The Freedom Cup®

An online course with Elise Waghorn from Phoenix Support for Educators

Are you an early childhood educator working with children who:

  • Are spirited;
  • Seem to be always ‘on the go’;
  • Need to make their own decisions;
  • Are strong willed;
  • Will not follow directions (‘do not listen’ to staff); or
  • Abscond or escape. 


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

This self-paced course will enable you to have a deeper knowledge of how to support children to fill their Freedom Cup®.

The Freedom Cup is our ability to be independent, self sufficient, and freewheeling. 

This course will give you practical strategies and more confidence to plan for children’s autonomy needs and agency.

Become an expert at planning for the Freedom Cup®

Learn how to confidently foster a child's sense of autonomy by:

  • Responding to children’s need for freedom and agency

  • Developing holistic wellbeing plans

  • Proactively plan for children’s autonomy

  • Advocating for their rights

  • Encouraging self-expression

  • Flourishing children’s creativity

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

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 Freedom Cup with Elise Waghorn

    2. Freedom Cup Handout

    3. Freedom Cup Mindmap

    4. Resource Library

    5. Reflecting on the Freedom Cup

    1. Final Reflection

    2. Get in touch with the team at Phoenix Support

    3. Other Professional and Personal Development Opportunities

About this course

  • $60.00
  • 17 lessons
  • 0.5 hours of video content

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 we desire independence and freedom which contribute to the meeting of our esteem needs. Therefore, filling the Freedom Cup is vital for a child’s self-esteem.

  • 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 Freedom Cup.

  • 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 one that fosters creativity through autonomy.

  • Glasser's Choice Theory

    Dr William Glasser said that the more we are free and able to satisfy our need for freedom in a way that does not stop another person from satisfying his or hers, the more we are able to use our creativity not only for our own benefit but for the benefit of everyone. Glasser’s ideas about the basic human need for Freedom is considered in this course.

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 Freedom Cup.

  • Internet resources

    Web links to key learning material and helpful educator resources.

Your Facilitator

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.


  • 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.

What people thought of this webinar:

4 star rating

Freedom cup

Lyndell McNevin

Freedom cup

Freedom cup

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5 star rating

Great webinar!

Alana Novy

Elise was very knowledgable and some wonderful tips and strategies were shared to fill children's Freedom cup and ensure our practices foster autonomy. The i...

Read More

Elise was very knowledgable and some wonderful tips and strategies were shared to fill children's Freedom cup and ensure our practices foster autonomy. The information also helped in understanding some familiar behaviours in children.

Read Less