Professional Preparation in Japanese Early Childhood Education

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Issues such as falling birthrate, the changing Japanese family and society, diverse family needs, and working mothers have all had an impact on preschool education in Japan. The Japanese government has addressed the situation by implementing policies to support childrearing, “Kosodate Shien”. These operate at the family and community levels. This has led to changes in the standards and regulations in preschool education and has resulted in new childrearing systems or institutions, in addition to the traditional kindergartens and nursery schools. Consequently, universities and colleges have to train professionals who can also deal with parents and the community. In this presentation, currents issues in early childhood education will be described, as well as government policies. In addition, the significance of changes in professional preparation programs at universities and colleges will be discussed.


Keywords: Early Childhood Eduction in Japan, Professional Preparation, Support Childrearing
Stream: Teacher Training and Professional Development
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: The Professional Preparation of Early Childhood Education in Japan


Prof. Kimiko Kai

Professor, Department of Early Childhood Care & Education
Faculty of Human Life Sciences, Fuji Women's University

Sapporo-city, Hokkaido, Japan

Professor Kimiko Kai teaches early childhood education at Fuji Women’s University, Hokkaido, Japan. She has worked as a teacher trainer in Japan for over thirty years. Her interest in early childhood education brings a special perspective on her research work in education. In addition, she is an active member of the Society of Early Childhood Care and Education in Japan.

Ref: L08P0706