Most children are used to doing whatever pleases them inside the home. In order to prepare children to a school environment, Anaheim Preschool offers play, education and socialization until the children are accustomed to the expectations of kindergarten. Children are given the opportunity to interact with their peers and teachers in the most appropriate manner.
The centerpiece of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is a government program that makes preschool education free for children ages 3 to 5. The program also includes 2-year old children from low income families. The aim of the government is to minimize the financial burden on people who are hoping for more children.
However, the government program that started last October 1 has raised concerns regarding a possible increase in children who are waiting to be accepted in nurseries. The prime minister has brushed aside suggestions that securing more daycare workers must be prioritized.
Meanwhile, Shigeki Matsuda, a Chukyo University professor and expert on family policies thinks that the program may have a major positive impact because timely support can be provided to child-rearing families who are considering more children.
The number of children who are on the waiting lists of daycare centers has been a downward trend but it is still considered high at 17,000 across the country. It is very unlikely for the Japanese government to achieve the goal of reducing the waitlist numbers to zero by the end of 2020.
On the other hand, a senior cabinet official has argued that there will only be a limited impact from the free preschool education program for nursery services nationwide because the program only covers children aged up to 2. These children account for 90% of the waiting lists in daycare. It is also limited to low income families who are exempt from paying resident taxes. This view has also been widely criticized.
Children do not necessarily need to know how to read, write and perform mathematics when they enter kindergarten although when they are familiar with shapes and symbols, they excel. The goal of Anaheim Preschool is to manage the children’s behavior in a classroom setting and wean them from the constant presence of parents.