Despite official endorsement of attachment principles in nursery work, these are often not translated into nursery practice. One possible reason for this is that staff training does not sufficiently address the personal implications and anxieties that children's attachments may entail for practitioners. Working from a psychoanalytic perspective on organisational functioning and group learning, this paper describes action research with a group of nursery heads who participated in a professional development programme designed specifically to explore emotional experience in professional work. The positive evaluations of the programme by heads and their staff are described including examples of experiential learning and of increased staff awareness about, and responsiveness to, the emotional experience of children. However, the research also concluded that sustained effectiveness of the model is likely to be dependent on an ongoing culture of attention to the emotional experience of nursery staff within nursery umbrella organisations. \u
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