Early Childhood

The Australian Association for Rudolf Steiner Early Childhood Education Inc.

Early Childhood Association

Since 1985 Australian Steiner early childhood teachers have convened the Vital Years Early Childhood Conference every second year to strengthen their work and to develop professional colleagueship. At the Vital Years 1991 the decision was made to form an Association with the aim of building up our regional support system and having a stronger voice within educational circles and in the public. In representing and safeguarding Steiner early childhood education we are working closely together with the SEA.

We are incorporated in NSW as a not for profit Association (ABN 16702 580 046). 

Aims and Objectives of the Association

  • Supporting Rudolf Steiner early childhood education, from birth to seven in Australia and world-wide
  • Organizing professional conferences in Australia
  • Publishing 'Star Weavings' a newsletter for Steiner early childhood in Australia
  • Producing/disseminating information and educational resources
  • Providing advice and support for new initiatives
  • Supporting training and professional development of teachers/carers
  • Working together with Steiner Education Australia (SEA) and with the International Association for Steiner/ Waldorf Early Childhood Education (IASWECE). For more information www.iaswece.org   www.steinereducation.edu.au    www.allianceforchildhood.org

How Do We Work?

The AGM sets the guidelines for the work in the Association.

The Core Group Committee looks after the affairs of the Association between AGMs. It consists of a representative of each region or state in Australia, where Steiner early childhood work is established. The office bearers are chairperson/secretary, treasurer/membership registrar, Star Weavings and consultants.

The representatives of the current seven regions, usually senior teachers, are initial contact persons for enquiries and for mentoring. They are responsible for organizing regular meetings and regional seminars. Regional meetings occur at least twice a year. The Vital Years is the main Australian biennial event and regions take turns in hosting this conference. Regional representatives send reports about their region to Star Weavings. They also distribute information from the IASWECE about international conferences, research projects, new publications and international working groups. The Australian Association may sponsor members to attend international conferences.

Early Childhood Education in Today's World

Protecting Childhood, promoting a play based early childhood education

Children need to be given time and space to develop in their own pace, to explore and play without being pushed into a competitive schooling system at an early age. There is great concern that these conditions for health and emotional wellbeing of children are disappearing fast.

There are more than 3000 Steiner early childhood centres and 1000 schools around the world and new initiatives are starting continuously in eastern Asia, Africa and the Middle East. They operate independently, but are united in the acknowledgement of the spirituality in each child, in the understanding of the stages of child development which underpin Steiner Education, in the nurturing of the inborn ability of children to play and in fostering the child's imagination. As part of this worldwide movement and as a partner of the Alliance for Childhood the Australian Association for Rudolf Steiner Early Childhood Education is working on all levels of society promoting healthy development for children and establishing places where children can live their childhood fully.

How to become a member

Individual Membership:

Individuals who wish to support the work of the association and become part of a professional network may join at any time.

Institutional Membership:

Kindergartens, preschools and child care centres wanting to become a member institution need to go through a process that includes being sponsored by a member institution and/or by the regional representative. Please contact the chairperson for more information and the fee structure.

Becoming listed on the register of Steiner early childhood institutions worldwide is an additional process and depends on meeting the standards set by the International Association.

The work of the association is done on a voluntary basis; subscriptions are used to further the aims and objectives of the association.


Star Weavings is the association's newsletter, which is published twice per annum.

Star Weavings grew out of a need to strengthen communication between those working with the child under seven, both in Rudolf Steiner Schools and in the wider community. The weaving image was chosen to represent strength through a common foundation of Rudolf Steiner's indications (the warp) and enrichment and enlivening through individuals sharing of their work (the weft).

Australian Association for Rudolf Steiner Early Childhood Education Inc.

Core Group Contacts as of February 2015

Office Bearers

Leanne Moraes: leannemoraes@bigpond.com   Chairperson

Heather van Zyl: heathervanzyl7@gmail.com     Treasurer and Secretary

Jane Evans: contactstarweavings@gmail.com   Star Weavings Editor


Special Tasks

Connie Grawert : conniegrawert@optusnet.com.au 

Cooperation with Steiner Education Australia re Early Years Learning Framework and curriculum


Regional Representatives


 Annette Fuhr-Evitt: annette.f@tarremah.tas.edu.au


 Jenni Mills: jennimills@bigpond.com 

 SA: vacant

 Western Australia

 Ute ten Hompel : utenhompel21@gmail.com

 Sydney, Southern NSW and Canberra

 Renate Long-Breipohl : breipohl@optusnet.com.au

 Northern NSW and Queensland

 Marilou Araullo: maraullo@optusnet.com.au


Member of the International Association for Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education - IASWECE

Associate Member of Steiner Education Australia (SEA)

Partner of the Alliance for Childhood Network