Promoting Sensitivity in Center-based Childcare (the SECURE Project)

The SECURE project evaluates the efficacy and feasibility of the attachment-theory informed program Circle of Security Parenting (COSP) adapted to the childcare context (COS-Classroom, COSC) for promoting sensitive responsiveness in early childcare providers.

Babies Barn og pædagog Children Children

The SECURE project is a collaboration between the municipality of Høje-Taastrup, The Danish Evaluation Institute, Center for Early Intervention and Family Studies and Katrien Helmerhorst, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and is funded by The Independent Research Fund Denmark.

SECURE: SEnsitive Care: Understanding and REsponding.

In a randomized controlled trial, the study aims to:

  1. assess the efficacy of the COSC approach for improving early childcare providers' interactive skills when assessed in a natural group setting where the childcare providers interact with several children;
  2. evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of COSC by investigating whether it can realistically be implemented in a busy real-life setting and whether Danish childcare providers experience the intervention as a positive contribution to their practice;
  3. investigate how structural factors such as group size, child-adult ratio and staff stability impact the childcare providers' interactive skills and moderate effects of the intervention.

The study will provide new knowledge on whether a relatively cost-effective intervention can improve the quality of care in early childcare in Denmark. Also, findings on how structural factors influence the quality of care will directly inform practice.





Principal investigator is Associate Professor Johanne Smith-Nielsen, Center for Early Intervention and Family Studies.

How is it to participate?

Listen to Nina and Nadja sharing what changes they’ve experienced after participating in the Circle of Security Classroom program.

Watch more videos of Nina and Nadja sharing their experiences.

More about COSC

The Circle of Security Classroom (COSC) is a professional development program for caregivers working in early childcare centers. Each caregiver participate in eight weekly group sessions (two hours per session) with their team. Each group consists of 5-8 caregivers and their managers. The group sessions are facilitated by a certified COSC facilitator and typically take place in the afternoon.

In the group sessions, caregivers are invited to reflect on video vignettes as well as on examples from their daily work with the children in their care focusing on the overall question: how do we promote the development of secure relationships between caregivers and the children in the childcare center? Another central theme is how the caregivers’ own relationship history informs and affects their current relationships with the children in their care.