The Safety Cup™

A self-paced course with Elise Waghorn from Phoenix Support for Educators

Are you an early childhood educator working with children who:

  • Are emotional;
  • Have separation anxiety;
  • Use a high pitched cry;
  • Bite excessively;
  • Are withdrawn; or
  • Are not settling during the day? 

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

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

The Safety Cup is the drive to get our physiological needs met as well as the need for psychological safety. This Cup is filled by health, wellness, and other bodily needs (food, water, sleep, shelter, etc), as well as emotional safety such as trust, structure, order, and predictability.

This course will give you practical strategies and more confidence to plan for children's holistic wellbeing and ensure children in your care have a strong sense of security.

Become an expert at planning for the Safety Cup™

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

  • Responding to children's need for safety

  • Developing holistic wellbeing plans

  • Proactively plan for children's sense of security

  • Provide predictability to all children in your care

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

Course curriculum

  1. 3
    • Risk Benefit Analysis Template

  2. 4
    • Why is the Safety Cup Important?

    • The Safety Cup

    • Safety Cup - Top Traits

    • Safety Cup Fillers

    • Safety Cup Fillers

    • Why do Children Need Safety?

    • Food and Water

    • Food and Water - Questions

    • feedAustralia

    • Munch & Move Resources

    • Questions: Nutrition

    • Sleep and Rest

    • Sleep and Rest (2)

    • Active Infants, Safe Spaces

    • Sleep Learning for Early Education Professionals

    • Questions: Sleep and Rest

    • Trust:

    • Question: Trust

    • Movement and Exercise

    • Predictability and Stability

    • Health and Wellness

    • Physical Health

    • Benefits of Physical Activity for Children

    • Physical Play Resource Sheet

    • Physical and Cognitive Milestones

    • Emotional Health

    • Questions: Health and Wellness

    • Safety Cup- Mind Map

    • Safety Cup - Mind Map (PDF)

    • Quality Area 2 - Children's Health and Safety

    • Reflection

    • NQS PLP e-Newsletter No.29 2012: Health, Safety and Wellbeing

    • NQS PLP e-Newsletter No.61 2013: Supporting Babies' Social and Emotional Wellbeing

    • Question: Predictability and Stability

  3. 5
    • Raising Children Network

  4. 6
    • Upgrade to the Complete Series

    • Professional and personal development opportunities with Phoenix Support for Educators

    • Final reflection

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, Maslow talked about safety-seeking behaviour. He places the need for Safety as one of the most important basic human life needs. The Safety Cup considers the bottom of Maslow's hierarchy, Physiological needs and Safety 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 Safety Cup.

  • Glasser's Choice Theory

    Dr William Glasser said that all living creatures are genetically programmed to survive. In this course, this is called the Will to Fill the Safety 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 Safety 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). Elise started working with Phoenix Support for Educators as a part time professional development facilitator in 2016 and has an in-depth knowledge of the theoretical applications and research represented in The Phoenix Cups framework.

The Live Q&A will be in...

Join Elise for a live Q&A session on Wednesday 27th October 2021 at 7:00pm AEST

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  • 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.

Get started today

You can sign up today to access the resource library straight away. Access to the live webinar will be accessible through your login.