Transitioning to kindergarten or a childcare centre can be challenging for both children and parents. It can trigger big emotions and make children feel anxious, scared, or overwhelmed. At The Owl and the Pussycat Preschool and childcare centre, we understand the importance of providing a supportive and nurturing environment for children during these times of change.

In this article, we will explore the Circle of Security approach and how it can help support children’s emotional needs during transitions.What Is The Circle Of Security?

The Circle of Security is a theory developed by psychologists Kent Hoffman, Glen Cooper and Bert Powell. It explains how children use attachment figures to explore the world around them and regulate their emotions. The Circle of Security consists of four main components:


  • Security
  • Exploration
  • Autonomy
  • Comfort


When a child feels secure, they can explore their environment, develop a sense of autonomy, and seek comfort when needed. The Circle of Security can help parents and caregivers understand and manage the big emotions that come up at transition time.The Challenges Of Transitioning To Daycare

Transitioning to daycare can be challenging for children. It can disrupt their routine, separate them from their primary caregiver, and expose them to new people and experiences.

Common difficulties children face during transitions include separation anxiety, fear of the unknown, and difficulty adjusting to new routines. It’s important for parents and caregivers to understand that these are normal reactions. It’s natural for children to cling to their primary caregiver or resist going to daycare, but with the right support, they can learn to adapt and thrive in their new environment.Strategies For Supporting Smooth Transitions

Transitioning to daycare can be a difficult experience for young children. However, there are several practical strategies that parents and caregivers can use to support their child’s emotional needs and create a smoother transition.

By being proactive and consistent, parents and caregivers can help their children adjust to their new environment and routine.


  • Prepare Your Child: Firstly, it is important to prepare your child for daycare by talking to them about what to expect. Parents can show their children pictures of the facility and staff, as well as introduce them to their caregivers beforehand. This can help to reduce anxiety and create a sense of familiarity with the new environment.
  • Create A Predictable Routine: Establishing a predictable routine is another way to support a smooth transition. A routine that includes drop-off and pick-up times, mealtimes and nap times can provide children with a sense of structure and stability, which can help to ease the transition.
  • Validate Your Child’s Feelings: It is also essential to validate your child’s feelings during the transition period. Acknowledge their emotions and let them know that it is normal to feel scared or anxious. By doing so, children can feel understood and supported during this challenging time.
  • Build A Secure Attachment: Finally, building a secure attachment with your child is key to supporting their emotional needs. Parents and caregivers can develop a strong and secure attachment by responding to their child’s needs, providing comfort and support, and being consistent. This can help to establish trust and create a sense of safety and security for the child, which can ultimately make the transition to daycare smoother.


Building Secure Attachments, Encouraging Exploration & Supporting Smooth Transitions

At The Owl and the Pussycat Preschool, we create a safe and supportive environment for children. We have a team of experienced and dedicated educators that provide high-quality care and education. Our educators are trained in the Circle of Security approach and use it to support children’s emotional needs during transitions. We provide a predictable routine, plenty of opportunities for play and exploration, and a warm and caring atmosphere that helps children feel safe and secure.

Contact us today to find out more about our approach, and book a tour of The Owl and the Pussycat Preschool.