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Crossfields Institute Quality Mark Certificate in Holistic Baby & Childcare

Crossfields Institute Quality Mark Certificate in Holistic Baby & Childcare

For Professionals who have Level 3 or equivalent qualification.


If you wish to be on the waiting list, please contact Chiara Carones at registrar@emerson.org.uk.

This Quality Mark pathway in Holistic Baby and Child Care has been designed to run along side the nationally accredited Level 3 EYE Diploma in Holistic Baby and Child Care. As a participant on the Quality Mark Pathway you will be attending the course alongside the Level 3 EYE Diploma participants.

Join us on this groundbreaking Crossfields Institute Quality Mark course based on Steiner/Waldorf with an introduction to the Pikler approach to child development, play and care with a birth to three emphasis.

  • Part-time, blended learning
  • Open to UK & international participants
  • Waldorf Steiner pedagogy & practice
  • Introduction to the Pikler approach

Click here for Dorothy Marlen’s report on her visit to Steiner early childhood nurseries in Europe

This birth to three training course is officially recognized by IASWECE (International Association for Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education).

Because of its modular distance learning character, this course is open to EU and NON-EU citizens. All participants need to attend at least 80% of the full timetable and complete the required presentations, practical exercises and reflective journal to meet the learning outcomes.  Participants will also be required to complete 100 hours placement in a Steiner Early Years Setting.









Click here to download Course Calendar

What does this Quality Mark Certificate offer?

  • A highly regarded course, endorsed with a Crossfields Institute Quality Mark
  • A unique focus on 0-3 and Steiner/Waldorf and Pikler understanding of exemplary care
  • A modern and contemporary approach to learning and gaining practical confidence in holistic care
  • A blended course: a mixture of online teaching with days at Rudolf Steiner house, London and residentials at Emerson College, Sussex, UK.
  • Placement in a Steiner/Waldorf setting
  • Full access to course materials and course presentations with Level 3 students
  • Assessment through presentations, practical projects, reflective journaling and professional conversations without the need for written assignments.

Holistic Steiner/Waldorf and Pikler combined approaches have influenced early childhood care around the world, providing exemplary pratice in both Steiner/Waldorf and mainstream settings. Steiner/Waldorf practices fully support the physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual development of the child. They focus on the power of imitation, rhythm and age appropriate sensory and creative experiences.

The Pikler approach provides exemplary practical skills to support respectful conscious partnerships with young children, particularly during times of care, and self -intiated natural movement development and play.

Who is it for?

The programme is designed for Childcare professionals who have a Level 3 or equivalent required qualification in early childhood care, who wish to expand their knowledge and experience in the Steiner/ Waldorf and Pikler approaches to early childhood care and parental support.  It provides  a depth of understanding and practical foundation for those wishing to work in Steiner settings and mainstream,  focusing upon the development and care of children up to five years old, with an emphasis on the crucial first three year.

The course also prepares parent and child group leaders, child-minders, play group leaders, parenting course leaders and carers of children up to three years old.

Students and tutors on the last residential 2022 wearing the story aprons students had made.

What will I learn?

Caring for young children and supporting parents requires many skills – a thorough understanding of child development and respectful practical care; confidence in a variety of artistic, craft-making and home-making activities; observational and self-reflective abilities; a capacity for working sensitively with parents and other professionals, and a clear understanding of EYFS, effective child assessment and working with statutory requirements. The units will weave together to provide a firm foundation for continued personal and professional growth and development.

What does the Quality Mark Include?

  • An overview of Steiner Waldorf child development up to 21 years
  • An in-depth introduction to Rudolf Steiner’s view of child development for the first seven years, with an emphasis on the first three years
  • An in-depth introduction to the Pikler approach from Hungary, providing exemplary practical knowledge and skills for respectfully caring for children up to three and the natural unfolding of gross and fine motor skills
  • Practical skills including how to plan for play, how to set up indoor and outdoor environments, singing, storytelling, puppetry and activities of all kinds for different ages, especially the under 3’s.
  • Comparative child development studies and contemporary educational issues
  • Preparation for working with statutory legislation, regulations and inspections
  • A journey of self-development, including how to be a good role model for children to imitate and how to deliver quality and respectful individual and group care in a variety of circumstances
  • Observation and assessment skills
  • Preparation for working with parents in parent and child and other situations
  • Preparation for working as a childminder

This is an important course for people who have a level three and want to expand and deepen their understanding of how to care for young children in a holistic and respectful way.

If you are a childminder….

This training will provide you with confidence and practical skills to care for young children. There will be an emphasis on the care of children from birth to three. You will gain confidence to create “home from home” and outdoor settings which respect the young child’s need for warm relationships, a calm and rhythmical day and lots of play. It will give you tools for working with and supporting parents.

If you are a carer….

If you are a carer in a nursery or day-care setting or wish to develop your own a holistic child care setting

The advantage of this Quality Mark training is that you will bring to your setting a coherent body of awareness and skills based on Steiner pedagogy and the Pikler approach which will enhance your professional work. We introduce several holistic models for childcare including the “home from home” approach from Lifeways North America, Helle Heckmann’s Nokken, and Awhina from New Zealand.

If you are a parent and child group leader…

As well as preparing you to work as a parent and child/baby group leader in Steiner and mainstream settings, the Quality Mark will give you the breadth and depth of skills and confidence to care for young children and support parents in Steiner and mainstream settings, if you so wish. We bring an understanding of pioneering parent and baby groups which have integrated the Pikler approach and outdoor groups.

  • Programme
  • Course fees
  • Applications
  • CPD & Certificates

Achievement and progression

Successful completion of the course, 100 hours placement  and required presentations, practical exercises and reflective journal will lead to a Quality Mark Certificate from Crossfields Institute. 

Course Schedule

In total there will be:

  • 34 weeks of online teaching, meeting on Wednesdays 19:00 – 21:00 and Saturdays 15:00 – 17:00 (see calendar below for full dates)
  • 3 full day meetings at Rudolf Steiner House, 9.00-17.00 (30 September 2023, 13 Jan 2024, 14 September 2024).
  • Two 3-day residentials at Emerson College on 7th to 10th June 2024 and on 29 November to 2nd December 2024, starting Fridays at 16.00 and finishing on the following Monday at 16.30pm.

There is no teaching during December 2023, April 2024 and August 2024.

*N.B. Students applying from abroad can choose not to join the course for the day events at Rudolf Steiner House but will need to attend at least one of the residentials at Emerson College. Recordings and tutorials will provide necessary information.

Course Calendar









Click here to download Course Calendar

Video Recordings & the Emerson College Online Portal

Online lessons are an important part of the course and require live attendance. If, in certain circumstances, a student cannot attend an online lesson, the tutor can authorise absence and a video recording of the lesson can be made available to them via the Emerson Portal. Recordings will also be made available to all the attendees to refer to after the lessons to support the required presentations, practical exercises and reflective journalling.

The course fee is £2,950.

(Excluding travel, meals & accommodation)

This includes the course registration with Crossfields Institute, the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship and the Association of Steiner Waldorf Teachers and Educators. (ASWTE).

Payment can be made in full at the beginning of the course or paid in installments with a £100 admin fee.

Bursaries are available from Emerson College. For the bursary form, please contact Chiara Carones, registrar@emerson.org.uk

Grants for tuition fees are available from the Rudolf Steiner Association. A Grant request can be sent only after having been accepted into the course. For full info, please contact Chiara Carones, registrar@emerson.org.uk

Interest free loans for tuition fees are available from the Godparents Anthroposophical Training Fund. For full info, please contact Chiara Carones, registrar@emerson.org.uk

This Quality Mark pathway has a limit of 5 places and is open to UK and international participants. Applications will be considered in order of receipt.

How To Apply

We have a two step application process:

  1. To apply, please email Chiara Carones – registrar@emerson.org.uk.
  2. 2. You will then be asked  to  fill out the online application form and upload the documents listed below.


To complete your application you will need to have the following documents ready:

  • A personal statement
  • A copy or a scan of the information page of your passport (the one with your picture on it)
  • A completed health statement available to download here: Health Statement
  • 2 referee letters. Template available to download here. A referee can be someone who has known you in a professional capacity. One reference can also be from someone who has known you in a non-professional capacity for more than 5 years.
  • 1 Photo
  • Current DBS Check (if you already have one)

You will also need to provide contact details for someone you would chose to be your emergency contact, should you be accepted onto the course.

If you have any questions please contact Chiara Carones – registrar@emerson.org.uk.


Once your application has been received, you will be invited for an interview with the Course Leader, Dorothy Marlen, as a final step in the application process.

The interview provides both you and the Course Leader the opportunity to explore the course content, requirements and your motivations for attending.  It will also give you a space for any questions you might have.


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