The Connection Cup®

An online course with Elise Waghorn from Phoenix Support for Educators

Are you an early childhood educator working with children who:

  • Physically lash out at other children;
  • Will not follow directions (‘do not listen’ to staff);
  • Have difficulty including themselves with others in play;
  • Have low self-esteem;
  • Are experiencing separation anxiety;
  • Are clingy;
  • Not settling during the day? 

Learn how to confidently respond to these behaviours by increasing every child's sense of self-worth.

This course will enable you to have a deeper knowledge of how to support children to fill their Connection Cup®.

The Connection Cup drives our need for belonging, acceptance and love. This Cup is filled by inclusion, communication, community, affection, loyalty, and participation.

This course will give you practical strategies and more confidence to plan for children's holistic wellbeing, increase positive connections and engagement with children, and ensure children in your care have a strong sense of self-worth.

Course curriculum

    1. Before We Begin...

    2. Introducing The Phoenix Cups® Framework

    3. The Phoenix Cups - An overview with Sandi Phoenix

    4. The Phoenix Cups framework - An Overview

    1. Filling the Connection Cup with Elise Waghorn

    2. Connection Cup Handout

    3. The Connection Cup Mindmap

    4. Resource Library

    5. What did you learn about the Connection Cup?

    1. Final Reflection

    2. Other Professional and Personal Development Opportunities

    3. Get in touch with the team at Phoenix Support

About this course

  • $60.00
  • 17 lessons
  • 1 hour of video content

Become an expert at planning for the Connection Cup®

Learn how to confidently foster a child's self-worth by:

  • Responding to children’s need for connection and belonging

  • Developing holistic wellbeing plans

  • Proactively plan for children’s self-worth

  • Have quality relationships with all children in your care

  • Understand and plan for differences in individual children’s needs for safety

Link theory, research, and evidence to your practice and planning

This course will show you how to incorporate the following theories into your planning

  • Maslow's hierarchy of needs

    In his famous 1943 paper, A Theory of Human Motivation, Maslow said that when a person has met their physiological and safety needs, their behaviour is motivated by the need for belongingness and love. He places the need for Belonging as one of the most important basic human life needs. The Connection Cup considers the middle of Maslow's hierarchy, Belongingness and Love needs.

  • The Phoenix Cups®

    A shared language, an approach, a revolutionary framework. The Phoenix Cups is a philosophical framework that your team can use to share ideas, language, and understandings about human behaviour. This course looks specifically at one of The Phoenix Cups - The Connection Cup.

  • Positive Psychology

    The PERMA model proposes that there are five elements essential to human well-being. The R in this model refers to Relationships. Humans are social animals. We have a need for connection, love, and physical and emotional contact with others. We enhance our own well-being by building strong networks. This course considers this research and the fact that children start filling their Connection Cup with relationships in this way as soon as they’re born.

  • Guidance Approach

    The guidance approached is centred on the idea that children’s behaviours are driven by an attempt to meet a need. Dan Gartrell stresses that an effective learning community is relationship rich, ensuring children’s needs for love, belonging, acceptance, and connection are met.

  • Glasser's Choice Theory

    Dr William Glasser said that we are wired through our genes toward love and belonging. In this course, this is called the Will to Fill the Connection Cup.

Bonus material

  • Videos

    This course includes video content to provide further depth to your knowledge and understanding. Additionally, you will have several opportunities to join a live Q&A webinar with Elise..

  • Downloadable PDFs

    Downloadable resources that every educator needs for understanding how to support children to fill their Connection Cup.

  • Internet resources

    Web links to key learning material and helpful educator resources.


Phoenix Support for Educators

Facilitator, Education and Care Mentor Elise Waghorn

Elise is a huge advocate for giving children a voice in things that directly affect them. She has a passion for play-based learning and uses a strength-based approach with coaching and mentoring. Elise believes she gets the best out of educators by recognising their individual strengths and making sure they can be incorporated within their practice. Elise is the person you want in your corner! She recognises and empathises the challenging (and wonderful) job that educators have, having worked in services previously. Elise joined Phoenix Support for educators in 2016 bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and experience in education and care. In fact, Elise has taught over 21 units in The Bachelor of Early Childhood and Primary and Masters of Early Childhood and Masters of Education. In addition to her coaching and mentoring with Phoenix support for educators Elise is a collective mentor to students in the graduate program at the University of Melbourne. She is also a PhD candidate, and her studies explore scholarly Habitus in children's lifeworld's by exploring high stakes testing and educational capital. All her workshops are theory-based, as Elise heavily researches the literature to provide as much current and peer-reviewed information as possible. Elise currently delivers a number of courses and workshops including the Holistic Infant and Toddler Development series, the Fostering Children’s Wellbeing series, the Protecting Children’s Rights educator training bundle, the Educators' Toolkit for Behaviour workshop, and the Documenting to Discover workshop. She loves developing content-specific information for individual services to meet their needs.

What people think of this course:

5 star rating

Filling the Connection Cup™ : Fostering Self-Worth

Danielle (Dani) Barnes



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5 star rating

Fabulous!! 100 out of 10!!

Kerrie Crawford

5 star rating

Connection Cup

Lyndell McNevin

The content was very good and well delivered.

The content was very good and well delivered.

Read Less


  • How long do I have access to the course?

    You have access to this course for 4 weeks. We estimate it will take you about 3 hours to complete, so we have allowed for 1 hour per week and an extra week for catch up.

  • How do I get my certificate?

    To receive your certificate, you must click on 'Complete & Continue' on every page of the course. Once you've done this your certificate download button should come up in the top left corner of your course, where the progress bar is.

Want more?

Register for the whole Fostering Children's Wellbeing series today.