A secure start for your child’s education

In Waldorf education, the Early Years Programs for children 5 and under are held very closely to facilitate the best opportunity for a young child to feel at home in their first  ‘away from home’ environment.

In Whistler, we offer both playschool and Kindergarten together in our Early Years programs to help foster a developmentally appropriate curriculum and environment. This principle is a foundational component of Waldorf education and is critical to maintain the health and well-being of a young child.

  •  Licensed group childcare is available for ages 30 months – 5 years old in Little Cedars @ Spruce Grove & the Early Years Centre @ Spring Creek.
  • Kindergarten, also known as the Briar Rose @ Spruce Grove, is available for children in September if they turn five years old in the same year.

Financial Assistance for Childcare:

WWS has been accepted into B.C.’s Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative (CCFRI), which may provide a reduction of up to $545 per month for group care for children aged 3 to kindergarten, and up to $900/month for group toddler care (under 36 months). Parents do not need to apply; fee reductions are applied to fees.

In addition, qualified families are also recommended to apply for the Affordable Childcare Benefit for more assistance (for Little Cedars & Early Years Centre participants only).

Playschool Programs

Early Years Centre @ Spring Creek 

Space is available for children 30 months – school age children. 

Days: 2, 3, 4 & 5 Day options available – Monday-Friday all year long (2 day min. ongoing registration required.)

Times: 8:00-4:00PM

Tuition/Fees: Starting from $70/day*; monthly rate is equal to min. 2 day/week total cost for approx. yearly rate of $600/month* (*as of June 2020).

Little Cedars @ Spruce Grove

Space is available for 30 months – school age children.

Days: 2, 3, 4 & 5 Day options available – Monday-Friday for September – June. 

(2 day min. ongoing registration required. Care is offered over the school year, but can be accommodated over summer months though Spring Creek.).

Times: 8:30-3:00PM (Mon-Thurs.) 8:30-12:30 (Fridays)

Tuition/Fees: Starting from approx. $4400/year* based on min. 2 day/week total cost (*as of June 2020).

Common FAQS for Waldorf Childcare

Who is eligible to apply for childcare?

Whistler Waldorf School is licensed to accept students from 30 months-school age so if you have a child that needs care and is that age, you can apply for enrollment. Due to licensing specifics, we have two spaces at each location that are allocated for children 30-36 months.

Applications will be accepted for children 24 months of age and up to be ready for when they are 30 months and can attend the program.

Which location is right for me?

  • Little Cedars (LC) is located on the Spruce Grove campus.
  • Early Years Centre (EYC) is located in Spring Creek.

What are the differences in the locations?

The two programs are more alike than they are different but there are key differences in the program schedule. EYC offers year-round care, and Little Cedars’ schedule mirrors the K-12 program.

  • LC runs from September-June and is closed over the summer. When you enroll in LC, you are committing to a Sept-June period of time. In addition, Fridays at LC are ½ days and care is offered 8:15-3:15.
  • EYC is open 8-4 M-F and has a 3-week summer closure. Enrollment is ongoing year-round until the 2-month advance notice of withdrawal is submitted

What time of year can I apply?

If you are interested in Little Cedars, it is important to apply in Jan-Feb for the following September. Enrollment is ongoing in EYC and we recommend applying as soon as possible (once your child is 24 months) or at least 6 months in advance of the time care is desired.

Is there a price difference between the two programs?

EYC is $70/day and LC is $75/day. The slight difference in tuition fees is due to differences in overhead costs. These prices do not include CCFRI or the Affordable Childcare Benefit. Please note these costs can change, so refer to the tuition rates page for current details.

When is enrollment confirmed?

We are typically able to confirm enrollment for a September start in Little Cedars in the spring (April). Space in EYC is generally confirmed 1-2 months in advance. We are often able to give more advance notice of this for September starts in EYC when space opens due to children moving into kindergarten.

Do you have a waitlist?

WWS does not utilize a chronological waitlist, but rather a wait pool. This means that there is no benefit to applying well in advance of the desired start time. Applications are not accepted for children under 24 months of age.

After completing the admissions process, any child who has been granted enrollment after the class has reached maximum capacity will be placed in a waiting pool. The child’s name will remain in the waiting pool until he or she is enrolled, or the child’s removal from the list following refusal of an opening offered. Generally, the school utilizes the following criteria to determine the wait pool ranking:

First Priority: Students already enrolled in WWS are offered the opportunity to re-enrol and have first priority for the subsequent year. Re-enrollment agreements, tuition deposits, and an initial payment are typically due mid-March.

Second Priority: Siblings of currently or newly enrolling students and faculty members wishing to newly enroll their child.

Third Priority: Students who have attended other Waldorf Schools

What is the typical waiting period for enrollment?

Unfortunately it’s impossible to predict how long exactly a child will be in the waiting pool as enrollment is always changing. Generally the wait for  children 30-36 months can be months long since we are unable to accommodate more children of this age.  However, we are generally able to enroll children 36 months+ more quickly. We can likely give you a better idea of timing as we go through the enrollment period.

We understand that being placed in a wait pool can be challenging for families.  We sincerely appreciate your commitment and dedication to attending WWS and hope to make the wait pool process as stress-free as possible for you.

How will I know my status in the WWS wait pool?

Based on your desired start date and age of your child, our admissions office will contact you when a position becomes available.  At that time, you will be issued an enrollment agreement and invited to participate in a welcome visit.

Kindergarten Program

Briar Rose (Kindergarten) @ Spruce Grove

Applications are accepted year-round for Kindergarten enrolment. Children can start Kindergarten in September of the year they turn five years old.

Days:  Monday-Friday from September – June (as per school year).

Times: 8:30-3:05PM (Mon-Thurs.) 8:30-12:35 (Fridays)

Tuition/Fees: Please see current yearly fee schedule.

Pedagogy of the Early Years Programs

The licensed Whistler Waldorf Little Cedars (ages 30 months – 5 years) and Briar Rose (ages 5-6) programs are led by qualified Early Years professionals and educators. The program is developed with age-appropriate activities in mind, with an emotionally supportive and carefully structured environment to help children gain self-confidence and acquire a deep connection to all that life has to offer.

A  Waldorf Approach…

Waldorf education encourages a healthy and balance lifestyle for the child – plenty of sleep, a healthy diet, and a less is more approach to everyday scheduling. It also strongly recommends that young children don’t have access to screen time, through TV, computers, smart phones or games, allowing children freedom from powerful images that so easily invade self-created imaginations. Our Waldorf playschool provides a rare opportunity for your child to experience a space that is totally free of advertising and media: a space for them to truly be themselves.

Member of WECAN…

Welcome to WECAN, the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America. Their mission is to foster a new cultural impulse for the work with young child from pre-birth to age seven.

Whistler Waldorf follows the guiding principles of WECAN as do many Waldorf schools.

View WECAN for more specific details on childhood and education principles for the schooling of young children.

Registration For Early Years Programs

Whistler Waldorf School accepts applications on a rolling basis. Read more about our current rates and application process

We encourage you to apply at any point during the year and will be happy to consider your application. Registration is based on space availability and the school’s ability to meet the needs of your child. Our goal in the admissions process is to ensure there is a good fit for children and their families, in support of Whistler Waldorf’s Mission, Vision and Values.