Working with children from pre-birth to three years


The Young Child  will look at the development and care of children from Birth to Three Years. The course will provide a depth of understanding and a practical foundation for those working or wishing to work with young children in home based child care, play groups, pre-schools and centre based child care, particularly those interested in working in Steiner early childhood settings.


The course would also be of benefit to parents of young children with an interest in Steiner Early Childhood Education.


Coordinator       Jenny Hill

This course has been completed. The next course is planned for 2020





Course Overview


Child development: An overview of Steiner Waldorf child development up to 21 years, the incarnating child; the developmental milestones in the first three years:  gross and fine motor development, speech and thinking; social development and the development of play and imagination.


The care of the young child: Physical and emotional wellbeing: nutrition, food preparation; infant care; caring for the senses; caring for the life forces; rhythms in the life of young children.


The environment: The principals and practice of creating environments that encourage play  and how to create a calm, imitation-rich environment. How to set up indoor and outdoor environments, including nature based environments.


Practical experience: Hands-on experience. Craft-making and home-making activities; including singing, storytelling, simple puppetry, felt making, sour dough bread and the  celebration of festivals.


Observation: Understanding development through observation of the young child.

Observation and reflection.


The role of the carer: A journey in self-development that will bring skills and confidence for caring for children and supporting parents. Working with imitation and example, preparation for working with parents. How to plan a playgroup/childcare day.

Course Carriers


Jenny Hill is an educator and professional storyteller.  Jenny has had a love of Waldorf Education since 1982 and worked in Steiner classrooms with students from Kindergarten to High School as well as in an administrative role.  She has a deep interest in the therapeutic potential of stories, listening to their resonances, and their reflective qualities. Now as a grandmother Jenny’s ongoing passion, curiosity and involvement in anthroposophy takes her attention back to the very young child. 

Rose Hughes is a qualified early childhood educator and pre-school mothercraft nurse.  For 12 years Rose worked in childcare in Victoria and currently runs a parent and baby group, a toddler group and play groups at the Perth Waldorf School.  Rose is a national representative on the Australian Association for Rudolf Steiner Early Childhood Education and a mother of three.




Lesley Cotter has been a sculptor for nearly twenty years, working with form through an anthroposophical perspective.  Lesley's background was in animation and she has always had a keen interest in the visual arts which has over the years brought her to develop ideas both in watercolour and pastels. She has been a tutor in Foundation Studies and The Curriculum Journey as well as teaching in the Primary and High School years at Perth Waldorf School.


Kristina Hamilton has dedicated her life to Rudolf Steiner’s life-giving art of movement, Eurythmy, since receiving her Eurythmy diploma from Else Klink at the Stuttgart Eurythmeum in 1984.  As well as experience in performing and choreography, she has taught Eurythmy to children in Waldorf Schools and to adults for many years.  Kristina also has a BA with honours in English Literature and a certificate in Rudolf Steiner Curative Education.

Dr Ernst de Jong MD AMEC MDAPsych Cert Child Psych worked as a GP with an interest in Anthroposophical Medicine in the Netherlands and Sydney before specializing in Psychiatry in 1986. Ernst currently practices psychiatry in Perth WA with a special interest in ADHD and PTSD.


Fiona McVey is an early childhood teacher at the Perth Waldorf School.  She is an adult educator in early childhood and has a particular interest in hand crafts.

Rosemary Rowntree  is an experienced Steiner teacher of 22 years; having taught as Class teacher at the Perth Waldorf School, and more recently as part-time Kindergarten Teacher and Playgroup Leader at West Coast Steiner School. During the last year she has undertaken talks and discussions for parents at the school. Rosemary has been an active grandparent over the last 13 years.


Paul Lawrence has studied music since childhood and is also a qualified Alexander Technique teacher. He has been teaching music in Waldorf Schools for thirteen years and helped to establish music programs in West Coast Steiner School, Silver Tree Steiner School and most recently at Perth Waldorf School, where he is currently working full-time as Music Coordinator. He has written many children songs and composed music for various festivals. 


Carolin Loos has been involved in Steiner education for 30 years and has a love of craft and of working with the hands.  She runs independent doll-making classes for adults.

Susanne Nichchen graduated as an anthroposophical nurse in New Zealand, and currently works at Murdoch and Fiona Stanley Hospital


Victoria Roberts is an accomplished craft practitioner, specialising in dolls and children's toys suitable for Steiner kindergartens and playgroups, She currently works in the south west and runs playgroups in Margaret River.


Kaye Simpkin began life in the beautiful North Island of New Zealand. She trained and worked there as a primary school teacher before travelling and arriving in the Perth Hills where she discovered the lovely Silver Tree Steiner School. Kaye quickly realised her passion lay in supporting children that found their life journey to be challenging and difficult, and so trained as an Extra Lesson Practitioner. She believes this program holds an important key to help and support many of these children and has now worked in this field for the past 12 years while bringing up her own children and enjoying the lifestyle and world view introduced to her through Anthroposophy.

Titus Witsenburg has been a class teacher for 29 years and over those years developed a love of the lyre, which he has always played with his classes over the years. He has also conducted both choir and orchestra and continues to support the work of Waldorf education on many levels.




A Journey of Becoming

The July Intensive - 16th to the 20th


Dr Lakshmi was trained as a paediatrician with neonatology as her speciality. She started her career with newborn babies in intensive care and had a successful private neonatal intensive unit for more than 15 years. During this period she met Anthroposophy through Waldorf education. She was one of the pioneer parents and worked with the schools in various capacities as a parent, board member and founder member for one Waldorf school. Dr Lakshmi worked for many years as a school physician. She started an Anthroposophical Medical Society in India and serves this organisation in the capacity of President of the society. Dr Lakshmi also runs a healing and curative centre for special needs children, called Saandeepani, which is located in the city of Hyderabad in South India. She is presently travelling and giving her time for training workshops for parents, therapists and educators who are working with children from an anthroposophical perspective.


Patricia Orange is a qualified Eurythmist from the Netherlands. Patricia is an internationally practicing Eurythmy Therapist, teacher trainer and the UK, New Zealand, USA, China and Australia. Having worked in an Anthriposophical Medical Clinic for 18 years, she has been involved in medically-orientated training programmes bringing her deep understanding and creative, dynamic energy.