Early Childhood Programs

“The early years of childhood provide the foundation for a healthy life. Everything is important: the warmth of adults, the tone of voice, the aesthetics of the environment, to name a few aspects. This is the age when seeds are planted for a lifetime of adventure through learning. How this is brought to the child is crucial” The Waldorf Kindergarten, Waldorf Publications

Our entire early childhood program is a full member of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America. We offer the complete Waldorf Early Childhood curriculum in artistically appealing classrooms where our program abounds with practical activities like sewing, cooking, washing, and bread baking, as well as artistic activities such as watercolor painting, drawing, nature crafts, wet felting and lots of outdoor play.

Nursery

(must be potty trained and age 2.5 by September 1, 2017;  readiness assessment also required)

From birth through the early years, children experience the world mostly through their senses and respond primarily through imitation. Everything, from emotions to colors to sounds, is absorbed by the child. The nursery classroom is careful not to overwhelm the child with too much by creating a loving and home-like environment. Great care is taken in choosing the toys, songs, outdoor activities, art, and stories provided to the children. This is a gentle introduction to being separated from the parents, and exploring the classroom and learning to play with other children. The nursery is broken out into three groups, a smaller Rosebud group for the youngest children, with a smaller teacher-child ratio, and the larger Marigold and Buttercup groups generally for children between the ages of 3 and 4 years. At certain points during the day, the Rosebud nursery children will have the opportunity to interact with the older Marigold and Buttercup nursery children, and find role models in these relationships. The nursery classrooms will engage in many of the same activities as the kindergarten, such as puppet story-telling, bread making, and crafts projects.

Berkeley Rose Waldorf School’s nursery program is a licensed facility in accordance with California State law: Programs serving children under age 4.9 for more than 12 hours a week must be licensed or risk heavy fines and immediate closure. Our license number is: 013420958.

Kindergarten

(age 4.9 by September 1, 2017; readiness assessment also required)

Berkeley Rose Waldorf School offers a rich urban kindergarten experience. Our entire early childhood program is a full member of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN). Each of our campuses are within walking distance to local parks where the children enjoy their outside play activities with room to run, jump, climb, and roll, under the watchful eyes of their teachers.

Our kindergartens are very active, with both outer physical movement and quiet inner imaginative movement. Throughout the day, the children have ample opportunity to hone their social skills. We have mixed-aged kindergartens, where the “olders” have certain privileges and responsibilities and the “youngers” are inspired and assisted by them. This weaves the social fabric of care and respect in the class.

Reading readiness is exercised in the beautiful presentation of fairy and folk tales, and stories from around the world. The children sit quietly to hear stories spoken by their teachers. These build the children’s auditory vocabulary and their ability to create inner pictures. This capacity to form inner pictures is essential for the development of their abstract thinking in later years. Healthy eye tracking is supported in the way we set-up dish washing, coloring with crayons, painting, and puppet play viewing to move from left to right.

Because we encourage freedom from electronic screens the children are able to build their imaginative play from their own experience of the world around them, the actual human activities they see their families, teachers, and friends engaged in. In this imaginative play, circle time activities, outside play time, finger games, and all our practical and artistic activities the children are exercising their fine and gross motor skills. The teachers work on helping the children develop healthy sensory integration in a way that is incorporated naturally through all of our daily activities. We keep a keen eye to the individual needs of each child, while not singling them out

We recognize and embrace the children as beings of body, soul, and spirit. Their connection with the spiritual world is profound and we maintain reverence for it. We enjoy the celebration of a variety of festivals and invite parents to work together with the teachers to bring festival celebrations from their cultures.

All this takes place in a nurturing and loving environment.

The Berkeley Rose Waldorf School invites ALL families to explore and discover our inspiring and supportive environment. Neither Waldorf knowledge or experience are prerequisites for entering a child in this rich educational environment.