The Early Years Program

The Parent-Infant classes provide and opportunity for parents to observe their child with facilitation and support from a trained and experienced Early Childhood specialist. In a safe and beautiful environment, infants will have floor time with their parent or caregiver close by. Parents have experienced these observation-style classes as a breath of fresh air, peaceful moments, and a favorite time of the week. These classes provide parents with an opportunity to learn about their child in a way that our busy lives often cannot. The Playgroup and Bridge classes at the Waldorf School of Orange County provide a door to literacy through story and circle with movement, song and verse.

The Early Years program offers children a rich environment for exploration and play, and provides parents support in creating a healthy home life to create a solid foundation for children and family life.

Click here for our Parent-Infant class information. Click here for our 2022-23 Waldorf Early Years brochure.

Why Waldorf?

The early years of a child’s life, full of wonder and joy, are also the most critical years of development. The Waldorf Playgroup and Bridge classes at the Waldorf School of Orange County offer children a rich environment for exploration and play and offer parents support in creating a healthy home life to create a solid foundation for learning. Through meeting together in a group with likeminded parents and an experienced Early Childhood Waldorf teacher each week, a warm and loving community is formed.

The beauty of the changing seasons will create a natural rhythm as we move through the year with songs, verses, activities and stories. Play is the heart of the young child, and children will have opportunity to explore this world of play in the beauty of a classroom and garden designed especially for them. Come prepared to splash in the puddles, dig in the mud, and dance in the sunshine.

Click here for our 2022-23 Waldorf Early Years brochure.

Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination,
dexterity, and physical, cognitive and emotional strength. Play is important to
healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age
engage and interact with the world around them.

Playgroup Program Schedule

Age requirements: 18 months to 3 years

Playgroup ClassesDayTimeTuition Fees
Choose one dayTuesday8:45 - 10:45$400
Wednesday8:45 - 10:45$400
Thursday8:45 - 10:45$400

Session #1: Sept. 6 – Dec. 16

Session #2: Jan. 3 – March 31

Session #3: April 17 – June 16

$400/session or $1,000 for all three sessions purchased in advance. Fees are non-refundable.

Bridge Program Schedule

Bridge age requirements: 3 years by Dec. 1

Bridge ScheduleDayTimeTuition Fees/Yearly
Choose one dayTuesday11:00am - 1:00pm$1,000
Wednesday11:00am - 1:00pm$1,000
Friday8:45am - 10:45am$1,000

Parent-Infant Class: pre-crawling infants and caregivers

Six-Class Sessions (on Mondays)

11am – 12:30pm

Session #1: Sept. 12 – Oct. 24

Session #2: Jan. 9 – February 27

Session #3: April 17 – May 22

$200/session. Fees are paid in full and are non-refundable.


Daily Rhythm for Playgroup and Bridge

Free Play

The children will enjoy free play while the caregivers work nearby in purposeful activity and enjoy discussion with one another. This is an ideal time to observe your child at play! If you have a handwork project from home (such as sewing, knitting, mending), you’re welcome to bring this along to work on as well.

Welcome Circle

During our circle and story time, we will journey from fall into spring in verse and song. This is a special time to enjoy being with your child, undistracted by your housework, phones, and other tasks.

Snack Time

We begin with a blessing and enjoy warm snacks which the parents can help to prepare, such as brown rice and peas. Snacks are homemade and use organic and local ingredients when possible. We follow this activity with dish washing.

Outdoor Free Play

Please be sure that you and your child have appropriate clothing for the changing weather. We will go outside rain or shine!

Closing Circle

We finish each class with a verse and warm goodbyes.

Play is the highest form of research.

Albert Einstein


Recommended Reading

Beyond the Rainbow Bridge is an award-winning book that belongs on the nightstand of every parent with young children. Full of everyday wisdom for busy parents, this treasure of a book is for all caregivers who value imaginative play, the necessity of daily routine, and the benefit of creative discipline.

Co-authors Barbara J. Patterson and Pamela Bradley offer realistic suggestions for creating a healthy family life that can be incorporated into any lifestyle.

Simplicity Parenting. Today’s busier, faster, supersized society is waging an undeclared war…on childhood. As the pace of life accelerates to hyperspeed, with too much stuff, too many choices, and too little time – children feel the pressure. They can become anxious, have trouble with friends and school, or even be diagnosed with behavioral problems. Now, in defense of the extraordinary power of less, internationally renowned family consultant Kim John Payne helps parents reclaim for their children the space and freedom all kids need, allowing their children’s attention to focus and their individuality to flourish.

Both books are available for purchase at our school store, The Company of Angels.


Children come and…

Explore a child-friendly environment that is safe, challenging and emotionally nurturing with simple play materials.

Delight in the special attention given to support their unfolding interests, motor abilities, and problem-solving skills.

Experience social interaction in play that stimulates their speech and language development.

Engage with other children in their stage of development, while expanding social capacities.

Parents come and…

Experience an environment that encourages the valuable exchange of ideas and information, and provides a framework for why Waldorf works.

Explore the value of observation to see and understand what their children are doing and how they are learning as they play.

Delight in the joy of sharing songs and games with your child that support their speech and language development. Meet other parents and find a community of sharing and support.

Discover new tips for parenting and caregiving.


Playgroup/Bridge FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Nursery, Playgroup and Bridge Classes?

Playgroup and Bridge classes meet once a week and are designed to include parents and children together. The WSOC Nursery Program is a drop-off program designed for two and three year old children. Families choose a two, three or five-day drop off schedule for Nursery. Two Day: Thursday and Friday; Three Day: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; Five Day: Monday-Friday.

What happens if I begin in a class and need to withdraw unexpectedly?

Early Years refunds are available through the end of the first week of each session and will be 100% of the total fee.

Can I purchase more than one Playgroup session at a time?

Yes! See Playgroup information above.

What happens if I have to miss a class?

No problem! We recognize that there are going to be days when you are not able to make it. Since our  curriculum is play-based, there are not concerns about missing a class. It is the overall rhythm of attendance that is important. There are no “make-up” days offered.

May I join an Early Years class mid-year?

If there is space remaining in an Early Years class, we welcome a new student at a pro-rated fee.

Which days are you closed for holidays?

The teacher will post a calendar with holidays and school closure dates. This is available on our web site and will also be included in your class roster for your reference.

When do we apply for Pre-Kindergarten?

Nursery and Pre-Kindergarten applications are available in October prior to the year of desired entry. Early Childhood applications are due in early January each year. Please visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.

How can I learn more about Waldorf Education?

Why not begin by joining us for an all school tour? These Walk Through the Grades tours are offered throughout the school year. To RSVP – www.waldorfschool.com/admissions-calendar.

What if I have questions? Who do I ask?

Registration/fees/refund questions, as well as  application to Pre-K and long-term program planning questions are directed to  Kathy Christian, Director of Admissions: kchristian@waldorfschool.com – (949) 574-7775 x206.

Your child/classroom conduct/suggestions are directed to Holly Richards: hrichards@waldorfschool.com

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