Latvia: Since 1999 there is a private kindergarten in Sigulda, a city located in 50 km distance to Riga and situated in the picturesque region of Vidzemes. Over the years the initiative has more and more integrated Waldorf Education into their curriculum and today hosts two groups of 15-29 children each, which are daily attending kindergarten between 8 am and 6 pm. The children aged between 2-7 are being taken care of by two kindergarten teachers per group. Every now and then international interns, who get the chance to get to know Waldorf Education, are supplementing the kindergarten-ensemble.
Between 8 and 9 am the children arrive one after the other and are being welcomed by the educators. Afterwards a lively daily routine begins, with a recurring rhythm, which is being well appreciated by the children. During the morning they dance, play and eat breakfast for a second time.
Then they go out into the garden. However, before lunch they already assemble in the building again, in order to listen to a story. These are the thrilling moments, when many children-eyes, full of expectancy and wide open, aim at the teacher. After story time, lunch is being served and then it is time for the children to relax during their siesta. At 6 pm at the latest the last children are back home.
For a long time the kindergarten was accommodated in small and narrow rooms, until the Association "Sigulda Alternativa Izglitiba", to which the kindergarten belongs, was able to buy an own building. Since then the initiative works in suitable rooms and a nice garden, in which a wooden castle is located for climbing as well as vegetables are being cultivated.
The parents of the kindergarten children are actively taking part in the community. They help wherever they can, especially for the preparation of the two most important annual festivals. For the children, Christmas and Easter represent the climax of the year and are being elaborately celebrated. Thus the children do not only get a feeling for the cycle of the year, but also learn about the traditions of the Latvian culture. They learn songs and dances as well as they design the decoration in handicraft class.
In conclusion Sigulda Kindergarten is a nice example for the lively and wonderful work, which is being done, following the guidelines of Waldorf Education combined with the countries culture.