COS in the Classroom – Circle of Security International

Circle of Security™ in the Classroom©

Promoting security in the childcare and classroom settings


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oung children express attachment needs to their early child care providers or teachers. However, many teachers lack guidance on how to promote secure attachment with the children in their care. Furthermore, many children struggle to manage the social and emotional demands of childcare or preschool. In the United States, for example, the expulsion rate from preschools far exceeds the expulsion rate in any other K-12 grade.

The Circle of Security in the Classroom approach has been designed to enhance teachers' abilities to form secure relationships with the children in their care. Since secure attachment is associated with academic achievement, promoting security in childcare and preschool settings is critical.

Mary Ainsworth sums up the pivotal role of exploration in attachment by stating, "The interlocking between systems of this sort has led some to propose that the biological function of attachment behavior is (or should include) providing an opportunity for learning."


Ainsworth, M. D. S., Blehar, M., Waters, E., & Wall, S (1978). Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of the strange situation. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlgaum.


While we've learned that many childcare providers and teachers learn valuable lessons simply by going through the 8-chapter COSP™ program, we've also learned that applying the lessons learned from COSP™ to the classroom setting is not easy!


The Pathway to Becoming a COS-Classroom Coach



Pathway to becoming a COSP Classroom Advisor


  1. 1

    COSP 4-Day Training — Learning Circle of Security-Classroom begins with attending our 4-day Circle of Security Parenting training, which lays the foundation to become a registered COSP Facilitator and offer support to childcare providers and teachers.

  2. 2

    COSP with Early Care Providers / Classroom Teachers — An additional online booster training focuses on facilitating COSP with childcare providers and/or preschool teachers. The learning objectives of this training are:

    1. To learn to more effectively identify miscues in the classroom with struggling children and better help teachers move away from behavior management to relationship building.
    2. Recognize key differences in facilitation with primary caregivers versus teachers.
    3. Better understand ways that knowing COSP improves the well-being of teachers in the classroom.
    4. Explore the central importance of teachers in the lives of young children and the role relationship plays in learning.
    5. Learn more about additional COSP teacher handouts and classroom tools.

    Registered Facilitators who completed this booster training will receive additional facilitation materials including a revised facilitator manual and handouts, and will receive additional endorsement as a Registered COSP-Classroom Facilitator.

  3. 3

    Fidelity Coaching — Registered COSP Facilitators interested in certification as a COS-Classroom Coach are required to participate in Fidelity Coaching with a COSP Fidelity Coach.

  4. 4

    COS-Classroom Coaching — Finally, a COS-Classroom Coach will supervise the Registered COSP Facilitator in how to help childcare providers and teachers apply COSP principles in the classroom. At this stage, the Facilitator shifts to becoming a Circle of Security Coaching in Training.


The following video features preschool teachers reflecting on their experiences after having worked with a COS-C Classroom Coach.




COS in the Classroom



For professionals who are committed to working in childcare and preschool settings, becoming a COS-Classroom Coach means promoting attachment security not only with individual children, but also at the classroom level and even throughout the whole center. For some, the goal may even be larger—to change systems that serve young children to be attachment-informed.

If you are interested in becoming a COS Classroom Coach, the path to COS-C starts with attending a COSP Facilitator Training.


For a more detailed overview of the COS-C approach, you may purchase and download the January 2017 issue of Zero to Three Journal, which includes "Circle of Security in Child Care:
 Putting Attachment Theory Into Practice in Preschool Classrooms" by Glen Cooper, Kent Hoffman and Bert Powell.