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Many countries have adopted the princile of kindergarten education.

Australia/New Zealand

In the state of New South Wales, the first year of primary school is called kindergarten. In Victoria, kindergarten is a form of pre-school and is interchangeably referred to as such. The term Prep refers to first-year primary school students. In Queensland, kindergarten is usually an institution for children around the age of 4 and thus the precursor to preschool and primary education. Other states and territories may or may not follow either model. In South Australia, school for children age 3 to 5 is called Early Learning Centre or Preparatory School. In New Zealand, kindergarten consists of the first 2 years before Primary School, from age 3 to 5.


In Bulgaria, the term Kindergarten refers to the schooling children attend from 3 to 6 years of age. It is followed by preschool class, which is attended for a year before primary school.


In Ontario (as in some parts of the state of Wisconsin in the United States) there are two grades of kindergarten; junior kindergarten and senior kindergarten (referred to as JK and SK, respectively). In Ontario, both the senior and junior kindergarten programs, also called the "Early Years", are optional programs. Mandatory schooling begins in grade one.

Within the province of Québec, junior kindergarten is called prématernelle and senior kindergarten is called la maternelle. Within the French school system in the province of Ontario, junior kindergarten is called la maternelle and senior kindergarten is called jardin d'enfants, which is a direct translation of the German word kindergarten. These terms are all unlike those used in France.

In Western Canada there is only year of Kindergarten. After that year, the child begins the first grade.

The province of Nova Scotia refers to Kindergarten as Grade Primary.


In China, the equivalent term to kindergarten is 幼兒園, pronounced as you er yuan. Before Kindergarten, children may go to nursery for two years. At the age of 4 children begin Kindergarten and attend until age 6, when they begin primary school.


In France, the equivalent term to kindergarten, école maternelle, designates also to preschool. State-run, free maternelle schools are available throughout the country, welcoming children aged from 2 to 5 (although in many places, children under 3 may not be granted a place). It is not compulsory, yet almost 100% of children aged 3 to 5 attend. It is regulated by the French department of education.


Kindergarten (plural Kindergärten) is not part of the actual school system, as it is for example in the United States. The term Vorschule, meaning preschool, is used for educational efforts in kindergartens, which are handled differently in each German state.

Children between the ages of 3 and 6 attend Kindergartens, which are often run by city or town administrations, churches, or registered societies that pursue a certain educational goal, e.g. as represented by Montessori, or Reggio Emilia.

Kita (short for Kindertagesstätte), meaning children's daycare center, as they are frequently called, can be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and may also house a Kinderkrippe, meaning nursery, for children between the ages of 9 months and 2 years, and possibly an afternoon Hort (normally associated to a primary school) for school-age children aged 6 to 10 who spend the time after their lessons there. Alongside nurseries, there are day-care nurses working, independently from any pre-school institution, in individual homes and looking after only three to five children up to 3 years of age. These nurses are supported and supervised by local authorities. Attendance of a kindergarten is neither mandatory nor free of charge, although it can be partly or wholly funded, depending on the guidelines of the local authority and the income of the parents.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, kindergartens provide three-year courses. Children aged 8 months to 2 years attend the first year of kindergartens. Names of the years vary depending on the Kindergarten. After finishing the third year of study, children attend Primary 1 of primary schools.

Many kindergartens are named "Anglo-Chinese Kindergarten" or "English Kindergarten", emphasising their focuses in English-language education. Some kindergartens are part of schools that offer primary, secondary and even matriculation courses.


In India, kindergarten is divided into two stages- lower kindergarten (LKG) and upper kindergarten (UKG). Typically, an LKG class would comprise children 3 to 4 years of age, and the UKG class would comprise children 4 to 5 years of age. After finishing upper kindergarten, a child enters Class 1 or Standard 1 of primary school. Often kindergarten is an integral part of regular schools. In most cases the kindergarten is run as a private school. Younger Children may also be put into a special Toddler/Nursery group at the age of 2–2½. It is run as part of the kindergarten.


In Israel, a fully developed kindergarten (or Gan) system has been developed to cope with the extremely high percentage of working women in society. There are 2 streams, private commercial and state funded. Attendance in kindergarten is compulsory from the age of 5 years. Private kindergartens are supervised by the Ministry of Education and cater for children from 3 months to 5 years. State kindergartens are run by qualified kindergarten teachers who undergo a 4 year training. They cater for children from 3 to 6 years in three age groups; ages 3-4 (Trom Trom Chova), 4-5 (Trom Chova), 5-6 (Chova). At the conclusion of the Chova year (5-6) the child will either begin primary school or will repeat the Chova year, if not deemed psychologically and cognitively ready for primary school.


See the article Preschool and daycare in Japan


In South Korea, children normally attend kindergarten between the ages of 5 and 7 (Korean children's ages are calcuated differently from Western children's ages: when they are born they are one year old, rather than one day old. Also, every January 1, everyone ages one year regardless of when their birthday is: they do not age on their birthday). The school year begins in March. It is followed by primary school. Normally the kindergartens are graded on a three-tier basis. They are called "Yuchi won" (Korean: 유치원).

Korean kindergartens are private schools. Costs per month vary. Oftentimes, Korean parents send their children to English kindergartens to give them a head start in English. Such specilaized kindergartens can be mostly taught in Korean with some English lessons, mostly taught in English with some Korean lessons, or completely taught in English.

Because the education system in Korea is very competitive, kindergartens are becoming more intensely academic nowadays. Children are pushed to read and write at a very young age. They also become accustomed to regular and considerable amounts of homework. These very young children may also attend other specialized afternoon schools, taking lessons in art, piano or violin, taekwondo, ballet, soccer or math.


In Kuwait, children go to free kindergartens from the age of four to six.


In Mexico, three years of preschool education is mandatory before elementary school. Previous nursery is optional, and may be offered in either private schools or public schools.

At private schools, Kindergarten usually consists of three grades, and a fourth one may be added for nursery. While the first grade is a playgroup, the other two are of classroom education.

The kindergarten system in Mexico was developed by Rosaura Zapata (1876-1963) who received the country's highest honor for that contribution.

In 2002, the Congress of the Union approved the Law of Obligatory Pre-schooling, which already made preschool education for 3-to-6-year-olds obligatory, and place it under the auspices of the federal and state ministries of education.[1][2]


Kindergartens in Singapore provide up to three years of pre-school programmes for children aged 3 to 6. The three-year programme, known as nursery, kindergarten 1 (K1) and kindergarten 2 (K2) prepares children for their first year in primary school education. Some kindergartens further divide nursery into N1 and N2.

United Kingdom

The first year of school in England and Wales is called Reception and comes before Year 1. Pre-school daycare (which is not part of the school system) is called Nursery School or just "nursery". There are also part time playgroups. The term 'kindergarten' is very occasionally used instead of 'nursery school', but this is mainly for marketing purposes.

In Scotland, the pre-school education of children aged 3 and 4 is called Nursery and usually takes place within a primary school setting, although stand-alone nursery schools do exist. Pre-school is followed by Primary 1 which is the first year of compulsory school education.

In Wales, the first year of school is called Dosbarth Derbyn, a rough translation of Reception into Welsh. The following year is Primary 2, then the next Primary 3, which is the equivalent of the American first grade, and so on until Primary 7, where primary education ends and pupils enter secondary education.

United States

In the United States (and Canada) kindergartens are usually administered in an elementary school as part of the K-12 educational system. Children usually attend at ages 5–6, but sometimes as old as 9. Kindergarten is considered the first year of formal education although the child may have gone to pre-school/nursery school.

"High/Scope Learning" is a style of learning that is used in many kindergartens in the United States. This learning style is very interactive and requires a lot of the children and the teacher. It employs a "plan, do, review" approach which enables children to take responsibility for their learning. First the children "plan" their activities. The teacher provides choices of activities for the kids which are age appropriate and initiate learning, whether through problem solving, reading, language, math, manipulatives, etc. This planning takes place, usually, when the children walk in the classroom. Then they "do" their activity. Some of these activities include such things as a water table, building blocks, a creative dance area, "dress up" area, a reading area, and a drawing table. The majority of the children's time is spent in this "do" activity. The last part of this approach is the review part. This is where the children and the teacher go over what they have done that day. This can be done in a large group, especially if there is a theme for the day that is used in all activities, or individually. The children discuss what they did and how they liked it and what they learned from it. This high/scope learning has grown in popularity and is accepted largely because it allows for the children to be responsible for their own learning.

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