Toddler Childcare, Preschool, and Kindergarten

Toddler Childcare Program

If you are looking for year-round childcare in a holistic, natural, play-based environment for your 16-36 month child, contact us today to inquire about space availability and to schedule a tour. Our toddler and nursery childcare program is fully-catered using an organic, Nourishing Traditions method, and is conveniently located across from the Walker Art Center near downtown Minneapolis. We are accepting applications year-round, and admit children on an ongoing, space-available basis.

Preschool and Kindergarten: Play-based Curriculum

Your child is building the capacity for creative thinking, problem-solving and learning. Play is an essential part of this process. Whether inventing games of make-believe in the classroom or splashing in puddles at Fair Oaks Park, we engage your child’s senses and emotions. This gentle introduction lays the groundwork for learning in the grades.

Outdoor games develop the connections between brain and body. Handwork develops the focus and fine motor skills needed for reading and writing. Songs and folk stories grow vocabulary and strengthen memory.

Your child will enjoy:

  • Learning stories, poems and songs by heart
  • Helping prepare healthy snacks
  • Practicing good manners with their classmates
  • Exploring nature year-round
  • Plenty of time for creative free play
  • Creating art projects with natural materials
  • A schedule designed to create a gentle transition from home to school

Schedule A TourBack To Grades

Early Childhood Teachers


Kindergarten Teacher Jessi Lisell

Jessi Lisell

Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Jessi, a City of Lakes Waldorf graduate, joined the community as a faculty member in 2015. She has completed the Foundation Studies year of Waldorf Teacher Training at Arcturus, as well as coursework in pursuit of a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education through Mankato State University. She has over 10 years of experience caring for children within Waldorf early childhood communities including Sweet Waters Home Daycare.


Preschool Teacher Sarah Rose Miller

Sarah Rose Miller

Preschool Teacher

Ms. Sarah Rose joined our early childhood staff in 2014. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Religious Studies from the University of Minnesota and has previous experience as a Childcare Assistant at Learning Tree Development Center and was a Volunteer Coworker at The Bridge Camphill Community in Ireland. She is a proud City of Lakes Waldorf School alum, and daughter of Waldorf educators.


Kindergarten Teacher Peng Liu Nelson

Peng Liu Nelson

Kindergarten Teacher

Peng held the position of lead kindergarten teacher for two years in a Chinese Immersion program at Xinxing Academy and served as a first grade teacher at Jie Ming Academy for one year. She began her teaching career in a Waldorf Kindergarten in Beijing in 2007 and has been passionate about Waldorf education ever since, joining our early childhood teaching staff in 2019. Peng earned her certification and Masters degree in Waldorf education from Antioch University.


Kindergarten Teacher Elena Orsak

Elena Orsak

Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Elena joined City of Lakes Waldorf School in 2008. She studied early childhood education at Naropa University and earned her Waldorf early childhood teaching certificate at Rudolf Steiner College. Previously, she taught at Cambridge Steiner School and Minnesota Waldorf School, and created a Waldorf-inspired home preschool program. Ms. Elena serves on the faculty of Novalis Institute and is an integral member and facilitator at Rudolf Steiner Institute. She is proud to be a Waldorf graduate and second generation Waldorf teacher.


Preschool Teacher Anna Ridgeway

Anna Ridgeway

Nursery Teacher

Ms. Anna joined City of Lakes Waldorf School in 2000 and is the first City of Lakes Waldorf School alumna to join the faculty. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in child psychology from the University of Minnesota and a Waldorf early childhood teaching certificate from Micha-el Institute. She is proud to be a second generation Waldorf teacher.


Kindergarten Teacher Carlos Rodriguez

Carlos Rodriguez

Kindergarten Teacher

Carlos has been an early childhood assistant teacher at CLWS since 2016 and most recently co-led our Early Childhood Summer Camp. Carlos completed his undergraduate work at Escuela Nacional de Musica, UNAM (Mexican National University, School of Music) and looks forward to formal Waldorf training and mentoring from our senior early childhood teachers this year.


Preschool Teacher Anette Safverblad

Anette Safverblad

Preschool Teacher

Ms. Anette joined City of Lakes Waldorf School in 2007. She was born in Sweden, and has a background in drama and theatre. She has worked as an artist in residence with Stages Theatre, Stepping Stone Theatre and The Arc Greater Twin Cities. Anette completed her Waldorf early childhood teaching certification at Sunbridge Institute and brings over 20 years of teaching experience with children and adults to our school.