Should You Bring The Kitchen Sink?

Note: We have been informed that this preschool in no longer operating. We are leaving this post in our archives for those of you who may be looking for it.

For all you parents looking for a preschool that suits your kids, we’re hoping to add a little something to aid in your search. Parents of children who attend various preschools on island have filled out a series of questions about the schools for the benefit of the rest of us. We welcome more than one voice on each school since everyone has a different experience, so please feel free to add in your two cents in the comments.

If your child attends a school that has not been reviewed on this site, please contact our Submissions Manager for the template.

Name of School: Kuwae Preschool
Address: Camp Lester
Phone: 645-8419
Email[email protected]
Website:  www.kuwaepreschool.com
Ages Accepted: 3-5 years

Ages of Kid(s) in this School: 3-5

Admissions/Enrollment:
What is the maximum number of students that your school has? 122

What is the current number of students? 119

Is enrollment open/year-round enrollment or per semester? Open until March of each school year

Does my child have to be potty-trained to attend? YES

Can I bring my child in for a pre-enrollment visit? YES

Days and hours:

What are the school’s hours? 9:00-11:30am or 12:30-3:00pm

Is the school on a Japanese or American schedule? American

How flexible is the school with pickup and drop-off times? No early drop-off. Children are expected to be on time at the beginning of each school day (class is only 2.5 each day). Pick-up late fees assessed after 5 minutes late

Costs (Updated as of Dec. 2013):
What are the registration fees? $80.00 (Registration is year-round.)

What are the tuition fees? $135 per month for a 2-day program, $175 per month for a 3-day program and $255 per month for a 5-day program.

If any, what are the assessment and school supplies fees? Included in tuition.  However, parents are asked to provide a snack and accompanying paper goods on a rotating schedule, about once every 6 weeks or so, depending on class size and days attended each week.

Are any discounts offered for referrals, siblings, volunteering, working there, etc.? siblings discount for registration fee only

Is there a late-pickup fee? YES

How and when does the school require payment (in yen, dollars, etc.)? Cash/Check the first three business day of the month.  If you pay the semester or year’s tuition in advance (lump sum) there will be a discount.

Parent Involvement and Interaction:

Does the school encourage spontaneous visits from parents? Yes – Open Door policy

How do teachers communicate with parents? Is there a regular newsletter, or a notice board? Both, plus parents are always welcome to talk to the teachers at the very beginning of the school day or after school.

Is there a daily report or other process for informing parents of what children did during the day (naps, BMs, snacks, etc.)? Yes, we communicate via daily bulletin boards, emails, newsletter, daily interactions with staff

Are there parent/teacher conferences? Yes, twice a year

Classroom Structure and Size:

How are the kids grouped? grouped by age

What’s the teacher-child ratio in each group? 3-year olds:  2 to 10; 4-year olds / 2-13

How many full-time teachers do you have?  How many assistants? 3 of each

What is the school’s educational philosophy? Is the school program developmentally-based or does it have an academic focus? We have national accreditation by NAEYC and offer The Creative Curriculum

Is there a playground for the children to play on? YES .48 acres

What do the children do on any given day? What’s the general schedule/routine? The schedule allows for inside-outdoor activities to address the student’s developmental domains such as physical, emotional, social, cognitive, and language.

Are there extracurricular activities or field trips? YES

How does the school discipline children? Positive Guidance and re-direction

How does the school comfort children? Caring staff that nurtures and validates children’s emotions and feelings

Final Comments or Observations about the School:

Kuwae Preschool’s (KPS) mission is to provide a high quality, developmentally appropriate half-day program to children of U.S. Military and SOFA status civilian personnel in Okinawa, Japan. The KPS program promotes learning and development in each of the following areas: physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and language. KPS uses play as an indicator of the child’s mental, physical, and social growth; therefore, child-initiated and teacher-supported play is the essential component of KPS’s developmentally appropriate program.

Our goals are to provide developmental appropriate opportunities for meaningful play based on the child’s individual needs, interests, and abilities, building important foundations for future reading skills and other academic pursuits. KPS provides opportunities to interact with other children in a setting conducive to the development of wholesome social relationships. We recognize the individual differences of children; provide an environment encouraging children’s self-confidence, curiosity, creativity, and self-discipline.

Finally, to support parents in the care and development of their children to include education, health, recreation, referrals to family support programs, and diagnostic services. In addition, we aim to provide children with daily experiences conducive to a better understanding of the Japanese culture and language, and provide support to families dealing with the Military Life Style.

Goals

  • To provide developmental appropriate opportunities for meaningful play based on the child’s individual needs, interests, and abilities, building important foundations for future reading skills and other academic pursuits.
  • Provide opportunities to interact with other children in a setting conducive to the development of wholesome social relationships.
  • Recognize the individual differences of children; provide an environment encouraging children’s self-confidence, curiosity, creativity, and self-discipline.
  • Support parents in the care and development of their children to include education, health, recreation, referrals to family support programs, and diagnostic services.


Okinawa Hai Contributor Notes:

If you’re looking for a nice transition year for your three or four year old, Kuwae Preschool on Camp Lester could be perfect for you. Maybe you and your child aren’t quite ready for a full-time school. Kuwae has a two day a week option for two and a half hours a day. They have morning classes 9-11:30 am either Tuesday and Thursday, or Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The afternoon session from 12:30-3:00 is also two or three days a week, and they now offer 5-day programs as well. It is an American school following the American calendar, but they have Japanese teaching assistants and have a “culture class” so that the students do learn some Japanese language and culture while still being in a familiar English-speaking environment.

October 2011 Update:  Kuwae Preschool contacted us to update their email address, registration fees and tuition (the changes have been made above).  They also mentioned that the school has been running for over fifty years and that all teachers have a bachelor’s degree or higher in early childhood education or a related field.

46 COMMENTS

  1. I’m joining the concerned parents regarding Kuwae. I used to pick up my 3 year old starving and irritable after school, because every little step of these kids is regulated by multiple curriculums, rules, regulations, requirements and expectations – how much can you squeeze into 2.5 hour preschool time? (Obviously, Kuwae can – and quite a bit). My son had a hard time unwinding after school and could not nap.
    Their policies are of no value – they preach about healthy eating, yet kids are served juice for lunch, cupcakes and goody bags galore on any occasion.
    Their policy says no forced or violent physical behaviour towards the child. My son attended school for 5 months and during this short time span I witnessed my son held against his will and grabbed-pulled by his collar twice – by very frustrated teachers at the pick up time in front of me. When confronted, staff was quite defensive and stern. This is an alarming behaviour. Pretty intense school – we are not returning.
    My son attends different local school and I see amazing improvement in his well being.

  2. My daughter attended Kuwae for almost 2 years and absolutely LOVED it, as did I! Right from our first visit the staff were extremely welcoming and this welcoming atmosphere continued throughout our time at Kuwae.

    Culture days were a firm favorite for both my daughter & I. it was a great way for her to try some snacks that she may not try otherwise as well as learn a few Japanese words…colors/numbers/shapes/animals & even songs.

    Something else I really appreciated about the school was the ample opportunities for parents to get involved if they wished; board meetings were always open if parents wanted to attend, I got to read books to my daughters class and help out at fundraisers etc

    The only downside to Kuwae are that the sessions are only 2.5 hours, having said that my daughter who only attended for 3 sessions per week (7.5 hours a week) has been well prepped for kindergarten which she will be starting in the fall so I don’t feel she was disadvantaged in anyway by a shorter session.

    When my youngest turns 3 I will definitely be registering her at Kuwae also.

  3. Kuwae Preschool on Camp Lester in Okinawa is WONDERFUL. I love love love this school. My son
    went to the school when he was three and had a good experience. I wanted him to have an easy transition
    when heading to kindergarten. Kuwae did an great job helping him feel comfortable being at school without
    me. He learned how to write his name and say and sing many Japanese words/songs. When he was 4 we enrolled
    him in the 5 day program. It was a little adjustment but the teachers and the staff were the BEST, at helping him and
    me. They have a well educated staff and wonderful teacher aids. The Japanese aids are amazing, and they have culture
    days that help the kids speak, learn, experience, do craft about the beautiful Japanese culture. I am a stay at home mom
    of three kids, so when my son went to school at Kuwae, I thought it would be good to get involved in the school my
    son is attending. So I became the Chairperson of Kuwae Executive Board. At first I was a bit nervous, but the ladies that
    work at Kuwae are the real deal, I took my job very seriously about the fundraising, the bulletin board, and making board
    meetings a success. My son graduated from preschool 2014 and is attending kindergarten this year, being well prepared,
    and knowing a little Japanese on top of that. I loved my experience, time and my son’s early education at Kuwae Preschool.
    Not only did I leave that WONDERFUL school but I left the WONDERFUL Kuwae family. I would highly recommend this great
    school and the ladies are awesome too. Can’t forget the Kuwae board members truly amazing.

  4. Hello all. I am the current business manager at Kuwae Preschool and wanted to update some of the information presented above. Due to technical errors our outdated information has not been able to be changed.
    -Our rates are as follows: $80 registration fee, $255 5 day classes, $175 3day classes, and $135 2day classes.
    -Our registration is year round.

    I love our program here at Kuwae as my daughter attended 2 years and my son will be attending once he is 3. I recommend our program to anyone looking for a great beginning to their child’s school years.

  5. Refund policies are unwaiverable. So be careful if you are military and have to leave the island early or have an urgent need to disenroll your child. We waited so long for a CDC opening but couldn’t wait any longer. We found Kuwae with an opening for 2 days/4hrs a week. It was better than nothing or so we thought. The same day we registered we were called by the CDC for full time care. We called Kuwae about a tuition and deposit refund because on their home page it shows an $80 non-refundable registration fee. I could understand registration fee but not the tuition/deposit part since our child was not scheduled to start for another week and it was less than 24 hrs later. They (Tull) said no refunds, need a 4 week notice and if the child missed 2 days/4 hrs of care we will lose the deposit too. All in all we lost $350 because they will not give exceptions to anyone. So how can this place grow children with caring and compassion if they don’t have any?

  6. Thanks for a wondeerful year, Kuwae! This was my daughter’s first year at Kuwae. We heard about this school from a friend and couldn’t wait for her to turn 3 so we could enroll. My friend just raved and raved and it was obvious why after a few short weeks of school. My daughter’s enthusiam to go to school has never waned and she was slightly disgruntled to learn that school didn’t continue throughout the summer, lol. We were finally able to console her by explaining that she would return after summer break.

    I would like to mention that my daughter learned to write her name, to write all the letters of the alphabet, improved her abilty to recognize/identify colors/shapes/letters. She learned so many Japanese words and phrases, she was able to teach me a few! I could go on and on about the educational opportunities available to my daughter in her classroom.

    Although we had 2 differnt teachers this year, I don’t feel that any student sufferd, the transition was smoothly made and professionally handled. Every interaction with the staff and volunteer members of Kuwae have been courteous. Our experience has been very rewarding and I would encourage parents in search of pre-school to take a look at Kuwae. I feel strongly that you would be impressed and your child will be cherished and enriched during their time there.

  7. I had a child who attended Kuwae this year and was in the same class as the lady above. I have to say I love Kuwae and my son has loved Kuwae for two years and learned so much over the years. Not to go into detail because I do not know the Director but she always has a smile on her face and is friendly when I see her. As for the 3 different teachers there were reasons why each left. I feel the first teacher was ok but seemed to not get her way so she left without even telling the kids bye and that upset me. The second teacher her husband was military and was in a horrible accident and they left the island my heart goes out to them. And the final teacher was a returning teacher who stayed the rest of the year and my son loves her. I did my research before my son started and I feel he learns better through play which is the schools focus but they also give the students academics but as parents with 2.5 hours we have to teach them at home or the time they spend at any school is a waste.

  8. This school is not all its cracked up to be. Personally it felt like a joke. My daughter learned absolutely nothing! Had 3 different teachers and it always seemed like the director had a problem with each one of them. She seems like the person who if you don’t agree 100% with what she says she will just fire you!
    On the other hand my daughter LOVED her first teacher and enjoyed going but just to play. Like I said before she learned nothing. I’d put a little more money in and go to an off base school.

  9. My son attended Kuwae last year and we absolutely loved it there. His teacher was always loving and very passionate about her job and he was always happy and excited to go. He learned a lot while he was there. The Director, Kristen, really is one of the sweetest and really a great support to her teachers and students. Until now, my son asks to go back to Kuwae to see his teacher.

  10. My son spent the last two years with Kuwae. I couldn’t be more happier and impressed with them. I’ve recommended them to other parents and they are happy with Kuwae, as well. My son’s experience at Kuwae is the reason why he is absolutely thrilled to be going to kindergarten next month! The only tears on the first day of school will be coming from me, as my son happily waves goodbye and reminds me that he’ll see me again in six hours;)

  11. Hello! My name is Kristen and I’m the education director at Kuwae 🙂 This website is a wonderful outlet for information and I am so thankful to Joelle and all those associated! With that, I would like to state many of the wonderful aspects of Kuwae, both old and new! First, all of our teachers have bachelors degrees or above in Early Childhood Education. Every classroom has a teacher’s aide who speaks fluent Japanese and English, so they can learn as much about this beautiful culture during their time here 🙂 Our largest classroom has 15 students per 2 teachers and our smallest for the 3-year old’s has just 10 students per 2 teachers. We utilize the Creative Curriculum while making sure to individualize for each students need. We work closely with DoDD’s professionals, pediatritions, speach therapists, consultants, etc. to ensure every child that attends Kuwae gets the best start possible. Our accreditation is through NAEYC, an organization that requires a school to meet over 400 different criteria in order to be accredited. One of those requirements is that the director of any program be qualified to hire and train quality and qualified employees. I have a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies and a M.S. in Exceptional Student Education. I also spent 5 years in the Marine Corps as a public affairs/broadcast specialist. Kuwae has an amazing staff and executive board. Our teachers have so much passion, dedication, knowledge and energy..like someone stated above, I have never seen a child unahppy here! That being said, I am a firm believer in knowledge and change, and will not keep someone here that is unwilling,and or fails to meet and follow what our accreditation boasts…for the sake of retention or personal opinions of an individual. My job is to ensure the children are getting the best possible education, in a safe, nurturing, fun, playful and happy environment. The executive board, comprised of volunteer parents, is here to help govern the school, to ensure we have enough fundraisers to supplement new and exciting learning materials, and to give sound advice when situations arise. These among many other behind the scene things they do, are unwavering and more appreciated than they will ever know:) Some new and exciting things for next year, is our expansion of our culture program! This year we will introduce children to Eisa dancing, Taiko drums, Karate and continue with the previous increase in culture days. We have a yoga instructor that will give monthly classes based on books they are reading in the classroom. We have expanded our science program, which includes more hands on projects and a frog habitat! During our two week training, prior to school, our teachers will receive instruction on Whole Brain Learning, Sign Language,Child Development, Child Abuse, Autism, lesson plan training, and Handwriting Without Tears. Our teachers plan to incorporate other programs that foster phonemic awareness in ways your pre-kindergarten children can understand. We teach all about recycling and the children will have a chance to participate in our very own Kuwae Community Garden. Our students will continue to experience the Camp Lester Middle School Band, as well as performances by the Covenant Players, a drama group out of mainland Japan! Parent teacher conferences are held twice a year and there is always an open door policy. Our school is inspected for health and safety on a monthly basis by Camp Lester’s Naval Hospital, as well as MCB. We are required to submit an annual report to NAEYC to ensure we are following all of their requirements and as a non-profit organization, we submit an audit report, ensuring all monies are accounted for. With nearly 140 families (more than Kuwae has ever had), unfortunate as it is, myself, nor the school as a whole will be able to please everyone, and not every decision is understood, or even the right one. We can only do what we feel in our hearts is best as well as what we have learned through our education and experience. Kuwae does have to adhere to strict policies and procedure, within the school, to ensure we remain a “a climb above the rest”. From our annual survery, 97% of parents were happy with their child’s experience here at Kuwae. I encourage anyone that wishes to have their children attend Kuwae, to send us an email, stop by for a tour, talk with our teachers and executive board so they can learn first hand, what Kuwae is all about! Enrollment for this year is at an all time high with 6 out of our 8 classes having waiting lists. Please give is a call at 645-8419 or email us at [email protected] if anyone would like more information 🙂

  12. Thank you for the postive feed back! Like I said I can not speak for everyone but I’m sorry you were not happy!

  13. You are right. There are some positive aspects to Kuwae. It has good hours and a great location. Some of the teachers are very nice. However, several great teachers, that helped build the outstanding reputation that the school once had, are no longer there. I believe that due to so much rotation on and off the island, the school is staying afloat based on the that reputation and what it once was, not what it is now. I may be wrong. That is just my opinion but if I am right, the school will seriously suffer down the road for the desicions that are being made now. Due to my concerns, I did not stay at the school the whole year. You are also right that everyone can not be happy all the time. Maybe there are more happy parents out there than unhappy ones. I do find it odd that the school is doing so much advertising now to get students in the door when just a few years back parents would line up at 3am the night before registration just to try to get there kids a spot. Again, I do wish you and the school the best. I would love to see it well. Military families need the option of a great on-base preschool. Maybe my opinion is wrong. Only time will tell……Best regards.

    • I taught at Kuwae during our first tour to Okinawa. I know exactly which teachers you are talking about because at least one of them was teaching there at the same time I was, and she was still there when we came back for our second tour. I applied to teach at Kuwae again and they did not rehire me, despite having a master’s degree, credentials in special education, and years of experience at the early childhood level, not to mention a notable record of school loyalty, attendence, and parent satisfaction from my previous teaching experiences, including my years teaching at Kuwae (No problems with background check or previous employers). In fact, she never even called me to substitute teach during the following school year, despite the fact that she was the person who suggested it in the first place.

      • Congrats on your second tour! You taught my child and did a SUPERB job I might add. I appreciate and miss the way the parents and teachers were so close at that time. The school was ran by a board of parent volunteers and not by one person. That is what made it so special. I am sure you will be happier elsewhere. There is not ONE SINGLE person on staff ANYWHERE in the school that was here before two years ago. Change is good and needed sometimes but you can’t fix something that was NEVER BROKEN in the first place! Just cherish the great memeries that you have of the school for those times are long gone and know that you touched so many childrens lives, mine included, when you were there. I would love to catch up with you sometime!

  14. I also believe in freedom of speech so by no means am I trying to stop that. I just wanted parents that come to this site to see both sides to the story. Yes employee retention is important as is team work and a good staff. And sometimes in order to have that changes have to be made. Yes children get attached which is why no changes are made until the end of the school year. So the kids get to finish out with their teachers. I have never seen an unhappy child come to Kuwae they all love it. And parents love how warm and loving the environment is. I am sorry you had such a bad experience but honestly in life we all have times when we are not 100% happy with something a organization does. But if we are on the outside looking in we may not understand why things were done the way the were. I wish everyone’s experience at Kuwae was postive but I know that is not real life. But my question to you is you keep focusing on the negative would you mind sharing some positive aspects of Kuwae with us? I am sure you had a few because your child stayed at Kuwae the full year correct?

  15. Teacher,
    I just wanted to say that it is wonderful that you have been able to maintain a job there for two years. No one else has. She has fired everyone that she did not personally hire or they have quite because they did not want to work for her. Employee retention under her is at an all time low. The kids get attached at this age and it really is not fair to them to change staff so much. As far as how great the school is, diplomas were given out to three year olds this year, at the end of year ceremony, that said they had just completed kindergarten. You are right. It sounds like a great place to work and “educate” your children. I just think military family members should really look into the school and how it is ran before making a decision to send their children there. Just because it is located on base, it does not speak to what kind of experience you or your child will have while attending Kuwae. I wish you, personally, the best but we have very different views on the school. That is why freedom of speech is so wonderful!

  16. Hello,
    I have been working at Kuwae for about two years. And I can say I love my job!! I enjoy coming to work and always have awesome students. If anyone is looking at this site please do not pay too much attention to the negative comments because they are mostly coming from upset parents who cannot have things the way they want them. You will always have a few unhappy people but as we all know you cannot please everyone no matter how hard you try. The staff is awesome and we have a great deal of help and support from the Director. Honestly she is one of the sweetest ladies I know and she is always willing to come in the class and help out and even help parents with anything they may need. Now as far as the school being all about money that is so untrue. The school is a nonprofit organization so yes tuition is a big parent of keeping the school running. But money is not the school’s main concern, if you had any idea what a teacher’s salary at Kuwae looked like you would be shocked because I was lol. But I was not concerned with the pay because I love what I do! Same with the director her pay is not much more than ours but she loves what she does even if she has to put up with a few parents who are not happy about requirements which they initial in their registration packets.
    I love Kuwae and I hope you stop by and take a tour!!!!

  17. I agree with Tennille 100%!!! The director runs everything first hand with a board that has no power to make changes and if you have a concern about the school or the director, she reports to no one so nothing can be done. I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to really do your homework before sending your child to this school. It used to be such a great place with teachers that were unmatched. It is really sad. I think they should be looked into further. SERIOUS ISSUES!! Just do your homework before settling for this school because it is the only one one base!!

  18. wow! horrible is by far NOT what this school is! my son has gone to Kuwae since Sept and he LOVES it! He has learned so much at Kuwae! He is always happy to go, he loves his teachers and the staff! Potty training is a requirement for almost all schools, at least the ones I contacted in Okinawa. I knew the person who use to register children into kindergarten on Camp Foster and she said her and the staff can tell the difference of which kids come from Kuwae vice other schools because Kuwae kids are more advanced. I couldn’t ask for more from Kuwae other than longer school hours. I’m sorry that you had a bad experience while your child attended Kuwae, Tennille Hart but hopefully everyone who reads this can see that you seem to be the only person who had a bad experience. Lastly YOU/YOUR HUSBANDS RANK has absolutely nothing to do with this preschool. A Preschool is a place to learn not throw rank around. If you have any questions please feel free to talk to the Kuwae staff as they are the school experts or reply to this post. Respectfully Submitted,One very Happy Mother whose son attends Kuwae! Lori

    • I think Kuwae is a perfectly good preschool, however, I teach in a DoDEA school and I see little difference between kindergarteners who attend Kuwae vs. other preschool programs on island. Any child who we receive from preschool is usually ahead in the social aspects of school and is already used to structure/routine. Besides that, we don’t have one particular preschool that cranks out “advanced” children.

  19. My daughter went to Kuwae PreSchool back in 1993 and now my grandson is on his second year with the school. We believe in the program and its team of dedicated teachers. Great preparation for Kindergarten. Keep up the good work that you do for our children.

  20. My 4 year old has been at Kuwae since September and we couldn’t be happier. She had been going as a a drop-in to a CDC for a while before we moved here. She did not like the CDC at all, even though they tend to run the 3/4 year old rooms like a preschool. She enjoys every aspect of Kuwae; the teacher, the “friends”, and the activities they do. The price is great and it gives me a couple of hours a day to do what I need to do while preparing her for Kindergarten next year.

  21. HORRIBLE! HORRIBLE! Please contact me with questions 08042925997. The director is fake, and non helpful. No, overperson checking on programm cause it isnotDOD related. You cannot get help with problem resolution bc thereis no checks system or chain of command. They are only interested in money not children. Any potty training issues and your child is out bc they have a waiting list to get in bc there is no other preschool for children on base E4 and above. E5 And above we have to pay for preschool, take your money some where else!!!! E8 wife.

    • I STRONGLY disagree with the “horrible” comment. I have traveled the globe and interacted with many schools affiliated with the military bases. By far and away, I am most impressed with this pre-school. The staff are courteous and knowledgable. They are truly advocates for the children they oversee. If there are special circumstances, they are willing to go the extra mile to help the child and family.

      Toilet training is typically a requirement in most pre-school programs. If the child is at a progressing point, the child has to be at least willing to allow school staff to change him/her. If not, that is typically a “no go”. Pre-schools tend to be much more open minded about toileting if they are working with a true bonafied special needs child under the care of appropriate professionals. Does your child come under this category? If so, there are resources on the island for asssessment.

    • I seriously disagree with what you’re saying. I used to work at Kuwae and the school had to be checked on regularly in order to keep their accreditation with NAEYC. They have some of the most stringent standards about the way children are treated and cared for of any of the schools I have ever worked at. They are very up-front about their potty training policy because they do not have the proper facilities to change any sort of diapers. Any three or four year old must be completely potty trained before attending preschool there, which is absolutely reasonable given the age range. If your child is continuously having accidents, then they are most likely not fully potty trained.

  22. my daughter been there going on 2 months now and she LOVES IT!!! and so do i! The only thing is I wish they do longer hrs =( but i still love this school

  23. I enrolled my daughter for this years class, but was put on the waiting list. (before the school year had started) I was on the wait list for the MWF classes. They told me that a lot of the kids that are accepted are also waiting to see if they get into sure start,, so to be on the wait list is a good idea. Sure enough about two weeks before school started, sure start was announced, a ton of spots opened up, and my daughter got in just fine. She loves it. She’s already starting to read words, and a few sentences. It’s a great school, so even if you aren’t accepted right away, get on the wait list!

  24. Just wanted to update for all of those interested in trying to register this year…Kuwae preschool has a website that has all of the current information (prices,etc.) and documents needed to register…http://kuwaepreschool.com/

    Open registration will be on Sat. May 2nd at 7am.

  25. Thanks to you both for the info! Suzy, so I guess it is true, there’s a high demand for this school. That’s actually reassuring. I’ll be joining you in line, then. 🙂
    AmyB, is 12:30 to 3 the only time slot offered for 4 year olds? What are your monthly fees, if you don’t mind me asking?

  26. My daughter is 4 and goes M-F 12:30-3. The staff are truly caring and I beleive they are really learning and not just playing. The lesson plans are carried through and my daughter has thrived since she has been there. It was her first time in a school setting and it is preparing her for Kdg. My only wish is it could be a bit longer but I can’t complain, they are awesome!

  27. Hi Cnunez:) I called at the end of Oct. to ask about enrollment and they told me they’d put me on a waiting list. But, we still haven’t gotten our 3.5 yr old in. I think your best bet will be to wait in line when they have their May enrollment? I guess that’s what we’re going to try. Good luck on the move over here!

  28. Hi! We’re PCSing to Okinawa in April and would like to enroll our 3.5 year in a preschool program, and this one seems to be a perfect fit for us. I noticed that the last post was added October 2008. Has anyone had a recent experience with this school? I am particularly interested in finding out about enrollment dates. Thank you in advance.

  29. Hey Cindy! Last week I contacted KUWAE and I was told my 3 year old could start the next day! I was so excited but then the director told me the only slot open was the 12:30 to 3pm, Tues. and Thurs. and I couldn’t do it because it conflicts with my oldest daughter’s school end time! But I asked to be put on the waiting list for the mornings, any idea on how long the wait will be? Thanks!!

  30. Shiloh,

    Since your daughter is currently enrolled, do you know whether there are any openings still for either the 2 day/or 3 day program? I too was not impressed w/ CDC from what I saw and decided not to enroll. I would like a program such as this so thought maybe you might know. Thank you!

  31. After having my son at the Wakaba CDC in the pre-enrichment program for a few months then having my daughter at Kuwae currently, it makes the CDC look so bad! I have my 4 year old daughter at Kuwae 2 mornings a week and not only do I love it, so does she. She actually wants to go every day! The curriculum is awesome, the teachers are fantastic, patient, and loving and I love that they have a Japanese teacher in each class. Each month they focus on different shapes, letters, and colors and already my daughter comes home singing songs about what’s red and round and different Japanese words and customs. I’ve sat in on a class one day and was extremely impressed with how the teachers work with them and teach them. Plus they have fun, too! I highly recommend Kuwae to anyone I meet! It has a brilliant 5 stars from me and my daughter! my only complaint/regret is that I didn’t have her in there sooner or have my son there instead of the CDC! Kuwae is a lot smaller than the CDC but I didn’t find the rooms to be cramped, rather cozy. The CDC has a “clinical” or hospital like feel to me but Kuwae just seems so broken in and comfy, like my favorite leather chair!

  32. One important piece of information about this preschool – your child has to be totally potty trained (no pull ups, etc.) to participate in the Kuwae Preschool Program. My husband enrolled my son prior to us arriving on the island and as soon as the director saw his pull-up, we had to look somewhere else. I was bummed because Kuwae followed the Creative Curriculum, which my son was used to in the States. On a positive note, we found the Cherry Blossom Preschool and have been thrilled with my son’s progress at the school. Plus, we had time to continue to work on potty-training while he was enrolled there. We’re really fortunate to have so many options for preschools on the island.

  33. i think i can solve the 2 yr old mystery . . . they have a 3 and 4 year old program, but use a cut off date of oct 31st (or something like that. so, a child that has not yet turned 3 can start the school year if they have a birthday coming up) . . . i think anyway . . .

    my son is in one of the 4 year old programs this year and we have been very impressed with our experience there. (just a note that they have 2,3, and 5 day programs for morning or afternoon). the staff is very professional and great about communicating by email. the school is certified by some american preschool association and is always working to maintain the standards layed out by that. they have excellent activities and are very deliberate about what they do. i almost cracked up when they explained the things they do for the children to “exercise their leadership skills”. precious.

    the school is small and the teacher/student ratio is 2 teachers for every 12 kids. i love the cultural aspect and how they got my son to start writing his name on all his projects. they also have some nice little routines like waiting with the group until they excuse you. they also sing all the time. the parking/drop off pick up situation can be difficult, but other than that, i would have to call it just about perfect . . . at least for us.

  34. When I visited Kuwae about 18 months ago to drop off fliers and also ask about available programs for my daughter, I was told that they did not have a program for 2-year-olds, and I had heard this from others as well…has their policy changed, or was I really misinformed?

    I ended up sending my daughter to All Souls’ preschool (which is already listed in the blog as an option) as a 2-year-old. It is English-speaking and has English teachers and some Japanese assistant teachers. Their 2-year-old program is advertised as a “mother’s day out” program, but I’ve found that they follow the same curriculum as the 3 and 4-year-olds and still learn letter names and sounds, shapes, colors, etc. They do have a few minutes more of free play time on the playground. Anyway, I am a certified teacher in the States and really wanted an age-appropriate “school” environment for my very verbal daughter, and I have not been disappointed in my experience at All Souls’; however, I’m sure there would be a lot of demand for a 2-year-old class at Kuwae!!

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