about our program

Moomin International Kindergarten serves children from 1-5 years of age. Children may begin at our center in September or anytime throughout the year if there is space available. We are a mixed-age program so every day we have 1-3 year olds together and three, four, and five-year olds together in our open classrooms.  The teachers, each speaking a different language, work together and we believe this creates wonderful opportunities for children to learn from and teach one another.

Our program is child-centered. Based on the principles of developmentally appropriate practice, every day we offer a wide variety of activities for the children. The teaching children receive is through experiences and within context. That means, hands-on: counting the number of jumps while on the trampoline, counting the number of stones a child found on the playground, building a small boat with styrofoam and let it float on the stream at the park, sounding out a child's name as they learn to write it, looking at traffic signs on a walk. Our schedule includes times for student-directed and teacher-led activities, large and small group activities, and active and rest times.  Children participate in art or cooking activities, science projects, music, reading, and outdoor time every day. For a typical daily schedule, see below.

Families may choose to enroll a child for a two, three, or five day-a-week schedule.  Most children arrive by 9 a.m., although earlier and later arrivals are accommodated.  We have two departure times.  Most children leave at 2 p.m. after lunch, rest time and afternoon activity. Other children stay for an extended day and leave at 5:00 p.m. after additional afternoon creative activities and additional time to play. Other children join the after school creative club only from 3:00-5:00pm.

Children bring their own lunch each day and one or two snacks depending on whether they stay for an extended day. Once a month parents are highly encouraged to join a class for the family participation day and about once a year are asked to provide a snack to share.

Our current class size is four children to a teacher for toddlers below 2 years and 7 to 1 ratio of students to staff for children above 3 years old. Our children typically represent a diverse group of families who come from many different nationalities and speak several different languages.  Family members are welcome to visit us.

We operate on a school-year calendar, also open during summer. Our first day is the first Tuesday in September, and school continues through the last full week of June. We close for national holidays and Golden Week. We have one three-week break in December and a one-week break in March.  We also operate a summer program that runs four weeks in July and four weeks in August. Families enroll separately for the summer program and may choose which weeks to attend. During the weeks the school is closed we also organize care for those children whose families require it.

Tuition costs vary according to the number of days a child is enrolled and whether the child departs at 2 or 5 p.m.  You can obtain the current tuition and yearly schedule by clicking here.

Typical DAILY SCHEDULE

The kindergarten educator supports individual children in all activities in the sample schedule below. 

  • The teacher develops a new schedule every week incorporating own creativity, themes, seasons, skills and development of individual children in a group 
  • For smaller children that nap longer or eat earlier, we will accommodate 
  • Schedules may vary from sample

Sample Schedule:

08:45 – 09:15 AM     Arrival, wash hands, free play

09:15 – 09:30 AM    Morning Meeting 

09:30 – 09:50 AM    Art, science, table activities, active gym

09:50 – 10:00 AM    Clean up, wash hands 

10:00 –  10:15 AM     Snack & get ready for outdoor activities

10:15  –  11:15 AM     Gross Motor Activities-Indoor/Outdoor (park) play & games/explore nature 

11:15 – 11:45 AM       Creative Expressions- Music, Arts & Crafts

11:45  – 12:20 PM    Lunch/Clean up

12:20 – 12:40 PM    Story Time, Literacy (Library) 

12:50 – 13:30 PM   Rest/nap: Reading while relaxing, after that music in the background

13:30 – 14:00 PM    How to/active or quiet workshops 

Areas covered: Making things, fixing objects, tinkering, painting, drawing, body strength -trampoline, gym, dancing, music etc.  

2:00    –   2:10 PM    Dismissal/Pick up

CREATIVE AFTER SCHOOL CLUB

Children have the opportunity to have fun and get creative while learning English, Finnish, Spanish or Japanese. We have designed the after school club so that children not enrolled in our regular program can also attend. And if you want more reinforcement in one language, we have that available too. This program is offered everyday from 3:00-5:00pm.

Creative After School Club sample day:

3:00    –   3:15 PM    Snack/conversation

3:15    –   3:45 PM    Rotating creativity/specialty workshops 

Example of areas covered:  Making objects, experimenting in kitchen, creative arts, preparing for holidays, music/piano, architecture etc. Languages offered: Finnish, English, Japanese and Spanish 

3:45   –    4:15 PM    Child-led free play/Fun games 

4:15   –    4:45 PM    Teacher led indoor/outdoor fun activities 

4:45  –    5:00 PM    Get ready to go home & Say goodbye

EXTENDED CARE

8:00-9:00 AM and 17:00 – 18:00 PM     Extended services/free play (per demand) JPY2,000/30mins