LifeWays® Early Childhood Certificate Program

SF Bay Area, August 2024 - June 2025

Applications will open on February 1, 2024

Location: Marin County, CA
Contact: Marianne Alsop

For full information about this Training contact the Administrative Coordinator

The 15th year of the San Francisco Bay Area Training will begin in August 2024, ending in June 2025. Applications will open on February 1, 2024. Every applicant will have a personal interview.

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 2024 and is ideal for those living in Northern and  Central California and the Sierra foothills. 

This is our 15th 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

Join us for a Visitor's Morning

Join us for a Visitor’s Morning and lunch on Saturday January 20, 2024 or Saturday March 16, 2024. Meet our current class, see our morning lessons in action, enjoy lunch and a question/answer time with alumni and teachers.
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Your journey toward joy-filled and purpose-full living begins in August, 2024, 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!

Opening the Gate with Anna Rainville
Online, next session November 30, 2023

Circle of Hands Year 2
Online, Next session December 10, 2023

Circle of Hands
Online, Next Session Starts December 17, 2023

Home as the Model; Life as the Curriculum 2.0
Online, Starts January 17, 2024

Care Begins with Me - An Online Workshop for Women
Online, Sunday, January 21, 2024

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…

  • Marna Widom

    “LifeWays is a progressive and necessary response to our changing world.  What more could we ask for than a program that gifts us with the tools we need to not only meet our very high (and individual) ideals but to meet those ideals in down to earth and realistic ways – ways which really work out there in the world and allow us to meet the needs of a wide range of families - and to thrive while doing so!”  Marna Widom

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