Professional Development for Waldorf Early Childhood Teachers Part-time,
Our two-year, part-time certificate program in early childhood teacher education covers the essentials of Waldorf early childhood from birth to seven years. It prepares currently practising teachers and assistants for the challenges of working in a Waldorf kindergarten, nursery, playgroup, parent and child, or home-care setting. Each year is made up of a three-week intensive session in the summer, together with a one-week session each fall and spring.
Course of Study
• Anthroposophical understanding of the development of the human being from birth to adulthood, based on the research of Rudolf Steiner and other contemporary sources
• Essentials of Waldorf Early Childhood Education as outlined by the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN) from birth to seven years
• Emphasis on the developmental needs of the child from pre-birth to three, the nursery child, and the kindergarten-age child, including remedial needs
• Development of the inner life of the teacher through biography work, artistic activities, singing, movement, and meditative practice
• Creating a nurturing environment for the child’s life forces to offset the impact of the modern milieu in such areas as nutrition, life style, and media exposure
• Domestic, artistic, and practical activities in the classroom
• Festivals and the cycle of the year
• Building a strong community life, working with parents and colleagues
• Classroom management and creative discipline
• Guided independent study: child observation, assigned reading, and individual research
Mentoring and Evaluation
Each student will have an experienced teacher as a mentor. The mentor will be available for six phone sessions, one a month, plus one in-person meeting per term. In addition, a yearly mentor/evaluation visit at the school where the student teaches will provide consultation and support. Where observation at the student’s school is not possible, other teaching practice needs to be arranged by the student.
Prerequisites for Admission
• NEW FOR 2020: Part-time applicants must be currently practicing
at least three days a week in a Waldorf early childhood setting
OR they can be a pre-service student
• Part-time pre-service applicants must have a plan to fulfill the
• Foundation Studies in Anthroposophy Certificate (see website for details) or equivalent certificate
• Completion of the preparatory reading list
On completion of all course requirements, Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto will issue a Certificate of Course Completion in Waldorf Early Childhood Education. This course has been recognized by WECAN as fulfilling the expectations for Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher Education.
1. Click here for an online application form. Complete the form and submit it with online payment of $100 CDN.
2. Once your application has been received, we will contact you to schedule an interview
3. Upon acceptance student teachers must obtain a police clearance letter from their local police department and a student visa (if coming from a foreign country).
Applications are due by the end of April. (Applications received after this date may be considered if places are still available.)
For more information and to discuss individual circumstances please contact the director
Jan Ney Patterson, Director of Early Childhood Teacher Education, completed her Foundation Studies at Emerson College and her early childhood training with Margret Meyerkort at Wynstones, England. She has taught for over 17 years in England, the USA, and Canada. She has served on the WECAN Board and is an active mentor and consultant in Waldorf schools in Ontario. She is also a co-director of the full-time teacher education program at the Rudolf Steiner Centre.
Mentors: Each student is assigned a trained and experenced mentors to support them through this two year program.
This program has been pre-screened with the Ontario Ministry of Trainings, Colleges and Universities and does not require approval under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005.
Photos below and at top are of Birth to Seven part-time graduating class of 2020. Photos by Emily Watson.