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Early years: Attachment difficulties

(including Attachment Disorder)

Strategies and approaches

  • Be aware that children with attachment difficulties may respond differently to behaviour strategies which work with others. Discuss this with your SENCO/EYCA if needed. For example be aware that a child may say they do not want the support offered. This doesn’t always mean that they don’t need it. Seek to support in more subtle ways, but do not withdraw support.
  • Liaise with parent carers for shared understanding.
  • Consider the family context and the range of children who may have attachment difficulties e.g. adopted, forces children, a child in need, or a child who has experienced care.
  • Check out whether your setting / school has had any attachment-based training or has appropriate resources which may be useful.
  • Check the transition history for the child to see if there were any issues.
  • Use attachment informed strategies within class and develop a nurture group or foster a nurture ethos.
  • Consider the appropriateness of existing behaviour management policies.
  • Liaise with the Virtual School for care experienced children for training and support


Early Help



Adverse Childhood Experiences and Attachment

Early Years In Mind – What is Attachement booklet

Early Years In Mind – Separation Anxiety

Beacon House Resources

Last updated 2 November 2021

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