Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education in Thailand. In the early 1990s, Abhisiree Charanjavanaphat visited a Waldorf-inspired kindergarten in Chiang Mai set up by Dr. Ingrid Liebig-Hundius for her children. Abhisiree was inspired and tried to transform her Baanrak Kindergarten in Bangkok into a Waldorf kindergarten. Today, Baanrak has become a place for practicum experience for teachers and students interested in Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education. Many individuals have been inspired by Baanrak and some became founders of Waldorf intiatives in various part of Thailand. Today, Baanrak is considered the home for Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education courses.

In the late 1990s, Dr. Porn Panosot founded the Panyotai Waldorf Kindergarten and School. He also ran part-time Anthroposophy courses and Teacher Training courses. Many books were also translated and published in Thai language, including Work and Play in Early Childhood by Freya Jaffka, Toward Creativity by Joan Almon, Understanding Young Children (a collection of quotes from Rudolf Steiner), and stories for young children.

Due to the large enrollment in Panyotai, Dr. Porn encouraged a group of parents to set up another kindergarten and school called Sirattaya.

In the early 2000s, Usa Tanompongpan founded Tridhaksa School, applying Steiner/Waldorf principles in nursery, kindergarten, and primary school. Later on, after moving to new site where the school was run by teachers and parents, the school changed its name to Tripat School. Usa’s niece also founded another Waldorf kindergarten and school in the southeastern part of Bangkok.

Dr. Busabong Tantiwong (a university assistant professor) introduced Waldorf education in the Early Childhood Department at the University where she was working. She has been very supportive of the Waldorf early childhood movement in the country and wrote a book about Waldorf education. Some of her students became early childhood educators applying Steiner/Waldorf principles. One of her students wrote a book about Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Eduation in Thai language.

From 2001 to 2013, a 5-day Waldorf teacher training course supported by experienced Dutch teachers took place once a year in May. Early Childhood Education was also part of the training. This training also inspired and gave information to teachers, parents, and the public.

In 2002, Dr. Renate Long‐Breipohl from Australia visited Bangkok and encouraged the leaders of those initiatives to work together, and finally the first Early Childhood Course (2003-2006) in Thailand opened.

Dr. Renate was the course coordinator and 35 participants graduated.  There have been 4 groups of graduates so far, from Thailand and neighboring countries. Many graduates from the course are active in various kindergartens both in Thailand and Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Myanmar. The course received recognition from IASWECE in 2020. Group 5 of the course started in October 2022.

In 2005, You are Your Child’s First Teacher (by Rahima Baldwin Dancy) was translated into Thai language by Suwanna Chokprajakchat and published. This book inspired many parents, including two parents who founded two nurseries (one in Chiang Mai and one in Khon-Kaen) in 2007. These two nurseries later became Waldorf schools.

In 2007 and 2015 Marjorie Theyer from New Zealand visited many initiatives in Thailand and gave useful suggestions and encouragement.

In 2007 several government Kindergarten Teachers applied Waldorf principles in their workplace with support from Dr. Maneewan Namsom.  Those teachers also participated in the second training of ECC.

In 2019 Anupan Pruekpankajee, an Anthroposophical art therapist, set up a project called “Inner Art”. Some participants from this project became inspired and set up nurseries, kindergartens, and playgroups and also became participants in ECC.

In 2023 the Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education Network Thailand was set up as a country association and became a member of IASWECE. 

In April 2024 Rawimas Paramasiri, the administrative coordinator of the Early Childhood Course, became the representative of Thailand and joined the IASWECE council meeting for the first time.

In 2024 1 kindergarten and 4 schools are already on the Waldorf World List. Besides those five, 16 initiatives are using the Waldorf approach and six of these also educate children older than six years old.