Waldorf education ...

... places the child at the centre of all educative efforts. It enquires into the gifts and potential available in each child, and tries to nurture and develop these. It tries to help the child unfold his or her full potential, to care for children in the community context in which they grow up, and to prepare them for the tasks facing them in the modern age.

History of Waldorf education

Development of Waldorf Kindergartens

While the new schools were developing – especially after the World War II – new impulses for pre-school education were being put into practice. Since 1926 there had been a kindergarten at the Stuttgart school. More kindergartens developed at other schools in the following years. Up to the 1960s Waldorf Kindergartens usually developed around an existing school, but in later years this was often turned around, so that schools were founded out of already existing kindergartens.

This is how the growing demand for Waldorf education for the early years contributed to the increased founding of schools in the last third of the 20th century. In October 1969, 32 kindergartens united in the Association of Rudolf Steiner Kindergartens, which in 1972 became the International Association of Waldorf Kindergartens.

The following personalities were influential during the pioneering work of this association: Elisabeth von Grunelius, Ingeborg Haller, Klara Hattermann, Helmut von Kügelgen and Bronja Zahlingen. It has as its aims: counseling, conference organizing, exchange of experience and the care for the developing early years seminars.

The first seminar for Waldorf Kindergarten teachers was founded at the end of the 1950s in Hannover and by 1994 another 39 early years training seminars had come into being worldwide. In 1978 there were 240 kindergartens worldwide, in 1988 over 600 and in 2000 1,675.

Waldorf Kindergartens Worldwide

International Association for Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education (IASWECE)