The School’s Kindergarten is for children aged 3 to 6 years and provides a warm, nurturing environment like a home away from home with an emphasis on a play based curriculum. The main teacher, Mag Kearney is with the Kindergarten for over 6 years and is passionate about children and Steiner’s philosophy.
Importance of play
In the Kindergarten, we believe that play is the essential work of childhood and provides the foundation for cognitive faculties that will emerge later. Through play, children develop interactive skills such as co-operation, empathy, intuition and the ability to see things from the perspective of others. A great sense of confidence and security is built up within the young child, preparing them for the next stage of development.
Emphasis on nature-based play
As nature can provide the developing child with a myriad of learning opportunities, a considerable part of the day is spent outdoors, playing with water and sand, harvesting and carving willow and caring for plants and herbs used in meal-making.Toys are a mixture of natural materials and objects from nature, such as wood, fir cones, shells, chestnuts and sheep’s wool.
Daily and weekly rhythms
Maintaining a regular daily and weekly rhythm is a key element in the Steiner Kindergarten, as it is through rhythm and repetition that children feel safe and secure in their world. Each day follows the same routine, incorporating free play, rest time, stories and snacks, along with a specific activity such as baking, painting or gardening. Seasonal stories, verses and artistic activities accompany the children throughout the year and birthdays, as well as seasonal and Christian festivals, are celebrated together.
Our early years programme is designed to foster each child’s capacity for wonder and self-confidence as they learn to respect each other and the world around them. It aims to provide an unhurried approach to childhood, allowing each child time to fully develop at his or her own pace. Research is increasingly showing that pushing children into formal learning before they are ready can have long-lasting negative effects.
For details on Kildare Steiner Kindergarten fees, please contact the school. Funding is available for up to two years of Kindergarten fees under the Department of Children and Youth Affairs’ Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme (ECCE).