Our Parent-Child program weaves together work, play, story and song into a calm, loving experience that supports each child's personal growth.
Each week, the children take part in open play, fostering creativity, imagination and emotional development. Parents, grandparents, and caregivers can step back and observe their children's adventures, and join together to discuss child development, parenting issues and Waldorf Education with guidance from a Waldorf-trained teacher. With support from our welcoming community, families can embrace this exciting and challenging time in their child's life.
Seasonal sessions are available for parents, grandparents or other caregivers and their active youngsters.
The program lays the foundation for children to develop at their own pace in their physical, emotional and social well-being. The environment of the classroom and outdoor playground are developed intentionally to be rich with beauty and wonder with sensory experiences that encourage awareness without excessive stimulation.
Teachers have received training in the Emmi Pikler approach to caregiving and Rudolph Steiner’s Waldorf approach to education. They develop a rhythmic schedule that supports the child’s natural internal rhythms; this provides the child a sense of peace and security in the group. The study of the Pikler approach to caregiving influences the intentionality of the teachers’ one-on-one moments throughout the day developing strong bonds of trust between the teachers and the children. The curriculum allows for the child’s personal creative initiative to blossom as they bring their own ideas into free, open play.
Large and small motor skills, oral and receptive language, musical gifts, social awareness, love for the natural world and the beginnings of self-care abilities are some of the skill sets that the young children learn as they play and work amongst respectful and observant teachers.
The nursery is for children ages 2-3 years with a small class size that includes a lead teacher and an assistant teacher. We offer 5-day, 3-day, and 2-day enrollment options.
5 day - Monday - Friday, 8.30 a.m. - 3.15 p.m.
3 day - Monday - Wednesday, 8.30 a.m. - 3.15 p.m.
2 day - Thursday - Friday, 8.30 a.m. - 3.15 p.m.
Pre-K and Kindergarten Program
Our mixed-age Pre-K and Kindergarten Program serves children ages 3-5 years of age.
Children work together in mixed-age groups in our pre-academic, play-based program that provides the strong foundation needed for the academic work of the grades program.
At The Waldorf School of Philadelphia, play is the work of childhood. Our homelike environment is carefully prepared for the developmental needs of the young child. Warm, nurturing, inviting and intentionally filled with beautiful, natural elements including pieces of wood, seashells, beeswax for modeling and handcrafted dolls and toys to encourage children to create, imagine and wonder. Their day breathes with a natural rhythm and nurtures them with folk tales, puppetry, and community.
Taught by Waldorf teachers specifically trained in early childhood education, our programs nurture and protect the young child’s sense of wonder and imagination. They learn how to cut fruit for sharing and roll dough for baking fresh bread, and how to finger-knit with organic plant-dyed yarns, a practice that develops fine motor skills and teaches them how to recognize mathematical patterns.v
The mixed-age early childhood program serves children ages 3-5 years old, with a lead teacher, and an assistant teacher.
Classes meet Monday through Friday, 8.30 a.m. - 3.15 p.m. There are a handful of spaces available on a half-day basis from 8.30 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. and there are also a limited number of three-day spaces, Monday through Wednesday.