The Australian Association for Rudolf Steiner Early Childhood Education (AARSECE) 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 

  • Supporting Rudolf Steiner/ Waldorf early childhood education in Australia and worldwide
  • Organising professional conferences 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)

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.

How Do We Work?


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 committee of AARSECE strives

  1. To disseminate information and share knowledge and experience with co-workers and the wider community.
  2. To support members in their work through regular regional meetings and seminars
  3. To offer special support to teachers/carers who are striving to establish new centres in the area of Rudolf Steiner early childhood education
  4. To support training for teachers/carers in Rudolf Steiner Early Childhood Education
  5. To organise seminars and conferences on regional and national levels and to arrange visits by guest speakers from overseas
  6. To assist members financially to attend national and international conferences
  7. To participate in the work of the International Association of Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Education
  8. To cooperate with Steiner Education Australia
  9. To promote the right to childhood
  10. To maintain contacts with the New Zealand Federation of Rudolf Steiner Schools
  11. To maintain supportive connections to the newly developed work in Rudolf Steiner early childhood education in the eastern Asian countries
  12. To publish a newsletter
  13. To support the publication of educational material for the work of the members of the Association in early childhood education

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. 

As colleagues working together in this world association, our goals are to

  • Foster co-operation among colleagues throughout the world, through meetings, conferences, working groups, etc.
  • Deepen and renew the work with the young child out of the sources of Waldorf education, and support its quality
  • Foster training and continuing development opportunities for caregivers, kindergarten teachers and educators
  • Undertake and support collaborative research on contemporary questions regarding the care and education of the young child
  • Collaborate with parents, other educators, and the wider society about the needs of the young child
  • Protect the freedom and name of Steiner and Waldorf early childhood education
  • Provide resources, information and publications on Waldorf early childhood education
  • Offer support – human, educational and financial – for projects seeking to foster Waldorf early childhood education throughout the world.

“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

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.  Each country member association appoints a representative to the council, with a seven-year term of office. Council members serve as links between the colleagues in their own countries and those in the International Association. Currently, Heather Van Zyl is the AARSECE representative on the council.