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What do you think of the quality of kindergartens and daycare centers in Japan?

14 Comments

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From what I have seen, they are great! I have taught at them and my son went through them. Thought the teachers and care given were excellent.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Daycares are fantastic! Great staff (although very sadly very underpaid and overworked staff) great, healthy food, and a wonderful support to working parents.

Kindergartens not so much - its only something like 5 hours a day, and you have to bring your own bento. Its really just to give the "poor housewife" a break to go out to lunch.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Awful places with poor wages who employ almost anyone without proper checks. Who knows what dubious reasons a person may have for working in one of those places? A lot of abuse is coming out about these places worldwide not just in Japan, the abuse includes sexual and physical. Of course the people who work at these places are mostly your average person but i would not leave my kids with paid strangers if they can be looked after by a family member .

-20 ( +1 / -21 )

but i would not leave my kids with paid strangers if they can be looked after by a family member .

I would venture that this is true of most people. The problem is when there is no family member available to look after the children.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I think they are great. My kids go to kindergarten, and it's been nothing but a positive experience. They learn about cultural things, they learn how to do crafts, they learn how to effectively socialize with other children, they learn about keeping clean (washing hands etc). They learn language, and they learn sports.

Contrary to what a poster above said, our kindergarten provides bentos three days a week, and we have to provide the bento for the other two days. But my kids don't like the school bentos, so it would actually be better if we provided them three days a week.

The kindergarten also provides plenty of opportunity for the parents to be involved in the process, with various events, field trips and activities.

I was skeptical about the system before we started, but I'm definitely satisfied with the system.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Tomakomai Komazawa Kindergarten in Hokkaido is absolutely fantastic.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Very good experience with them with two kids. The family oriented sports day is a great memory and lots of fun.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

falseflagsteve - actually, the places you are referring to are private facilities. It IS true that private facilities do NOT check backgrounds, and staff are NOT required to have any qualifications. This is especially true of the "International" kindergartens, like Kinder Kids etc. They are just regular foreigners - some will be good, some not good. It scares me that these people are given responsibility over children, because of their foreign face.

Public, City approved facilities (ninka hoikuens) have staff who are qualified, trained, and screened. I would never consider sending my children to a private hoikuen (especially NOT an international one.) A public one, absolutely.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Public facilities are absolutely fantastic, and if you are privileged to get your child into one of them, then by all means do so without any hesitation. Staff are well-trained, generally well-supported by their supervisors and peers, and held up to extremely high standards of care. Class sizes tend to be large, but the children are taught early on about the importance of teamwork and co-operation (as an off-shoot, there is a great emphasis on doing things in the proscribed "Japanese way" which may not be to the liking of all parents in Japan).

On the downside, young teachers tend to leave as soon as they bag a salaryman husband (the pay isn't great, so I don't blame them). However, the older "lifer" teachers are extremely experienced at dealing with both children and parents. They also regularly take part in advancement courses, and have close ties with city officialdom. In short, public nurseries and kindergartens are great, and I only wish there were more of them.

Private facilities are generally a mixed bag, as has been pointed out above, but don't write them all off! Some of my early working experiences in Japan were at both public and private kindergartens, and they were all fantastic places. Ah, the happiest days of my life!

By the way, two of the kindergartens that I worked for have been knocked down and replaced with elder care centers. A sign of the times?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

My son graduated from a Buddy Sports Kindergarten today actually... and I'm going to miss it. It has been nothing short of brilliant.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Strangerland

Good post. Describes my experience here down to a T.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Can't complain, my goods were treated great. They went to a private daycare in the city Max. 12 kids, so they all got personalized attention, spotless, kids well taken care of. We still have a great relationship with the staff to this day. Great memories. Sorry, can't beat the Japanese daycare system in my opinion.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Had a wonderful experience with the local daycare attached to a temple. Way less In terms of cost too than in the country of my birth. @bass4funk - we also still have a relationship with a few teachers and ours attended 15 years ago.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The three children attended a neighborhood daycare. Excellent programs and essential preparation for Japanese elementary school.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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