We know that finding the perfect preschool for our kiddos can be tough. You have so many options to consider when it comes to living in New York City and The Waldorf Curriculum is definitely one to consider. Austrian artist, scientist, and educator Rudolf Steiner founded the first Waldorf School in 1919 in Stuttgart, Germany. The aim of Waldorf schooling is to educate the whole child, “head, heart, and hands”.
The Waldorf Curriculum emphasizes the whole child, matches specific stages of child development, integrates the arts throughout the curriculum, and includes developing multiple intelligences through a comprehensive system of education.
Various national and international associations regulate Waldorf programs, and a school must be affiliated with the local organization to use the Waldorf name. Teachers must receive special training through a Waldorf organization. In North America, this organization is the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA).
If you are looking to explore the Waldorf Curriculum, we’ve rounded up the best preschools around for your little ones!
New York City
15 E. 79th St., New York, N.Y.
Style: Private Coed Day School, AWSNA Accreditation
Ages: Pre-K to 12
Schedules: Pre-K half day, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to noon; mixed week program, Monday and Friday 8:30 a.m. to noon and Tuesday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; full day, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tuition: Half day program, $25,300; mixed week program, $33,400; full day program $34,400
Admission: Tours are held throughout the year. See their website for the next scheduled tour and to fill out an application form. Applications are due a year in advance.
Their Words: “In our Elementary, Middle and High School programs, lessons balance cognitive and emotional intelligence with physical activity, and each subject integrates academic work with fine and practical arts. This multidimensional approach to education inspires students to embrace school and become lifelong learners.”
62 Avenue B, New York, N.Y.
Style: Independent Coed Day School, AWSNA Associate Member
Ages: Pre-K to 4. Two-Year-Olds Program ages 2 to 3; Mixed-age kindergarten ages 2.9 to 6 years
Schedules: Two-year-olds: either Thursday and Friday or Monday through Wednesday 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m; Mixed-aged kindergarten: daily 8:30 a.m to 1 p.m. including lunch, after-school session is also available
Tuition: Two-year-olds two days, $10,000, three days $14,000; Mixed-age kindergarten $28,000
Admission: Rolling admission. Visits and tours are given weekly. Applications can be found on their website.
Their Words: “New Amsterdam is a small, homelike school, where our warm community nourishes children and their families. Teachers integrate art, movement, and music into the daily life of the students, igniting the imagination and awakening a life-long joy in learning, while parents are offered enrichment opportunities throughout the year and work together to co-create the life of the school.”
11 Jefferson Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Style: Independent, Non-sectarian, Coed Day School, AWSNA Associate Member
Ages: Pre-K (ages 3 to 4 ) to 8
Schedules: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Tuition: $27,000, with additional fees for extended day. Tuition assistance is available.
Admission: Rolling admission is available. Take a tour or attend an open house then fill out the application on their website.
Their Words: “Our Early Childhood program brings young children into contact with nature within our school grounds and provides beautiful classrooms where they can explore and play together imaginatively.”
225 Cambridge Ave., Garden City, N.Y.
Style: Coed Day School, AWSNA Accreditation
Ages: PreK to 12 including a Nursery (age 3) and Mixed-Age Kindergarten ages 4or 5 by September and 6 by June, July or August)
Schedules: Nursery: Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon early drop-off and extended day available. Mixed-age Kindergarten, 8:10 a.m. to noon with optional afternoon care available.
Tuition: Nursery, $13,700; Mixed-age kindergarten, $15,325. Additional fees for early morning or extended day.
Admission: To schedule a tour, see open house dates and apply, see their website.
Their Words: “The Waldorf School of Garden City educates children to meet the world with purpose, gratitude, and respect. Our curriculum, inspired by Rudolf Steiner, progresses in accordance with child development, awakening students to the experience of knowledge, strengthening their sense of moral responsibility, and empowering them to act with courage and conviction.”