Early Childhood Rudolf Steiner Education:
the Vital Years
“To educate the whole child, his heart and his will must be reached as well as the mind. If a child has been able in his play to give up his whole loving being to the world around him, he will be able, in the serious tasks of later life, to devote himself with confidence and power to the service of the world.” – Rudolf Steiner
This one-year part-time course will offer parents and early childhood educators in all settings the opportunity to develop new skills and deepen their understanding of Rudolf Steiner education for the ‘vital years’ of early childhood. It is also suitable for home schooling parents, and anyone interested in education, personal development and the arts.
The online course will be live-streamed, allowing you to engage directly with the tutor. It will also be recorded for later viewing. An optional face-to-face intensive will take place here on our campus in Warranwood Victoria and include essential classroom elements such as Morning Circle, craft activities, singing, storytelling, puppetry, painting, eurythmy and kindergarten visits .
This course will give you a certificate of professional development hours referencing the Australian Teacher Professional Standards.
Course content and schedule
Tania Hungerford has been a teacher in Adult Education working with Anthroposophy for 25 years. A particular area of interest for her is understanding human development and how this understnding can be brought to teaching.
She has been a teacher in Adult Education working with Anthroposophy for 25 years. She also teaches Sculpture, Form Drawing, the Twelve Senses, Human Development, the Four Temperaments, Professional Communication and Conflict Resolution, understanding and working with Trauma and developing inclusive teaching practices for working with Children with Individual Learning Needs.
Tania has offered many Professional Development programs to Waldorf Teachers in schools around Australia and in Asia.
Tom Hungerford has taught at the Melbourne Rudolf Steiner Seminar for many years. He teaches Anthroposphical Studies, Pedagogy, Epochs, Pedagogical Drama, Hard Crafts, Festivals, Physical Education. He is a highly experienced Steiner teacher having taught in Steiner schools for 25 years, as a Bothmer Gymnast and Physical Education Teacher but also extensively in the high school in the Hard Crafts.
Katrina has been a social worker in Child Protection before completing a Diploma in Primary Education. While studying and the working as a primary school teacher, she became interested in Steiner education and went on to study part time at the Seminar and to pursue early childhood studies at La Trobe University. Her first job in Steiner education was at Silkwood Steiner School on the Gold Coast as Kindergarten Teacher. After several years she moved to Northern NSW and became the Kindergarten teacher at Rainbow Ridge Steiner School, where she has been teaching for the past 17 years. One of her greatest passions is writing and singing and she was employed part time as the music teacher at Rainbow Ridge for 7 years also. She has merged her love of music and Kindergarten teaching by researching music in the mood of the fifth. She has written several books of songs and morning circles for the Kindergarten and run professional development sessions on using pentatonic music and music in the mood of the fifth in early childhood settings. She has presented workshops at the SEA National Conference the Vital Years conferences.
I have been a Steiner Early Childhood teacher for 40 years. I founded 2 Steiner Kindergartens in Germany . Here in Australia I worked for 24 years at Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School for many years as an Early Childhood coordinator establishing playgroups, and together with a dedicated team setting up the preschool. I have given workshops and talks to parents for many years and I am a tutor of Sydney Rudolf Steiner College Early Childhood Courses . I am the co-author of the book Early Childhood Wisdom. I am also the mother of 3 children and have 5 grandchildren.
Meg leads the Inner West Steiner Playgroup in Sydney. In 2018, she co-authored, with Ebba Bodame, Early Childhood Wisdom: a journey through the playgroup year, a treasured resource of stories, songs and poems for parents and educators to share with young children. After encountering the work of Rudolf Steiner when attending playgroup as a parent, Meg undertook Biographical Studies with Karl-Heinz Finke 2015-2018, and studied doll making with Carla de Jong and Maria Borelli. She has taught craft at Sydney Rudolf Steiner College since 2017. In her free time, Meg works as an architectural historian and museum tour guide. She lives in Sydney’s inner west with her husband and 12-year-old child.
I have been a kindergarten teacher all of my adult life. I am entering my 40th year of teaching, taking a only a couple of years off to parent my three children. I have had the good fortune to teach at the Melbourne Rudolf Steiner School for 28 years, working across the sector from family play groups, kindergarten and prep.
I love my work, as it embraces a wide breadth of learning and skill set: story telling, parent liaison , festivals, nutrition , gardening , the arts and crafts , environment care and sustainability, to mention a few . There are always new and wonderful things to learn and discover within the curriculum but more importantly with the meeting of new children and their families each year. I have been involved in teacher training here and in India, and have participated in the Vital Years conference. I have also previously been in the association supporting early childhood in Victoria and Australia. In my spare time I have three young grandsons to share in my life.
After qualifying as a physiotherapist specialising in obstetrics and child-development, I taught natural birth-preparation classes for women and their partners. At the same time I was a full-time homemaker with my husband and our 4 children. In a further development of this phase of life, I went on to work as a kindergarten-prep teacher at Orana Steiner School in Canberra for 5 years, and then for 5 years in whole school governance and administration as the school grew to offer classes kindergarten-prep to year 10. I was ordained as a priest of The Christian Community in 2002 having studied in Stuttgart in Germany, and since then have continued involvement in Steiner Education as: school chaplain/wellbeing support person; Board member; presenter at teacher conferences; organisational consultant; parent educator; mediator; youth co-ordinator; enthusiast for a wholistic approach to the development of human beings.
Fee and fee policy
$445 per term
Withdrawing and refunds
- If you withdraw prior to course beginning we will refund any fees paid less a $100 enrolment processing fee.
- If you withdraw after the first session of the course, we will refund any fees paid, less $155 administration fee.
- If you withdraw after the second week, no refunds can be given.
Term dates and time
All sessions on Wednesday evenings, 7.00pm – 8.30pm (Melbourne time).
All sessions will be recorded and be available for viewing until the end of the 6-week term.
Term 1: 21 February – 3 April
Term 2: 1 May – 12 June
Term 3: 24 July – 4 September
Term 4: 9 October – 20 November
Certificate of Professional Development
Our part-time courses come with a certificate of Professional Development hours, subject to meeting the course requirements.
Each evening will be live streamed and recorded. We require your attendance of 80% of sessions (viewed either live or by the recording) in order to gain the acknowledgement of PD hours completed.
Optional Early Childhood intensives
Early Childhood – 0-4 year olds, 15-17 March 2024.
Cost: $750 per intensive (Early Bird until 31 January $675)
Early Childhood – 3-6 year olds, 15-17 March 2024
Cost: $750 per intensive (Early Bird until 31 January $675)