Learn more about Kindergarten
German, "children's garden") is a name given in many parts of the world to the earliest stage of a child's structured classroom education. Typically this involves 3-6 year olds. In some places kindergarten is part of a formal public or private school system; in others it may merely refer to nursery school (pre-school) or daycare.(
Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel officially opened the first kindergarten on 28 June 1840, to mark the four hundredth anniversary of Gutenberg's discovery of movable type. Froebel created the name Kindergarten for the Play and Activity Institute, which he had founded in 1837 in the village of Bad Blankenburg, in the small principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, Thuringia, Germany. The first kindergarten in the United States was founded in Watertown, Wisconsin by Margarethe (Margaretta) Meyer Schurz (wife of activist/statesman Carl Schurz). Margarethe Schurz initially taught five children in her home (including her own daughter Agatha) in Watertown, Wisconsin, but was so successful that she opened her first kindergarten in America in 1856. While Schurz's first kindergarten was German-language, she also advocated the establishment of English-language kindergartens. The first English-language kindergarten in America was founded in 1859 in Boston by Elizabeth Peabody, who received her first exposure to a kindergarten from Margaretta Schurz in Watertown. Margaretta Schurz’s older sister Bertha Meyer Ronge opened Infant Gardens in London (1851), Manchester (1859) and Leeds (1860). The first publicly financed kindergarten in the United States was established in St. Louis in 1873 by Susan Blow.
 Kindergarten systems of various countries
 Australia/New Zealand
In the state of New South Wales, the first year of infants school is called kindergarten. In Victoria, kindergarten is a form of, and used interchangeably with, pre-school. 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 Prepatory School. In New Zealand, kindergarten consists of the first 2 years before Primary School, from age 3 to 5.
In Bulgaria, the children go to kindergarten at the age of 3 and leave it at 6, to go to preschool class (1 year) and after that they go to primary school.
In Ontario (as in some parts of Wisconsin in the U.S.) there are two grades of kindergarten; junior kindergarten and senior kindergarten (JK and SK). In Ontario, both the senior and junior kindergarten program, under the umbrella title of 'Early Years' are optional programs. Mandatory schooling begins in grade one. Unlike in France, kindergarten is called la maternelle in Canadian French and JK as prématernelle within the province of Québec. Within the French school system in the province of Ontario, JK is referred to as la maternelle and SK as jardin d'enfants, a direct translation of kindergarten. In Western Canada there is only one year of kindergarten. After kindergarten a child moves to the first grade.
In China, the equivalent term to kindergarten, pronounced as you er yuan in Chinese. Children go there at the age of 4 (Before that, parents can put their children in the nursery for 2 years.) and leave it at 6. After that, they go to primary school.
In France, the equivalent term to kindergarten, école maternelle, designates also 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. It is regulated by the French department of education.
Kindergartens (German plural Kindergärten) in Germany are not a part of the actual school system, as they are in the USA. The German translation of "pre-school", Vorschule, is used for educational efforts in the Kindergarten, which are handled differently in every German state. Kindergarten establishments (day-care) in Germany are normally for pre-school children between 3 and 6 years of age, and are often run by churches, city or town administrations. They are often in a Kita, a short form of Kindertagesstätte ("children's daycare centre"), which may also house a crêche (Kinderkrippe) for children under age 2 years and 9 months, and/or a Hort which is facilities for school-age children. Attendance is neither mandatory nor free of charge.
 Hong Kong
In Hong Kong, kindergartens provide three-year courses. Children aged 2 years and 8 months or older attend the first year of kindergartens. Names of the years vary from kindergartens to kindergartens. After finishing the third year of study, children attend Primary 1 of primary schools.
Many kindergartens are named "Anglo-Chinese Kindergarten" and "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 of children 3 to 4 years of age, and the UKG class would comprise of 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 are also 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 3 age groups. Ages 3-4 (Trom Trom Chova), 4-5 (Trom Chova), 5-6 (Chova). At the conclusion of the Chova year (5-6) each child is assessed as 'ready' to attend school, those that are deemed not psychologically and cognitively ready will repeat the Chova year before moving on to school.
See the article Preschool and daycare in Japan
In South Korea, children normally enter kindergarten around the age of 5, and leave it just before 7, to go to primary school. Normally the kindergartens are graded on a three-tier basis. They are called "Yuchi won" (Korean: 유치원).
In Kuwait, children go to free kindergartens from the age of four to six.
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.
In 2002, the Congress of the Union approved the Law of Obligatory Pre-schooling, which will make preschool education for 3-to-6-year-olds obligatory by 2009, and place it under the auspices of the federal and state ministries of education.
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 beforeYear 1. Pre-school daycare (which is not part of the school system) is called Nursery School or just 'nursery' and there are also part time playgroups. The term 'kindergarten' is very occasionally used instead of 'nursery school', but this is mainly for marketing purposes.
Kindergarten is not a commonly used term in Scotland. Nursery is the pre-school education of children aged 3 and 4 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 complusary 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 end 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.
 Function of Kindergarten
Children, usually aged 3–6 years old, attend kindergarten to learn to communicate, play, and interact with others appropriately. A teacher provides various manipulative materials and activities to motivate these children to learn the language and vocabulary of reading, mathematics, science, and computers, as well as that of music, art, and social behaviors. For children who previously have spent most of their time at home, kindergarten may serve the purpose of training them to be apart from their parents without anxiety. They usually get their first idea of friendship while they play and interact with other children on a regular basis. Kindergarten also allows parents (especially mothers) to go back to part-time or full-time employment.
After kindergarten, depending on the school, the children would advance to the next level which is usually referred to as first grade.
Many private businesses in the USA name their day-care businesses 'Kindergarten' or, misspelled, 'Kindergarden'.
Kindergarten may be half a day in length (either morning or afternoon) or may be a full day.
 What should kindergarten activities include?
There seem to be many positive learning and social/behavioral benefits for children in kindergarten programs. At the same time, it is widely felt that what children are doing during the kindergarten day is more important than the length of the school day. Gullo (1990) and Olsen and Zigler (1989) warn educators and parents to resist the pressure to include more didactic academic instruction in all-day kindergarten programs. They contend that this type of instruction is inappropriate for young children.
Also, an all-day kindergarten program can provide children the opportunity to spend more time engaged in active, child-initiated, small-group activities. Teachers in all-day kindergarten classrooms often feel less stressed by time constraints and may have more time to get to know children and meet their needs.
All day kindergarten is becoming increasingly popular to helping close the achievement gap. US school districts that have not yet moved to full day kindergartens are looking for funds to extend the school day. US States are offering incentives for school districts, especially in the poorer districts. Benefits of full day kindergarten include an easier transition into first Grade. According to an Education Week article teachers feel that students are exposed to more than they would in a two to three hour day. Students adjust well to the extended day. There are opponents who question the reason for full day kindergarten. There are those who feel that all day kindergarten is not an effort to improve student achievement, but more of an effort to fulfill obligations of the No Child Left Behind Act. They feel that full day kindergarten is a contributing factor for the teacher shortage.
- Cryan, J. R., Sheehan, R., Wiechel, J., & Bandy-Hedden, I. G.(1992). "Success outcomes of full-day kindergarten: More positive behavior and increased achievement in the years after." Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 7(2),187-203. EJ 450 525.
- Elicker, J., & Mathur, S.(1997). "What do they do all day? Comprehensive evaluation of a full-day kindergarten." Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 12(4), 459-480. EJ 563 073.
- Fusaro, J. A.(1997). "The effect of full-day kindergarten on student achievement: A meta-analysis." Child Study Journal, 27(4), 269-277. EJ 561 697.
- Gullo, D. F.(1990). "The changing family context: Implications for the development of all-day kindergarten." Young Children, 45(4), 35-39. EJ 409 110.
- Housden, T., & Kam, R.(1992). "Full-day kindergarten: A summary of the research." Carmichael, CA: San Juan Unified School District. ED 345 868.
- Karweit, N.(1992). "The kindergarten experience." Educational Leadership, 49(6), 82-86. EJ 441 182.
- Koopmans, M.(1991). "A study of longitudal effects of all-day kindergarten attendance on achievement." Newark, NJ: Newark Board of Education. ED 336 494.
- Morrow, L. M., Strickland, D. S., & Woo, D. G.(1998). "Literacy instruction in half- and whole-day kindergarten." Newark, DE: International Reading Association. ED 436 756.
- Olsen, D., & Zigler, E.(1989). "An assessment of the all-day kindergarten movement." Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 4(2), 167-186. EJ 394 085.
- Puleo, V. T.(1988). "A review and critique of research on full-day kindergarten." Elementary School Journal, 88(4), 427-439. EJ 367 934.
- Towers, J. M.(1991). "Attitudes toward the all-day, everyday kindergarten." Children Today, 20(1), 25-28. EJ 431 720.
- West, J., Denton, K., & Germino-Hausken, E.(2000). "America's Kindergartners." Washington, DC: National Center for Educational Statistics.
- McGill-Franzen, A.(2006). "Kindergarten literacy: Matching assessment and instruction in kindergarten." New York: Scholastic.
 See also
 External links
- Froebel Web timeline
- Preparing for Kindergarten
- Recent Research on All-Day Kindergarten
- The Shifting Kindergarten Curriculum
- Readiness for Kindergarten
- Full-Day Kindergarten Programs
- Escalating Kindergarten Curriculum
- He Has a Summer Birthday: The Kindergarten Entrance Age Dilemma
- Kindersite Project - Researching in to the use of technology within Kindergartens with Kindergarten appropriate Internet content
- Friedrich Froebel Museum at Bad Blankenburg
- Froebel College, Roehampton University
- Studying the Creation of Kindergarten
- Free educational pictures to color and print.
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