Kindergarten Education in South Korea

The number of private kindergartens have increased as a result of more women entering the workforce, growth in the number of nuclear families where a grandparent was often unavailable to take care of children, and the feeling that kindergarten might give children an "edge" in later educational competition. Many students in Korea start kindergarten at the Western age of three and will therefore continue to study in kindergarten for three or four years, before starting their 'formal education' in 'grade one' of primary school. Many private kindergartens offer their classes in English to give students a 'head-start' in the mandatory English education they would receive later in public school. Kindergartens often pay homage to the expectations of parents with impressive courses, graduation ceremonies, complete with diplomas and gowns. Korean kindergartens are expected to start teaching basic maths, reading and writing to children, including education on how to count, add, subtract, and read and write in Korean, and often in English and Chinese. Children in Korean kindergartens are also taught using games focused on education and coordination, such as "playing doctor" to teach body parts, food and nutrition, and work positions for adults. Songs, dances, and memorization are a big part of Korean kindergarten education.