Early Childhood Programs

Young children are very open to their environment, and their capacity to live deeply into all that surrounds them is at the root of their learning. We call that capacity Imitation. We present our young students with a world of beauty, that will nurture their sense of ease, joy, and peace. And we strive to provide an environment worthy of imitation, where children can play imaginatively and creatively, gradually developing a balanced feeling life which will lead in turn to a solid and creative capacity for thinking and lively intellectual life.

Young children benefit from a strong sense of routine and predictability, and we work with a very regular rhythm for our daily and weekly activities. Our work unfolds according to the natural rhythm of the week and the seasons. Music and verses accompanied by movement, stories, practical activities of cooking, gardening, sewing, and artistic activities of painting, modelling and drawing, all contribute to the balanced, joyful, and healthy development of young children.

Our Early Childhood Center offers programs for young children from 18 months to 6½ years of age. Parents of children in the Vancouver Waldorf School find themselves supported by a community of families who share and explore the challenges and experiences of bringing up children today. We encourage you to find out what Waldorf ideals have meant to other families.

For children 4½ to 6½ years old

  • Morning Kindergarten Program
    8:15 am – 12:15 pm
  • Full-Day Kindergarten Program
    8:15 am – 3:00 pm
    *The Full-Day Program includes 5 mornings plus a choice of 1 – 5 afternoons.

Waldorf Early Childhood programs have mixed age groups. Our kindergarten activities follow the pedagogical principles of age-appropriate and rhythmical activities with increased variety, depth, and complexity. Our daily activities focus on rhythm, language development through artistic expression, development of social skills, and encompass free play, puppet shows and storytelling, cooking and baking, singing and movement games, circle time and painting.

For children 3½ to 4½ years old

  • Three-Day Preschool Program
    Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday
    8:30 am – 12:00 pm
  • Two-Day Preschool Program
    Thursday and Friday
    8:30 am – 12:00 pm

Waldorf Early Childhood programs have mixed age groups. Our preschool activities follow the pedagogical principles of age-appropriate and rhythmical activities with increased variety, depth, and complexity. Our daily activities focus on rhythm, language development through artistic expression, development of social skills, and encompass free play, puppet shows and storytelling, cooking and baking, singing and movement games, circle time and painting.

For Children 18 months – 3½ years old

  • Monday – Marigold
  • Thursday – Poppy
  • Friday – Cedar & Primrose
  • Saturday – Mulberry

Our Parent & Tot program provides an opportunity for parents to accompany their young children to morning sessions filled with creative play, as well as songs, verses, movement games, stories and puppet plays, baking, painting, and snack. Activities are presented in a rhythmical way to ensure that children feel comfortable and secure. While the children play, parents are encouraged to engage in their own handwork projects.

This is an opportunity to be supported in parenting, meet other families, learn and share from personal stories, and experience Waldorf Education for the young child.

Vancouver Waldorf School | Parent and Tot

“Play is serious business for children, as important for them as work is for adults.”

Jack Petrash • Waldorf Educator and Author

Early Childhood Center

We are pleased to host our programs in our Early Childhood Centre which was erected in 2004 to serve the needs of young children. Our centre was designed and built following principles of healthy and sustainable living, including non-toxic paint and non-off gassing cabinets to reduce toxic compounds and improve indoor air quality, energy-efficient lighting design and natural daylight scheme, energy star rated appliances for reduced use of natural resources, and recycled wood flooring and high use of local and regional material.

Our landscaping offers ample opportunities for age-appropriate exploration, providing scented flowerbeds, gardens for planting and digging and plenty of space for crawling, running and climbing.

The Vancouver Waldorf School Early Childhood Center is fully licensed; our staff meet all licensing requirements and are experienced child-care providers with Waldorf training.

Full Membership

Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America is dedicated to protecting and nurturing the healthy development of the young child. Offers resources for early childhood educators and parents interested in Waldorf early childhood education. It includes, besides the WECAN bookstore, a wonderful page of resource articles and information for parents and families.

The Education of the Child

“The essential task of the kindergarten teacher is to create the proper physical environment around the children. Physical environment must be understood in the widest sense imaginable. It includes not just what happens around the children in the material sense, but everything that occurs in their environment, everything that can be perceived by their senses, that can work on the inner powers of the children from the surrounding physical space.”

Rudolf Steiner • The Education of the Child

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Please contact our Admissions Office for more information 604-985-7435 ext 200 admissions@vws.ca