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Early years: Attachment difficulties

(including Attachment Disorder)

N.B. any provision or support should be provided in line with the needs of the child and is NOT dependant on any formal diagnosis

  • 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 parents for shared understanding.
  • Consider the family context and the range of children who may have attachment difficulties e.g. adopted, forces children, previously CIN, CLA.
  • Check out whether your school has had any attachment-based training or has appropriate resources which may be useful.
  • Ensure there is a good transition when the child starts school – check the history.
  • Use attachment informed strategies within class and develop a nurture
  • group or foster a nurture ethos.
  • Consider the appropriateness of existing behaviour management policies.
  • Discuss an individual plan if necessary. The law states that ‘Reasonable Adjustments’ must be made.
  • Liaise with the Virtual School for training
  • For reception classes, liaise with EPS and LBAT for training


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 30 November 2020

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