Becoming a LifeWays Representative Program
Benefits for Representative Programs
Representative Programs enjoy the highest level of recognition by LifeWays North America and are listed first within each state. Below are some of the benefits of standing in the world as a LifeWays Representative Program:
- Standing in the world as a LifeWays Representative Program tells the public that you have met our highest standards and are certified by a national early childhood organization. Offering a program recognized throughout North America can be a positive factor with parents, as well as proving helpful in licensing and evaluative processes.
- Representative Programs may use (and are encouraged to use) the name LifeWays in their name. This can be in the actual name or as a by-line. For example: LifeWays Early Childhood Center of Milwaukee or Rosebud Play School, a LifeWays Early Childhood Center or Peapod Playgroup, a LifeWays Parent-Child Program.
- Your program is listed in the Program Directory on the LifeWays website, and all Representative Programs are highlighted with contact information and a link to your website if you have one. In addition to bringing people to you, this listing also makes LifeWays more visible and a greater force for affecting change in North America.
- LifeWays Representatives are eligible to consult with a LifeWays Advisor/Consultant as needed. If the Representative program requests a visit from a LifeWays consultant, your program covers the travel costs but is not required to pay a fee for consulting services, which is typically $500/day.
- Representative programs receive a 25% tuition discount for staff members enrolled in the training. The Representative may choose whether to apply the discount toward the amount the business is contributing or whether to offer the discount to the staff member.
- Representatives may attend LifeWays workshops, seminars and online courses at a discount and are encouraged to be presenters. Parents in your program also receive a discount for enrolling in our online courses. We also encourage Representatives to set up workshops, seminars, and LifeWays reunions in their regions. LifeWays can help with the administration and outreach materials for such gatherings.
- Representatives may request LifeWays brochures and sign up their parents to receive the LifeWays newsletter. Representative programs will be featured in the newsletter, and directors are encouraged to submit articles for the newsletters and blog.
- New Representatives will be given 2 free LifeWays publications of their choice: Home Away From Home: LifeWays Care of Children and Families; Life is the Curriculum; Words For Parents In Small Doses; Words For Teachers and Caregivers In Small Doses; and Observing Young Children: a Tool For Meaningful Observation, along with the DVD about LifeWays childcare.
- You have the opportunity to both give back to LifeWays and to know you are supporting a larger effort to influence childcare in North America. Representative Programs support LifeWays North America through an annual contribution of 1% of gross earnings or an agreed-upon amount.
Click the button below to pay your $200 application fee. Once you have paid you will be asked to complete the Representative Program Application.
If you prefer, you may download and print the Application Form and the Self-Assessment Form and mail them along with your payment to the Representative Programs Director.
LifeWays Representative Programs meet the following criteria:
- Representative’s work is in alignment with the principles, practices and Living Arts taught in the LifeWays training.
- Representative’s approach to working with children and families is based on concepts taught in the LifeWays training with particular emphasis on Rudolf Steiner’s research on child development.
- All primary caregivers at the site have completed the LifeWays training, have currently enrolled in a LifeWays training, or have made a commitment to enrolling in a timely manner.
- When applicable, the director of the site will have completed the LifeWays training or its equivalent and is responsible for ensuring that the staff is trained in the principles and practices associated with LifeWays.
- A site visit by a LifeWays North America consultant has determined that the Representative can stand as a model of LifeWays. The Representative status will be reviewed every five years, or as needed, through a self-assessment and a consultant evaluation process.
- Students from LifeWays trainings will be welcomed to observe at Representative Programs whenever feasible.
- A Representative program is fiscally sound. During the application process, programs are asked to provide or create a revenue and expense budget. Consultation with the Representative Program Director regarding the creation of a revenue and expense budget will be provided upon request. A fiscal year-end Balance Sheet or a Form 990 report will also be requested, when applicable.
- Program meets all licensing requirements. In some cases a Representative may be in an advocacy process with licensing, requesting an exception if the requirement is developmentally inappropriate or physically or spiritually unhealthy for young children.
- Caregivers and teachers in Representative Programs are committed to ongoing self-development. Attendance at a LifeWays or Waldorf conference, workshop or seminar is recommended at least every two years. We recommend our Representatives remain aware of current trends and policies in conventional early childhood education to be advocates for healthy policies and practices within the field. It is recommended that the staff in Representative Programs take up a collegial study each year to further their self-development. One example would be to work through the questions at the end of each chapter of Life is the Curriculum.
- Representatives support LifeWays North America through an annual contribution of 1% of gross earnings or an agreed-upon amount.
The process to become a LifeWays Representative is as follows:
- Applicant completes the Representative Program Application, including a self-assessment of the program, and submits it to the Representative Programs Director, along with a $200 application fee. This non-refundable fee helps to pay the LifeWays consultant, who will observe the applicant’s program.
- The application and the fee can all be submitted online (see Apply Now)
- The applicant’s program will be included in the LifeWays North America listing as an “Aligned Program”, while the application process is active. Once the application process is complete and Representative Program status has been granted, then the listing will be changed to “Representative Program”.
- LifeWays arranges for a consultant to visit the applicant’s site. Applicants are also welcome to request a specific consultant to be approved by LifeWays. The consultant’s fee ($300/day) and travel expenses (variable) are paid by LifeWays North America.
- After the consultation visit, the consultation report is reviewed by a team of LifeWays board members, which then makes a recommendation regarding Representative status.
- If the consultation report requires the program to make changes before being granted Representative status, a timeline is established to support the applicant in implementing necessary changes. A determination is made as to whether there needs to be a follow-up visit before granting Representative status.
- The consultation report and recommendations are sent to the applicant. If the team determines that all the criteria are in place, the program is granted Representative status and sent an Agreement Form describing payment options (Representative Programs support LifeWays North America through an annual contribution of 1% of gross earnings or an agreed-upon amount).
- When this agreement is signed and returned, the applicant is listed on the website as a Representative Program and is free and encouraged to use the name LifeWays. A congratulation letter will be sent, followed by a certificate suitable for framing.
NOTE: Although rare, there are factors that could result in withdrawal of Representative status. These include a drop in standard of care and environment, loss of key trained staff, loss of licensing, moving the center or home, or non-compliance with the criteria listed above. These are handled on a case-by-case basis and every effort is made to support re-establishing Representative status.