Children may start Japanese kindergarten at three years old. Classes are divided into 3 year old, 4 year old and 5 year old sections. Kindergartens, called Yochien in Japanese, are supervised by the Ministry of Education, but are not part of the official education system. Approximately more than 8,000 Kindergartens are private, 5,000 kindergartens are public, and 50 kindergartens are national in Japan. 2-3 teachers handle a class of 20-30 students. The Japanese kindergarten year is from April to March.
Daily schedule (Depends on Kindergarten)
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
9:00-9:20 Free play
9:20 Choice of Outside play or indoor play
11:40-12:40 Lunch / Book time / Music time
13:40 Clean up and prepare to go home
Wednesday: Most kindergarten do not have lunch time on Wednesday, going home before 12:00 noon.
Most kindergartens do not provide school lunch, therefore children need to bring a lunch box (Obento) instead.
From September to November, Japanese kindergartens have an open house and orientation for the applicant family. After deciding which kindergarten you want your child to enter, visit the kindergarten and pick up an application for enrollment. Fill in a form, and submit it by the deadline. As the number of available openings for any particular age group may be limited, a lottery may be held to determine admission, and most kindergartens require potential students or their families to attend interviews. Please contact each school directly about enrollment.
Enrollment Fee: JPY50,000 – JPY100,000
Monthly Fee: JPY10,000～(public) JPY30,000～(private)
The other fees such as school uniform (where applicable), text books and actual cost for activities (day trip etc.) will be charged separately.
Summer: Middle of July through the end of August
Winter: 23rd of December through 6th of January (Depends on the calendar of the year)
Spring: About 2 weeks (the end of March to the beginning of April)
The above information will be different for International schools. Please check the website and contact them directly.