In Hungary the Waldorf movement is the largest movement outside public education. Waldorf Education is the only educational reform trend that has developed over the last twenty years. It is a national network with teacher training and professional services institutions. At the moment there are 49 Waldorf kindergartens with 1356 children and 32 Waldorf schools with 4580 children. Every year more and more families choose Waldorf schools for their children.
Collaboration. The Hungarian Waldorf Association is a non-profit association founded in 1997. Schools, kindergartens, and training centers are members of the Association. The number of members is growing dynamically. The association is responsible for quality care in the institutions and in recent years has renewed the Waldorf School curriculum and the Waldorf Kindergarten Program.
The Kindergarten Assembly is working as a part of the Association. Members are representatives from all the kindergartens. The tasks of the Assembly are the following:
- making decisions regarding all Steiner Waldorf name rights questions and applications from new initiatives
- setting the rules for the quality of kindergartens
- making decisions if necessary for changes to the Waldorf Kindergarten Program
- defining the principles of the payment of membership fees of kindergartens
Trainings. In Hungary there are two recognized training centers. One is more a part-time training (three years) and a new one was established recently which is a full-time training (three years).
Looking back. Between the two world wars, with the help of Dr. Maria Göllner, some of the first Waldorf schools and kindergartens started between 1926 and 1933.
After the end of the communist government in 1989, the first Waldorf kindergartens and schools started as civil initiatives, as non-religious or state institutes.
Birth to three. Today in Hungary there are no recognized birth to three groups but there is a growing number of small groups integrated in the kindergartens with smaller children (two – three years old). In the last period in every national meeting we have working groups on this theme, and there are also weekend lectures for teachers, educators and parents. We do not have yet a training for birth to three.
Joli Kiss Waldorf kindergarten teacher and trainer, member of the IASWECE Council