This video requires a membership to the Siren Clip Library. Please log in if you are a member or purchase a subscription.

Providing a secure base & a safe haven – observation clip 3

Three year old Niaz is trying to climb all the way across the climbing wall in the nursery garden. His key person Nadine is close by.

Good for looking at

  • Attachment behaviour
  • Secure base and safe haven
  • Physical development
  • COEL - active learning

Keep in mind

There is a subtle skilful balance to be made between helping a child have the confidence to be adventurous and stretch their capacities, from a secure base with their key person, and trying to force the child to do these things by not allowing him to have a secure base with his key person in the first place.

Peter Elfer


What evidence do you see of children:

  • Using the key person as a secure base to explore from and begin to take risks?
  • Seeking out their key person as a safe haven when they need comfort and reassurance?


  • What were your thoughts about these clips? (watch clips – 1.4 CLIP 1 – 1.4 CLIP 2  & 1.4 CLIP 4 )
  • How do we create a sense of security and safe haven for our key children?
  • Does being their key person mean being with them at all times? What challenges are there in providing a secure base for more than one child at a time?
  • How do we support children with risk? What issues might a key person have to deal with when their children begin to branch out and take risks?
  • What is the potential impact on the key person when dealing with a child’s distress?


What next

  • From the discussions that you have had during this session, decide what actions you or your group need to put in place. Including making time to do observations in your setting?


Task sheet - key person approach - session 1.4 Download
Facilitators - key person approach - session 1.4 Download