The Connection Cup™

A webinar 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 workshop 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

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

You will get instant access to a resource library as well as a one hour live webinar presentation and Q&A

  • Videos + Webinar

    This course includes video content to provide further depth to your knowledge and understanding. Additionally, the live webinar will be recorded and uploaded to your course to play back at your own time.

  • 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

Elise Waghorn

Elise Waghorn is a PhD student in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne. Her research project is investigating the everyday lifeworlds of children in Australia and how this relates and connects to policy and educational experiences with children in Hong Kong and Singapore. Elise’s teaching has focused on the ways in which early childhood pedagogical practices influence children’s wellbeing. She has worked within the early childhood sector for 13 plus years and has a passion for making sure children's rights are listened to and respected. For the last four years Elise has worked part time as a casual academic at a university. Her role involves teaching the Bachelor of Early Childhood and Primary, and Masters of Education (Early Childhood and Primary).

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Cup filling series

Complete the whole series with Elise Waghorn

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