“When what we introduce into the children’s world of ideas and feelings is in line with the direction of the developmental forces of a given stage of life, we strengthen the entire developing person in a way that remains a source of strength throughout that person’s life.”

—Rudolf Steiner

Our Early Childhood program is an extension of the family experience, providing an intermediary step between home and formal schooling for your child.  The goal is to provide a warm, calm, secure, and aesthetic environment in which the imagination and creativity of the child will flourish.


Our Parent Participation Preschool provides a unique opportunity to share in your child’s experience and develop a more knowledgeable approach…

…to your child’s education. Through interaction with experienced teachers as well as other resources, parents receive instruction and guidance to increase their knowledge and skills related to the children and the flow of the classroom. Thus, parents grow in their own abilities to be educators both at home and at school, and the community experience provides a healthy social example for your child. 

Who can participate in the classroom? A parent, legal guardian, stepparent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or adult sibling. Having consistency helps the children feel comfort and gain age-appropriate thriving.


The quality of Waldorf schools’ physical environment in early childhood is integral to its goals for the children. The feeling of warmth and…

…security is largely created by using natural materials like wood, cotton, and wool in the construction of the decor and toys. In this living-room-like environment are placed toys, which the children can use in open-play to imitate and transform the activities that belong to everyday adult life. There may be a wooden scale and baskets for children to pretend they are grocery shopping; a pile of timber stands ready to be constructed into a playhouse, a boat, or a train; a rocking horse invites a child to become a rider; homemade dolls lie in wooden cradles for children to create a pretend family and play house. The effect of this beautiful arrangement of decorations and toys is the feeling of stepping out of the business and clutter of modern life into a sanctuary where the children may breathe easily, relax, and play according to the impulses of their hearts. The children become more respectful of one another, move with greater self-assurance and grace, and are much more open in their creative self-expression. This kind of growth, this kind of unfolding of the imagination and creativity through free play, art, drama, music, oral recitation and dance are essential to our time.

Structured group activities consist of singing, reciting poems, and doing body movements. These activities are an engaging and fun way to lay a foundation for academics by developing memory and concentration. A love of reading begins with wondrous and adventurous storytelling by the teacher with story puppets. Arts and crafts consist of watercolor painting with the three primary colors to impart a true appreciation of the nature of color. Sculpting with beeswax, drawing with beeswax crayons and helping with baking prepare for nimble fingers that are ready for writing. Participating in cleaning, organizing, cooking, and gardening imparts critical skills for the real world. The 3 R’s in Waldorf education are reverence, repetition and rhythm.

Early Childhood Faculty:

Mele McCabe
Poppy Preschool Lead Teacher

Mele McCabe earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development and Family Studies from Cal State University of Long Beach.

Prior to that, she taught high school English in Tonga for six years and taught Tongan language to Peace Corps volunteers for three years. After three years working as assistant preschool teacher at Maple Village, she is now in her fifth year as the lead teacher of the Poppy Preschool class. She has three children and enjoys watching them grow. Her hobbies are reading, landscaping her home, having tea with her friends and neighbors, listening to music, and walking.

Kathy Striegl 
Poppy Preschool Assistant Teacher

Bio coming soon.

Mars Walker 
Rose Preschool Lead Teacher

Mars Walker, born in San Diego, California, has been a guide and nurturer of little folk for most of her life. After stepping into motherhood, Mars…

… found herself intuitively drawn to a gentler and more natural approach to parenting that centered on wellness and care, and she remains grateful to have found a school for her children that feels like an extension of their home. As a life-long learner and researcher, Mars immersed herself in Steiner’s philosophy and studied everything she could access on child development and parent education through books, articles, and practical applications. Mars’ innate gentle energy is something that cannot be taught and consistently provides warmth and comfort to the little ones in her care. Steadfast in dedication to her community as an organizer, birth worker, artist, and social justice parent, Mars is enrolled in the Foundation Studies program at WSOC as she continues her education. Outside of the classroom, when Mars is focused on self-care and restoration, you can find her reading and writing poetry in the early morning, taking care of her homestead (including her chickens) in Garden Grove, playing tennis, or antiquing with good friends. 

Kathryn Jorda 
Rose Preschool Assistant Teacher

Kathryn Jorda, born in Lynwood CA, is elated to be joining the incredible staff at Maple Village Waldorf School. She is grateful to be expanding…

…on her journey with young ones, passionately nurturing them through their learnings. She is a fun, creative, empathic human who sees others with her heart, first. Intuitively drawn to a conscious, reasoned, and respectful approach to raising children, she was thrilled to discover Maple Village and Waldorf Pedagogy when she first sought out education options for her family.  Since then, she has been an avid volunteer and workshop attendee and continues to increase her knowledge and supportive practices of all children, especially those with behavior and sensory sensitivities. Having worked with diverse groups and folks of all ages in varied capacities throughout her career, she brings a compassionate, connected, and whole-human approach to her interactions and guidance. Kathryn is a nature lover, dancer, artist, adventurer, baker, vinyl listener, and a safe-space advocate. She also supports her community as a Reiki Master and Professional Organizer. Kathryn lives in Long Beach, CA with her two children, many plant babies, and yoga mat.

Angie Perez
 Lavender Preschool Lead Teacher

Angie Perez was born, raised, and educated in Colombia. She earned her BA degree in Social Work. While in college, Angie gained.…

 …experience working with children with behavioral challenges. She has her Waldorf teacher certification in grades and early childhood and often takes workshops related to children with sensory processing differences and challenges. By living in different countries, she became trilingual and is fluent in Spanish, Italian and English. Angie started her career in Waldorf Education as an aftercare assistant and playgroup-bridge assistant/lead teacher at the Waldorf School Orange County. She fell in love with Waldorf education the second she first observed a kindergarten class and knew that being a teacher here was a job with purpose and a role that would bring her joy every day. Angie has a smile and warm attitude wherever she goes. She feels blessed seeing the world through the eyes of children and the fact that she learns every day from her students and their families. She now lives in Long Beach where she enjoys its diversity and sense of community. In her free time she enjoys cooking, a passion discovered while living in Italy for ten years. She also likes paddleboarding or just relaxing at the beach with a good book. She loves feeling the wind in her face while she rides her bike, traveling and learning more about different cultures. She also enjoys singing to her cat

Germania (G) Egas
Lavender Preschool Assistant Teacher

Germania (G )Egas was born, raised, and educated in Ecuador.  She has always loved children and went to college to study…

… child development. She is passionate about nature and everything about this beautiful planet we call earth. She treasures the ocean; that’s why she moved to this beautiful city, Long Beach. She loves people, has visited many countries and enjoys traveling and meeting different people. While her first language is Spanish, she also speaks English and Portuguese. G loves animals, is a vegetarian, enjoys sports and exercise, and says her family and friends (the family she chooses to have by her side) are the biggest gifts she has. She is a happy and positive person, inspired by her mother. She is looking forward to learning more about this beautiful Waldorf School, working with new colleagues, and meeting the families.