About the Waldorf Early Childhood Program
The Waldorf School of Garden City’s curriculum is founded on the work of the Austrian philosopher and educator Rudolf Steiner who wished to create a form of education which would help students achieve clarity of thought, sensitivity of feeling and strength of will. After listening to his lectures, the workers at the Waldorf-Astoria cigarette factory in Stuttgart asked him to form a school for their children and in 1919 the first Waldorf School was founded. Today, from the bustling urban areas like Sao Paulo to the villages of Nepal, there are Steiner Waldorf schools, in over 64 countries serving children from birth to eighteen years of age.
For children who are 3 years old by September
- A five day program, Monday – Friday from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
- Early Drop-Off (8:00 am – 9:00 am) and Afternoon Care (12:00 pm – 6:00 pm)
The Waldorf School of Garden City’s nursery program is structured to provide a gradual transition from the life of the home to the structure of a school. In our classrooms, children become accustomed to working within a group, listening to stories, interacting with teachers and new friends and following a daily routine, while at the same time being supported in their development as an individual through the encouragement of creative play, practical life skills and artistic opportunities. Each nursery classroom usually has between 16 and 18 children and meets for three hours each morning. Where the family chooses to enroll their children in our afternoon program, lunch is eaten together around the table, followed by a rest and then further periods of play. An early morning drop-off time is also available.
For children who are 4 or 5 years old by September or who turn 6 years old in June, July, or August
- Five day program, Monday – Friday from 8:10 am – 12:00 pm
- Optional Afternoon Care is available from 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Each mixed-age kindergarten class usually has between 16 and 18 children. Each group comprises mixed ages to create a large family structure where older children can become aware of the needs those younger, and the younger learn from the older child. Older children who are familiar with the rhythm of the class are encouraged to help the younger children and to ease their integration into the group. Each morning class lasts for four hours. Where the family chooses to enroll their children in our afternoon program, lunch is eaten together around the table, followed by a rest and then further periods of play. A7:30 am drop-off time is also available.
Parent & Child Classes
For families with children between 1 and 3 years of age
- A two-hour program, one or two days a week, which the child attends with a parent or another adult
- There are four sessions a year – fall, winter, spring, and summer – each of which runs for roughly 10 weeks.
Parenting Support Classes
Join our community of parents as we discuss the gifts and struggles of parenting, child development, and raising healthy children in these challenging times. This class will open with a topic of discussion, which will include topics such as rhythm, self-care, environment, developmental milestones, balancing and understanding family values, and more.