WECAN’s mission is to foster a new cultural impulse for the work with the young child from pre-birth to age seven. Based on an anthroposophical understanding of human development, WECAN is committed to protecting and nurturing childhood as a foundation for renewing human culture.
WECAN provides direct dialogue with early childhood educators and their colleagues about the programs they design in institutions and in homes, and about how they define and develop their roles and their work with parents. Site visits, regional gatherings, and conferences allow WECAN to research and harvest the current needs of programs in the vast geography of the USA and in Canada. Its activity is currently limited in Mexico and we look forward to offering more support there in the future.
WECAN is the publisher of resource materials for Waldorf early childhood educators. WECAN seeks out the resources needed by early childhood teachers and publishes both original material and occasional translations from other languages in a wide range of areas, including child development, resources on mentoring and teacher review, practical activities for parent/child, nursery and kindergarten classes, and much more.
WECAN brings together collaborative research groups to focus on issues of concern in the Waldorf early childhood movement. These have included groups working on birth to three and childcare, meeting the needs of the older child in kindergarten, mentoring, teacher review, the transition from kindergarten to school, and work with medical doctors.
WECAN is linked to the world early childhood movement as a Full Member of the International Association for Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education (IASWECE) with two North American representatives on the IASWECE Council. This link allows us to share research, news, and an awareness of the developing worldwide movement with North American early childhood educators, through e-newsletters, conference offerings, and publications. WECAN also raises funds to support North American Waldorf early childhood educators in participating in international Waldorf early childhood conference.
WECAN is directly concerned with the training of Waldorf early childhood educators through its Teacher Education Committee, which has established a Path to Membership for teacher education institutes based on Guidelines and Shared Principles developed in collaboration with the International Association. WECAN brings together early childhood trainers from throughout North America, providing opportunities to exchange healthy practices and improve the quality of the preparation of Waldorf early childhood educators.
In our work with children from pre-birth to age seven we are committed to the ideals and practices of Waldorf/Steiner early childhood education. Our activities are based on the insights of Rudolf Steiner, and on the continuing research of Waldorf/Steiner educators and other compatible pedagogical approaches.
We strive for diversity in the racial, cultural, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds of children coming to our schools. We strive to meet the unique developmental needs, capacities, and cultural background of each child.
We recognize that healthy child development takes place best in the context of a community based upon healthy social relationships among parents, teachers, and children, and we strive to create such conscious, collaborative communities around our care for children.
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