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.

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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.

EXTENDED CARE

8:00-9:00 AM and 17:00 – 19:00 PM     Extended services/free play (per demand) JPY2,000/30mins