The Early Childhood Center: 
A Natural Foundation for a Lifetime of Learning


Young children explore and learn about their world with an intensity that is unsurpassed at any other stage of life. Children yearn to touch, taste, see, hear and engage with everything in their environment. These early experiences of the world are critical for healthy intellectual, emotional and physical development.

ECC teachers focus on imaginative play, both indoors and outdoors, circle and story time, and a consistent daily rhythm. Free play is the cornerstone for building imagination, creativity, problem-solving and social skills. These skills build the foundation for academic learning in the elementary years and beyond.

Detroit Waldorf School’s Early Childhood Center delivers an unrivaled education that leaves children happy, healthy, and grounded. Children learn in a natural, experiential, age-appropriate manner through our play-based curriculum. Opportunities include Parent-Child Classes, Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten.

At Detroit Waldorf School, children run, skip, jump rope, color, paint and model beeswax. Modern brain research reveals that these activities are crucial to brain function in adulthood, and essential for building fine and gross motor skills used in reading and writing. 

DWS children engage with poems, songs, nature stories, classical folk literature, and recitation, developing a rich vocabulary and phonics practice necessary for reading. Children build listening skills, comprehension and memory as well as the ability to focus.

"Becoming" is the third film in a series of short films produced on the occasion of the centenary of Waldorf Education under the direction of the award-winning Californian documentary filmmaker Paul Zehrer, and which provide an insight into the inclusive diversity of Waldorf Education under the most diverse cultural, social, religious and economic conditions around the globe.

Pre-Kindergarten Details

Ages 3 by June 1, 2019 and fully potty-trained

Offering 3 half days, 3 full days, 5 half days and 5 full days

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Kindergarten Details

Age 5 by June 1, 2019

Offering 5 full-day program


Classroom Requirements
The following items are required for the student to engage fully in an Early Childhood Center classroom:

  • Waterproof and weatherproof outdoor gear, including rain and snow pants, coats, boots, hats, gloves, scarves, and a sunhat

  • Indoor shoes: slip-on, slipper, or toe-shoes*

  • Nap bedding: blanket, pillow, sheet, etc.

  • Media-free lunchbox

  • Extra set of seasonally-appropriate clothing

  • Weekly contribution of fruit or vegetable to the class cooking activity*

 *Teacher will specify

Download our Early Childhood Program Handbook.