FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: IS IT AN EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE CENTER OR A KINDERGARTEN?
A: The Moomin International Kindergarten aims to educate the whole child by offering an integrated program of education and personal development for children aged 1.5-6 years old. Children are learning the fastest during the first 6 years of life and early education greatly influences how children develop and learn later in life.
Q: WHO CAN ATTEND MOOMIN INTERNATIONAL KINDERGARTEN?
A: The kindergarten serves both the international and the local community. Everyone is welcome to apply.
Q: WHAT CURRICULUM WILL WE FOLLOW?
A: The kindergarten adheres to the Finnish National Early Childhood Education and Care Curriculum guidelines and Scandinavian learning traditions, adapted to the Japanese environment and learning opportunities.
Q: HOW DOES THE FINNISH EARLY EDUCATION SYSTEM DIFFER FROM OTHER SYSTEMS?
A: The Finnish early education system focuses on creating individual learning plans for each child, supporting each child based on their unique needs and pace of learning, enabling all children to achieve their potential. The Finnish system does not support memorization or traditional testing. Instead, it focuses on hiring highly educated teachers to support the children in all aspects of growth, not only education.
Q: IN WHAT LANGUAGE DO CHILDREN LEARN?
A: The principal language of instruction is English. We are developing a program in which children learn and do activities in Japanese, Finnish, Swedish and Spanish as well as in English during different activities and our creative after school program.
Q: ARE CHILDREN WHO DO NOT SPEAK ENGLISH ACCEPTED?
A: The kindergarten accepts children who do not speak English and provides support in Finnish, Spanish, Korean and Japanese to ease in the transition. Children are amazing at picking up the new language and we encourage parents to trust their children and have confidence that they will learn in a short period of time.
Q: WHERE IS THE KINDERGARTEN LOCATED?
A: The kindergarten is located on a quiet street in Akasaka 2-18-12, Minato-ku. This is is within 6-8 minutes walk from Akasaka, Tammeikesanno and Roppongi 1-chome stations. It occupies the 1st and part of the 2nd floor of a fully renovated 275m2 building, which also houses the Scandinavian Center.
Q: DOES THE SCANDINAVIAN CENTER COLLABORATE WITH THE KINDERGARTEN?
A: Moomin International Kindergarten is part of the Scandinavian Center. The Center is the first space in Tokyo that aims to creatively foster an environment of innovation, design, culture and education with a link to Scandinavia. The center aims to offer opportunities to link education to everything we do.
Q: DO YOU PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION TO/FROM THE KINDERGARTEN?
A: The kindergarten does not currently provide transportation. If your family needs transport, please contact us.
Q: DO THE CHILDREN WEAR UNIFORMS?
A: No. The children wear their own comfortable and appropriate for the weather clothing. The children go to the park everyday, thus we recommend that they wear comfortable shoes and clothing appropriate for running etc. When children go outside, they wear fluorescent jackets.
Q. WHAT ARE THE MEAL OPTIONS FOR CHILDREN?
A: It is documented that healthy food has a positive impact on children’s learning and development. At this moment, parents provide a healthy lunch and morning and afternoon snacks to children.
Q: WHAT IS THE AFTER SCHOOL CLUB?
A. The after school club is a program offered everyday from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. Workshops are conducted in different languages and include e.g. tinkering, architecture, the arts & design, music, theatre & dance. We welcome parents to get involved in the development of the program with different interests.
Q: DOES THE CENTER OFFER BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL CARE?
A. We aim to be a flexible option for parents. We are able to arrange care before and after school until 7pm. Talk to us about your needs.
Q. WHEN IS TUITION DUE?
A. Tuition is paid at the start of the year. Please talk to us if you would like to discuss payment options.
Q. WHEN/HOW CAN I ENROLL MY CHILD?
A. To ensure that the best decision is made, there is an admissions procedure. It starts with a meeting with our team, a free morning lesson and an application form. We have an open admissions program and welcome you to enroll your child for example during mid-term, if we have availability.
Q. WILL THE KINDERGARTEN COLLABORATE WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS?
A. The kindergarten will evaluate opportunities to collaborate with organizations that share the interest in high quality personalized early childhood education. We partner with professionals in education from Finland and the Nordic countries.
Q. HOW IS MOOMIN CHARACTERS INVOLVED?
A. Moomin International Kindergarten is operated independently by Zava Holdings Inc., who has acquired a license from Moomin Characters Plc. This means that we can use the characters in our daily activities and use them creatively to learn. This is the first Finnish early education center in Japan and we couldn't imagine a better partner to launch and spread the word about the excellence of Finnish education. We are incredibly excited to make Finnish early education available to children in Japan and look forward to welcoming you to our center in Akasaka.