New Zealand Steiner Teacher Diploma (Early Childhood) (NZSTD-EC)

The NZSTD(EC) works in cooperation with Steiner Education Aoteara New Zealand (SEANZ) and is endorsed by the International Association of Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Education (IASWECE). The programme has been specifically designed for people working in Steiner kindergartens, early childhood centres, home-based situations and playgroups, who would like to have a formal Steiner qualification.  However, people not fitting any of these categories are asked to contact us as we might be able to help you find a workable solution (see below).

While acknowledging the universal nature of all human beings, all course content recognises Aotearo/New Zealand’s specific cultural context and our commitment tangata whenuatanga and TeTiriti o Waitangi partnership in Aotearoa/ New Zealand in the 21st century.

The programme will offer a sustained and organised pathway of teacher education for those who wish to deepen and extend their knowledge, and make conscious their practice of Rudolf Steiner pedagogy as it relates to the young child.

The intention is to re-examine and open up both thinking and practices, to discover why we do what we do, through active listening, questioning, reflection and engagement on a practical level.

The three streams of cultural and environmental influence, of human developmental phases, and that of individual spiritual development, will be brought together to address the child in its fullness, and underpin an approach to Early Childhood education that allows for the unfolding of the child’s true being in a healthy, integrated manner. The seminars will have a substantial practical component.

On completion of the three year part-time education programme you will receive an IASWECE internationally recognised diploma.

Themes for the three year
New Zealand Steiner Teacher Diploma (Early Childhood) (NZSTD-EC)

  Human Development Journey/ Gesture of the Early Childhood Practitioner Arts and Skills Filling the kete
Seminar 1
  • From death to rebirth
  • The Child as a sense being
  • Exploration of the Twelve Senses
  • Play as child’s work
  • Three and Four-fold Human Being
  • The Essentials of Waldorf ECE
  • Simplicity Parenting
  • The life of Rudolf Steiner
  • Becoming a self-reflective practitioner- Art and purpose of journaling
  • Taking yourself on.
  • Workshop on the senses
  • Forum
  • Journaling
  • Singing
  • Creating the environment
  • Visiting kindergartens
  • Finding yourself in
  • movement-Bothmer Gymnastics
  • Craft: Making a doll
Seminar 2
  • Human development as a process of incarnation
  • The development of the will. Rhythm and repetition
  • Creative discipline
  • Festivals-working with the cycle of the year
  • The evolution of consciousness
  • Nutrition
  • Parent evenings
  • Painting with children
  • Children’s drawings
  • Forum
  • Journaling
  • Singing
  • Crafts-needle felting
  • Speech
Seminar 3
  • Freedom. Karma and destiny
  • The meaning of fairy tales
  • Storytelling with puppets
  • Goethean observation and child-study
  • Working with the elementals
  • The four temperaments
  • Morning circles
  • Forum
  • Journaling
  • Singing
  • Craft: Table puppets
  • Eurythmy
Seminar 4
  • Mood of the Fifth
  • Foundations of morality
  • Constitutional types- meeting the modern child
  • Meeting the needs of children of a diverse background
  • Working with parents
  • Working with colleagues
  • Problem solving
  • Nature tables
  • Meaningful work and the domestic arts
  • Conflict resolution
  • Forum
  • Journaling
  • Singing
  • Craft: wool pictures
  • Observational drawing
  • Music in ECE
Seminar 5
  • Biography
  • Embryology, physiology
  • Working with the etheric
  • Awareness of the effects of the digital world on young children
  • Working of the angels in the astral body
  • An Individual biography and a devotion to Early Childhood
  • The outdoor environment
  • Hand gestures
  • Finger games
  • Journaling
  • Singing
  • Craft: Natural dyeing
  • Clay sculpture
Seminar 6
  • The Foundation of Human Experience
  • Working with children with special needs
  • Working with the 6 year old in the kindergarten
  • The meditative path of the teacher
  • Contemporary issues in Child Health
  • Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition
  • Birth to three: Bonding and attachment
  • Developing a meditative life
  • Presentations of storytelling and morning circles
  • IASWECE/Alliance for Childhood
  • Forum
  • Journaling
  • Singing
  • Craft: Making a Marionette
  • Woodwork



This course was started in 2007 as a two year in-service certificate course and grown from 2014 onwards into a three year diploma course. The Course is being held at the Titirangi Rudolf Steiner School in Titirangi, Auckland. You will have to attend 6 four and a half day seminars and complete the entire course requirement set out in a Logbook. The seminars take place in January and September/October during the School holidays.

The coordinators of this course are Kathy MacFarlane, who has more than 35 year experience in Waldorf Early Childhood teaching and who has taught and coordinated various training courses in South East Asia and Edith van der Meer, who has been a Waldorf Handwork and Early Childhood teacher for 21 years and who mentors Waldorf kindergartens in Fiji and Indonesia. They are supported by Marjorie Theyer, a past Early Childhood advisor in NZ and a kindergarten educator for more than 40 years. Each seminar they are joined by a variety of skilled tutors with wide ranging experience from relevant fields.

If you are interested or want to receive more information about this course, please don’t hesitate to contact Edith on or +6421 056 3986