LifeWays® Early Childhood Certificate Program

SF Bay Area, August 2024 - June 2025

We have opened a wait list for those interested in joining the 2024-25 session of the SF Bay LifeWays Training as space becomes available. Please contact Marianne Alsop to discuss the options.
Location: Marin County, CA
Contact: Marianne Alsop

For full information about this Training contact the Administrative Coordinator

Join us for a Visitor's Morning

Join us for a Visitor’s Morning and lunch on  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. rsvp to

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 March 16, 2024. Meet our current class, see our morning lessons in action, enjoy lunch and a question/answer time with alumni and teachers.
rsvp to

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!

Kate Hammond is a Waldorf trained Birth to Three teacher and longtime LifeWays teacher. She brings her work in Spacial Dynamics and love of handwork and crafting to our course. Kate also teaches in the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training.

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!

Little Sunblossom Seasons Table Puppet
Online, July 13 & 14, 2024 1-3pm Central

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

The Gift of Color
Online, August 4-5, 2024

Singing Games: Seasonal Joy
Online, Next Session August 22, 2024

Discipline with Loving Awareness
Online, Starts September 11, 2024

Creating Thriving Community with Families
Online, Starts September 18, 2024

Inspired Homemaking with Rahima Baldwin Dancy
Online, starts October 2, 2024

Celebrando: Entendiendo, Creando y Viviendo las fiestas con intención
En linea: Inscripciones abiertas todo el año. Registrate y aprende a tu ritmo ¡Ya!

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…

  • Jennifer

    “Sometimes after an experience such as LifeWays returning to "real life" can be difficult. However, the bridge between all we experienced and the lives we lead connects so clearly. I returned home renewed and ready to put to work all we learned. LifeWays, in my opinion, fuels our spirits and the spirits of those we love and teach. It's about real and meaningful work, in our homes and with the children we teach. It emphasizes the connection to spirit and accepting all that is available to us as we strive to be the best we can. It all fits and the training has given me renewed confidence in myself and all the opportunities that exist for my professional and personal life...thank you!”  Jennifer

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