22
July
2015

A New Vision for Early Childhood Care and Parent Support

DorothyMarlenBETTER

Course leader Dorothy Marlen talks about the launch of the long-awaited Level 3 Early Years Educator (EYE) Diploma, due to start in September 2015.

At the end of January 2015 I received a long awaited phone call announcing that the course I had been working on for 18 months, and had thought about for much, much longer, had finally completed the process of becoming a nationally accredited course – a Level 3 Early Years Educator (EYE) Diploma. The Holistic Baby and Child Care course was now officially ‘birthed’. It is twenty odd years since I started my journey supporting parents and very young children. It is two years since the vision for this course was first discussed with colleagues and then Crossfields Institute and Emerson College – the two organisations which have made this new part-time course possible. It is a good time to reflect on my personal journey, the vision and its cultural context, and what the wishes and hopes are for this pioneering course.

I came to Anthroposophy as a new mother with one-year-old son. A flier on the counter of a local shop announced a talk on “The importance of rhythm in childhood” led by a Dutch anthroposophical couple who were visiting Lancaster where I lived. I signed up to a study group before the talk had even started – not knowing at all that this particular evening was changing my life. I went on to help start a local Steiner initiative with some other parents, training as a kindergarten teacher and running a childminding/kindergarten venture with another kindergarten teacher for six children, from my dining room. Later the project moved to a local community centre, and a few years later a Steiner school was born and still exists. By then my husband, son and I had moved to York so that my son could attend the Steiner School there. Those years showered me with a new understanding of childhood and riches that could be brought to family life in the form of rhythm, festivals, free play, slowing down, respecting the natural phases of childhood and much more. It showed me what was and what was not appropriate to bring to children at different ages and phases of childhood. Rudolf Steiner’s profound insights brought everything I held dear into a ‘wholeness’ for me.

From those early days my heart has always been with supporting parents and those who care for the very young child…….

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