LifeWays® Early Childhood Certificate Program

SF Bay Area, August 2023 - June 2024

Sorry, we're fully enrolled for this session!

Location: Marin County, CA
Contact: Marianne Alsop

For full information about this Training contact the Administrative Coordinator

The LifeWays San Francisco Bay Area Training is an eleven-month long course, meeting two Saturdays a month, which includes three retreat weekends. Our rhythmical schedule allows you to work and parent throughout the week and attend enlivening and enriching classes on alternate Saturdays starting in early August 2023 and is ideal for those living in Northern and  Central California and the Sierra foothills. 

This is our 14th year of the LifeWays Training in the Bay Area. Scholarships and financial aid are available.

Completing the LifeWays Training can open NEW Opportunities for you:

  • Childcare providers in homes and centers
  • Early childhood assistants, teachers and nannies
  • Parents and grandparents
  •  Parent-child teachers
  • Early Childhood Aftercare teachers
  • Homeschool parents.
  • Become the parent or early childhood professional you long to be.

LifeWays students learn from master teachers in 200+ in-class hours over a year’s time. Additionally, mentor-supported independent study enriches learning between sessions. The LifeWays curriculum is divided into four categories:

  • Human Growth and Development – based on the insights of Rudolf Steiner and others
  • Child, Family and Community – home health care practices, unique and beautiful handwork, gardening and meal planning, meaningful celebrations and festivals, self-care and more
  • Program Curriculum – deepening your classroom and in-home practices (artistic and practical, nature and nurture); fundamentals of establishing child care, parent-child, after-school and daily homeschool rhythms; and more
  • Living Arts – learn the Living Arts as developed by LifeWays and the keys to joyful, purposeful living through Practical Activity, Nurturing Care, Creative Exploration and Social Awareness

LifeWays students graduate with a renewed sense of joie de vivre in their daily lives. Strengthened by an amazing view of the developing human being, a lifted experience of personal growth, guidance in establishing successful programs and a sense of being grounded in the practical, artistic and nurturing skills, they tell us over and over again that this training was a life-changing experience for them.

“Today, as we went from painting to snack to working in the garden, I felt so grateful to have had my Lifeways training so I can support my child during these uncertain times. I’m so grateful for this network and the love and care we show for each other.” Amy Jo, LifeWays 2013-14

Outdoor classes

Tentative LifeWays 2023-24 Schedule of Class Dates

August 12 First day
August 26
September 9
September 23
October 6-8 First retreat
October 21
November 4
November 18
December 2
December 16
2024 Dates:
January 6
January 20
February 3
February 17
March 1-3 Second retreat
March 15
April 6
April 20
May 4
May 17-19 Last retreat
June 1
June 15 Last day of session/graduation

Your journey toward joy-filled and purpose-full living begins in August, 2023, won’t you join us in the SF Bay Area?

Contact the Administrative Coordinator to learn about the application process.

Core Teaching Staff

Cynthia Aldinger is founder and Executive Director of LifeWays North America; author of Life is the Curriculum and Home Away from Home: LifeWays Care of Children and Families.

Christine Margetic has taught for many years in the LifeWays San Francisco Bay Training. She has taught in Waldorf early childhood programs since 2004.   She is particularly interested in supporting families with young children.

Teresa Walker has a LifeWays home farm program, is a LifeWays graduate and teacher and completed Waldorf Teacher Training. She has homeschooled her two children. Teresa will be our Student Services Director.

Rosario Villasana, Child Development and Family Studies Department Chair at City College of San Francisco and Director of the LifeWays Training en Español, joins us as a teacher of our Diversity classes. Rosario is also on the LifeWays North America Board of Directors.

Anna Rainville is a long-time early childhood educator, Waldorf teacher and LifeWays teacher. Her singing games, seasonal circles and songs inspire our students to move with joy! We welcome her back for another year!

The SF Bay Area LifeWays Training meets in  Marin County, CA, two Saturday sessions a month over eleven months, all day Saturday, 8am to 5pm. In addition, there are three long- weekend retreats: Friday noon to Sunday noon, for cooking, gardening, outdoor observation, circle games, wet felting, puppetry, storytelling and more.
Learn to create magical puppet shows for young children using silks, hand-made puppets and natural materials.
Learn watercolor painting for young children.
Study and discuss with one another.
Housing and Childcare: While LifeWays does not directly provide housing or childcare, we are happy to provide applicants with contact information for local resources. Meals: Snacks and daily organic hot lunches are included in tuition. Students provide their own breakfast and dinner

Join us!

Financial Aid is Available

We have funds available for students with financial need.  To apply, students should first apply to the training and then fill out the Financial Assistance Form on the website.

Also View all Our Other Courses

Welcome to LifeWays!
Online, view any time for free!

Brain Science and your Child’s Journey Toward the Self
Online, Starts September 20, 2023

Inspired Homemaking with Rahima Baldwin Dancy
Online, starts October 4, 2023

Circle of Hands Year 2
Online, Next session October 15, 2023

Working with the Four Temperaments
Online, Starts October 18, 2023

Opening the Gate with Anna Rainville
Online, next session October 19, 2023

Circle of Hands
Online, Next Session Starts October 29, 2023

Celebrando: Entendiendo, Creando y Viviendo las fiestas con intención
En linea, a partir del 1 de noviembre, 2023

LifeWays Early Childhood Fundamentals Course
Starting August, 2024 in several locations!

Creating Home Away from Home: A Course for Home Childcare Providers
Online - Start Any Time!

Creating Your Family Culture -- An Elemental Approach
Online - Start any time!

Healthy Home Rhythms
Online - Start any time!

Living Arts Through the Seasons ~ Archived
Online Archive of past seasons

What They Say…

  • a recent graduate in Maine

     “You know, for me it was difficult financially and logistically (having two jobs, being a single mother, etc.) but it was one of the best things I have ever done – completely worth it. I am happy to be a part of this wonderful, nourishing, complete training.”
- a recent graduate in Maine

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