The Australian Association for Rudolf Steiner Early Childhood Education (SECA) is dedicated to the protection, development and strengthening of Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood care and education of the child from pre birth to seven.

This includes promoting healthy development for children, the establishment of places where children can be given time and space to develop at their own pace, to explore and to play, and to follow their own inner initiative.

Aims and Objectives

To provide information and share knowledge and experience among early childhood colleagues and with the community

  • Encouraging collegial relationships through regular regional meetings and workshops 
  • Producing, sourcing and sharing information and educational resources
  • Publishing a newsletter for members
  • Initiating collaborative research on contemporary questions regarding the care and education of the young child
  • Encourage working with parents and other members of the community to provide for the needs and healthy development of the young child 

To contribute to and nourish Rudolf Steiner/Waldorf early childhood education in Australia and worldwide

  • Maintaining contact and relationship with the New Zealand Federation of Rudolf Steiner Schools
  • Developing supportive connections to newly developed work in Rudolf Steiner early childhood education in the eastern Asian countries
  • Participating in the work of the International Association of Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Education (IASWECE)
  • Working together with Steiner Education Australia (SEA)

To organise and provide professional development in Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood education

  • Organising and hosting The Vital Years national conference and regional seminars to deepen the understanding of the pedagogy of Steiner Education in the early childhood years
  • Providing support to those who are working to establish new kindergartens and children's centres based on Rudolf Steiner's indications for the care and education of the child up until the age of seven
  • Offering mentoring to teachers
  • Supporting training and professional development for Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood teachers and educators


History and structure of the association


The Association had its beginning in 1985 when early childhood teachers convened the first national meeting, the Vital Years Early Childhood Conference of teachers and educators. These conferences were held every second year until in 1991 the decision was made to form an association with the aim of representing, nurturing and safeguarding Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education.

In order to support and connect teachers and educators working in various states and regions around Australia, Regional Representatives are selected by the members. Their task is to bring local members together in regular meetings, to share information and organise workshops locally, and to exchange and deepen the work in Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education. The Regional Representatives, together with other office bearers, form the Committee of the Association. 

The Australian association is a member of the International Association for Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Education (IASWECE), a representative body of the cultural impulse of Rudolf Steiner and the worldwide Steiner/Waldorf movement, and a partner of the international Alliance for Childhood.
The IASWECE Council is the main decision-making body for carrying out the purposes of the international association and for developing its educational and cultural goals. Currently, Heather Van Zyl is the Australian representative on the council, representing our Association.

“In our Association, all who serve the education of children, the training of educators, the cooperation with parents, and the development of human culture at large – spiritually, legally and economically, work together… The fruitfulness of worldwide cooperation beyond all limits of language, politics and religion is a tried and tested experience.” – Dr. Helmut von Kuegelgen