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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Planning a Waldorf Playschool
CityGarden 07:49 PM 03-20-2016
Hi All - I am new to the forum and an opening a home based Waldorf inspired playschool this summer in Southern California. I have some questions I would appreciate insight on.
  1. For those who offer alternative learning methods (i.e. Montessori, Reggio, Waldorf, etc.) do you find your hours or rates are different due to that? In example most Waldorf/Montessori Preschools in my area are half day or school day hours 8:00-3:00pm or so.... what do you offer and what do you find parents want in terms of hours? I am debating offering 9am - 5pm, 8:30 - 4:30pm like some of the home based providers in my area or offering something more like 8:30-3:30pm and then hourly additional hours from there...
  2. Do you 100% do Montessori / Waldorf / Playbased if that is what you initially planned or a percentage of it time wise? (It can be costly to use 100% Waldorf or Montessori toys, art supplies, etc.)
  3. How do you balance the various Food Program requirements? My daughter's experience at Waldorf was wonderful in terms of food options but they NEVER served the toddlers and preschoolers milk only water and never so many grains ---- lots of fruits, veggies and proteins though. Anyone just opt out or is that a HUGE loss in $$$ and resources?
  4. I am also considering applying for certification as a Waldorf Nursery School but worry if parents would be feel uncertain by some aspects of Waldorf, have you experienced this?

Thanks in advance for any insight!!
Michael 08:15 PM 03-20-2016
Welcome to the forum. We have a category dedicated to Waldorf, Reggio and other forms of learning which you may find helpful:
organicdclady 09:12 AM 03-22-2016
Hi there,
I am also in so cal. I run a program that is based on the Montessori philosophy. I enjoy the Montessori method, and think it is an amazing way to guide young children through their cognitive and sensory growth. There is not really a demand for it in my area, so without traditional daycare hours, I would not be able to survive. My rates are based on the norm for my area, and do not take into account the fact that I offer a non-traditional setting. All the providers in my area boast "preschool" so as long as your promising some sort of "education" parents are happy and don't really care beyond that. I am not 100% Montessori as it is way too expensive to make work off the income I bring in. In addition, there is so much work that goes into little things that wouldn't necessarily be beneficial to my group, and again parents couldn't care less so I don't obsess over things that are hard for me to control.
In terms of the food program, there are so many mixed reviews and opinions out there that you just have to check out the options and decide if it is a good fit for your program. The money I make off the fp is a blessing and honestly helps keep me afloat. My income supports the household, so I can't afford to not take advantage of every extra opportunity. Additionally, I serve organic food and use organic and natural cleaners only. I know I would never have been able to make the switch to organic without the food program.
I would do some serious research and see if there is a need or want in your area for what you are offering. I used moms at the local elementary schools as a tool for assessing the need base in my area. It was low. So low that I could not bring myself to invest in all Montessori materials. I have only had one parent tell me she chose my daycare because I have a certificate in Montessori education. I currently am licensed for 8 children and am in the process of applying for a large license (14 children). If I can fill up in the coming years, I may decide to change up my program, but for now I do what I can and am confident that I couldn't do it any better with what I have.
Best of luck to you! Feel free to pm me if I can elaborate or explain further
CityGarden 08:30 PM 03-23-2016
Thanks so much Organicdclady!!! I will PM you!
Tags:montessori, montessori learning, play based daycare, reggio emilia, waldorf method, waldorf school
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