18/6/2014 0 Comments
Welcome to the first Pikler UK Association (PUKA) newsletter.
Our fledgling organisation now has a constitution and a website and we are looking forward to our launch event in London.
The launch will be on Saturday 28th June
in Greenwich Steiner School, London.
Come along and hear our inspiring speakers,
Dorothy Marlen the UK Pikler representative,
and Pennie Brownlee author of
Dance with me in the Heart,
who is working with the Pikler approach
in New Zealand.
We are delighted to announce that PUKA is now able to offer membership to both individuals and organisations. Membership entitles you to early alerts of conferences, courses and workshops, plus a regular newsletter with a feature article and all news - just like this one - you will need to become a member to continue receiving the newsletter. Membership will also entitle you to reduced rates for resources through our PUKA website shop, which will be up and running soon. For those who join before our launch date, we are making an introductory offer: 18 months of membership for the price of 12 months.
Visit our membership page and join us www.pikler.co.uk/membership.
This first newsletter brings you a feature article by Dorothy Marlen, who tells the story so far: how did the Pikler UK Association come into being? You will hear how Dorothy singlehandedly pioneered this initiative, sowing seeds over several years.
We aim to send out a newsletter four times a year so we look forward to connecting with you again in three months, when our feature article will be by Ela Pawluczuk, who describes a mother’s perspective on respectful care in the first year of her child’s life.
With all the best from The PUKA committee,
Oona Alexander, Helen Bremer, Clare Caro, Elzbieta Pawluczuk, Samantha Greshoff, Dorothy Marlen.A Brief History of PUKA – The Pikler UK Association By Dorothy Marlen
The Pikler UK Association is very new – only now being officially born – not an infant yet and certainly not a toddler. Here is a brief description and summary of its conception and gestation in a country which has been unaware of the Pikler approach until recently. In 2008, on joining the Basic English Summer 2 week summer course at the Pikler Institute I was surprised to find out that I was the first person living in the UK to do so. Although participants for these popular trainings fly in from all around the world no one had ever come from the UK.
I had only heard about the Pikler Institute and the exemplary care that had been developed there a year or so earlier. This was through colleagues in the Steiner movement living and working abroad in Europe and the USA who were involved in early childcare initiatives where the Pikler approach had been successfully integrated. No one in the UK, it seemed, knew anything about Dr Emmi Pikler and the work of the Pikler Institute. No one apart from Stephanie Petrie and Sue Owen who together edited a book called Authentic Relationships in Group Care for Infants and Toddlers in 2005. This book was based on the work of Magda Gerber who took the Pikler approach from Hungary to the USA and founded Resources for Infant Educarers.
The first two weeks that I spent at the Pikler Institute profoundly changed my practice as an Early Years teacher and trainer. Afterwards I began to run parent and baby groups based on what I have more recently termed “the lemniscate of care”. This is the giving of respectful and conscious care, with full presence, to a young child, primarily during times of bodily care (the natural way to build secure attachment) delicately balanced with allowing the child uninterrupted time to move and play freely without interference (the natural way to ensure full gross and fine motor progression). These two primary needs of the infant and young child I had seen so clearly and exquisitely fulfilled through the talks and videos at the Institute.
I began running mum and baby groups based on the Pikler approach soon after. I easily saw the difference in the babies’ motor development and play as well as the quality of care and bonding with their mothers. I observed how the unique approach originated by Dr Pikler revealed new ways of caring for babies.
But I was still a “singleton” as no one else from the UK had as yet ventured to Budapest. So in 2009 I began to give introductory talks about the Pikler approach, to early year practitioners and parents, primarily in the UK Steiner movement. Returning to the Pikler Institute for another two weeks of training in 2010 I met a Dutch Pikler pedagogue, Hedie Meyling, who was assisting on the training at the Institute. I saw then that there was an opportunity to organise a Pikler training in the UK. Hedie agreed and in 2011 fifteen Steiner Early Years practitioners signed up for the Basic Pikler training. This was held in York, North Yorkshire during 2011-12 over approximately eight full weekends.
By the time this first level Pikler training was competed in 2012 there were finally enough of us - six in total – who agreed to come together to form the Pikler UK Association and take up the committee posts. There are three members (Helen Bower, Elzbieta Pawluczuk and Clare Caro) who are not involved in the Steiner movement and three of us who are (Sam Greshoff, Oona Alexander and myself). Elzbieta now has some training at the Pikler Institute and is raising her child the Pikler way and Helen is a Pikler pedagogue, trained in Germany. Clare Caro is raising her two children the Pikler way and has started Nature Play parents and children in London, and created a wonderful Pikler resource for all people in the English speaking world calledwww.thepiklercollection.weebly.com.
Awareness of the Pikler approach is growing in the UK now, and there are invitations to give talks to nurseries and Early Childhood carer trainings in mainstream. There are also more people from the UK making the journey to the Pikler Institute for the summer courses and a steady stream of visitors to the Pikler collection website.
PUKA’s main aim is to bring awareness of the Pikler approach and practice to all parents and early childhood settings in the UK. It has taken six years to birth the UK Pikler Association. Hopefully before another six years is up, children in the UK will be benefiting fully from the new understanding of quality care which the Pikler approach promises to provide.
Holistic Baby and Child Care (EYE)
Steiner Waldorf with the Pikler approach to child development, play and care with a birth to three emphasis.
Take a journey in learning and self development that will equip you with skills and confidence in caring for your children and supporting parents.
This pioneering course synthesises Steiner Waldorf and the Pikler approach whilst meeting the new EYE critieria.
It is a part time Level 3 (EYE) training for childminders, parent and child group leaders and those wishing to care for the young child.
It starts in September 2014 in London with residentials at
Emerson College, Sussex.
Visit www.emerson.org.uk/holistic-baby-and-child-care for more information.
The Official Launch of PIKLER ASSOCIATION UKThe official launch of PIKLER ASSOCIATION UK will take place on Saturday 28 June 2014.
With the 1st UK Pikler Conference -
DO WE REALLY KNOW WHAT HIGH QUALITY CARE IS? INTRODUCING THE PIKLER APPROACH TO THE CARE OF THE VERY YOUNG CHILD
Talks by Pennie Brownlee, Dorothy Marlen, workshops and discussions. To be held at Greenwich Steiner School, London.
Registration fee including lunch £30 for members £40 for non-members.
For further information and to download the booking form visit
We are delighted to be able offer a workshop with Pennie while she is in the UK all the way from New Zealand.
The full day workshop
'Anyway! You're Not The Boss of Me'
is suitable for all parents and teachers,
and looks at upgrading our ideas and skills around working partnerships with young children.
To be held at Steiner House in London,
Sunday June 29th.
For more details visit
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