Free Education

An eye-opening introduction to pre-schooling in Japan
Blog: The KyōryokuTimes
Categories: 6-minute read

Towards the end of May this year we visited the 保育園 (hoikuen - nursery school) that my daughter would be starting the following week and boy were we in for a few surprises!

Compared to the nursery schools in Scotland there are so many rules and such a big list of mandatory purchases!

Rule examples:

  • Long hair has to always be tied up.
  • No skirts or dresses to be worn, also no jeans.
  • Children have to have urine tests twice a year (at the nursery school).
  • Children have to physical checkups twice a year (at the nursery school).
  • She has to take a daily nap (she hadn’t done this for over two years).

When we mentioned to our dress loving aspirational princess that she could only wear trousers and t-shirts to nursery she was surprisingly OK with that, the following day when we mentioned about having to tie up her hair she was less than impressed.  Shortly afterwards she opted to have her hair cut into a bob.

We had to order a list of items (or rather pay for them, the nursery ordered them on our behalf) prior to the start of attendance, from a bento box for carrying crafting related items along with related paraphernalia through to PE kit, and received a further long list of items to buy before she started including a futon for naps, multiple towels, bags and changes of clothes as well as pajamas.  A not quite complete photo and list follows.