sessions over 8 weeks. Educator training seminars are conducted over 4 days.

Program adaptability: program materials have been translated from English into multiple languages. Program can be delivered in individual consultations, to groups, or in the home.

VEYLDF alignment

Item uses these practice principles

  • Reflective practice
  • High expectations for every child
  • Respectful relationships and responsive engagement
  • Integrated teaching and learning approaches

Item responds to these sub-outcomes

Children become strong in their social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.


For a list of upcoming facilitator training courses, visit the Circle of Security website.

Below are some organisations that run COS-P programs. Please note: this list is not exhaustive.

Safe Sleep Space

Phone: 1300 775 337
Website: SafeSleepSpace

Community Child Care Association

Phone: 03 9486 3455
Website: Community Child Care Association or Circle of Security

Bump Anxiety

Website: BumpAnxiety

Centre for Perinatal Psychology

Phone: 1300 852 660
Website: Centre for Perinatal Psychology

Mackillop Family Services

Phone: 03 9680 8444