Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher Education:

WECAN Expectations

For early childhood educators who carry responsibility for the care and education of the child from birth to school entrance, completion of a Waldorf early childhood teacher education program recognized by WECAN is expected.

Recognized Waldorf early childhood teacher education programs offer a minimum of 450 class contact hours, plus mentored teaching or extensive practicum or internship experiences. The Shared Principles for Early Childhood Teacher Education describe the course content and criteria for recognized Waldorf early childhood teacher education programs. 

This is the expectation for lead nursery, pre-school, and kindergarten teachers, lead extended care providers, and parent-child class leaders in Waldorf schools and early childhood settings.  Additional specialized professional development coursework in birth to three/child care is expected for those working in lead positions with children under the age of three. This expectation is consistent with the guidelines of the International Association for Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education (see www.iaswece.org).

For assistant teachers, introductory coursework of at least one week (or its equivalent) in Waldorf early childhood education is expected; for those who intend to continue in this position, further coursework is expected, and a full WECAN-recognized training is recommended.

Ongoing participation in mentoring, evaluation, conferences, deepening courses, and workshops is an essential part of the continuing professional development of the Waldorf early childhood educator.

For further information on teacher education, please contact the WECAN Teacher Education Coordinator, Holly Koteen-Soule, at teachered@waldorearlychildhood.org. For questions about how teacher education expectations relate to the membership process for kindergartens and schools, please contact the WECAN Membership Coordinator at membership@waldorfearlychildhood.org.

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