United Kingdom

Waldorf Education has been established in the UK for 100 years. The United Kingdom includes kindergartens (settings) in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland (North and some South).  There are around 18 schools with kindergartens, and together with the independent kindergartens, Daycare settings, woodland groups, childminders, parent and child groups and new initiatives, reach around 1500 children and their families.

Almost all 3 and 4 year olds have government subsidised places, and there is one fully state funded school.


Training. There are two Steiner Waldorf early childhood training courses birth to seven which carry a Diploma at Level 5 and are fully government recognised within England. Both these courses meet the IASWECE guidelines for trainers.  An established course specialises in the child between birth and three, giving a strong foundation in Steiner Waldorf practice for this age group, as well as deepening an understanding of the Pikler approach to respectful care. It carries a government recognised qualification for Childcare at level 3. www.waldorfeducation.uk/careers/teacher-training 

Support for kindergartens and schools. In order to use the name Rudolf Steiner and Waldorf in relation to education, settings and projects need to register with Waldorf UK,(formerly Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship) which is the overarching charity providing support and guidance. 

Looking back. In the 1940’s, a group of kindergarten teachers established what is now the Steiner Waldorf Early Years Group (SWEYG) made up of early childhood teachers, home childcare professionals, teacher trainers and advisors. This still meets twice a year and enables Waldorf UK to keep abreast of challenges facing the schools and kindergartens.

Janni Nicol, Waldorf early childhood consultant, and Board member of IASWECE, Publisher and Editor of  KINDLING, Journal for Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood. www.kindlingjournal.org  

Website of the country association WALDORF UK www.waldorfeducation.uk