We are located at 1920 Zehndner Avenue in Arcata, California 95521

(707) 825-7447 (707)502-4003


Program Philosophy

Our philosophy at Stepping Stones Children’s Garden is inspired by Waldorf Education, as well as the Non-Violent Communication (NVC) model. The classroom is seen as a community in itself. Each child is embraced as an integral part of our community, contributing their personal strengths, as well as their diverse learning and cultural backgrounds, while they learn how to be respectful, harmonious members of a group environment. Learning is enhanced by the varied ages of children served (2 to 5 year-olds) in the classroom. A strong sense of autonomy, productivity, and pride is achieved as they support each other throughout the day. The Waldorf philosophy provides inspiration to nurture the child’s active imagination while the NVC model helps them to learn how to express themselves in a positive and productive manner. We are pleased to integrate the magic of the turning seasons in many aspects of our curriculum using our inspiration derived from the Waldorf philosophy. Seasonal songs and verses are recited at Circle Time, along with our calendar, the weather, and a gentle phonetic awareness portion with our letter of the week. In our classrooms we offer natural wooden toys that include driftwood, smooth river stones, and tree stump blocks. Cloth dolls, brightly colored play cloths, blankets, wooden doll beds, and wooden kitchen sets to provide children with hours of imaginative play! Our organic garden plays a wonderful role in the curriculum in the classrooms. The children assist in all aspects of gardening from planting and weeding, to watering and harvesting! This participation fosters an awareness and appreciation for nature as well as the importance of nutrition and healthy food choices. The classrooms are prepared to be as home like as possible. The space that the children are embraced in is joyful, calm, and inviting. Here they are treated with respect. Teachers share the tools of Non-Violent Communication with the children to promote success as they navigate through their interactions with their peers and the adults who are present in the classroom. Teachers serve as models for appropriate behavior for the children. In early childhood it is important to nurture many facets of development. By responding fluidly to a child’s innate curiosity in the natural world, the seasons, and their interest in the many people and activities in their immediate environments (home, school, and community) we can set the supportive groundwork that is necessary to achieve a well-balanced and joyful educational experience.