A kindergarten (from German Kindergarten, literally "children's garden") is a preschool educational institution for children. The term was created by Friedrich Fröbel for the play and activity institute that he created in 1837 in Bad Blankenburg as a social experience for children for their transition from home to school. His goal was that children should be taken care of and nourished in "children's gardens" like plants in a garden.

The term kindergarten is used around the world to describe a variety of different institutions that have been developed for children ranging from the ages of two to seven, depending on the country concerned. Many of the activities developed by Fröbel are also used around the world under other names. Singing and growing plants have become an integral part of lifelong learning. Playing, activities, experience, and social interaction are now widely accepted as essential aspects of developing skills and knowledge.

In most countries, kindergartens are part of the preschool system of early childhood education.

In the United States and anglophone Canada, as well as in parts of Australia, such as New South Wales, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory, kindergarten is the word often restricted in use to describe the first year of education in a primary or elementary school. In some of these countries, it is compulsory; that is, parents must send children to their kindergarten year (generally, at age five by September 1 of the present school year). In other parts of Australia, the term 'preps' is used for compulsory pre-school, and kindergarten (or 'kinder') refers to regulated day-care for 3- and 4-year-old children.

In the United States, many states widely offer a free kindergarten year to children of five to six years of age, but do not make it compulsory, while other states require all five-year-olds to enroll. The terms preschool or less often, "Pre-K", (formerly, nursery school) are used to refer to a school for children who are not old enough to attend kindergarten. Also, some U.S. school districts provide a half day or full day kindergarten at the parents' election.

In British English, nursery or playgroup is the usual term for preschool education, and kindergarten is rarely used, except in the context of special approaches to education, such as Steiner-Waldorf education (the educational philosophy of which was founded by Rudolf Steiner).

Read more about Kindergarten:  Purpose, History

Other articles related to "kindergarten, kindergartens":

Kindergarten - In Different Countries - United States
... In the United States, kindergartens are usually part of the K-12 educational system ... Children usually attend kindergarten around age 5 to 6 ... Kindergarten is considered the first year of formal education, although the child may have gone to preschool or Pre-K (formerly nursery school) ...
St. Agnes Academy Of Legazpi City - Academics - Pre-Kindergarten
... the more didactic and academically intensive kindergarten, the traditional "first" class that school children participate in ... Pre-Kindergarten is not required ... it acts as a way to prepare children to better succeed in the kindergarten ...
Lycée Français De Chicago - Curriculum
... correspond to those in the American school system pre-kindergarten, junior kindergarten and kindergarten, elementary school (1st through 5th grades), middle school (6 through 9th grades ... from pre-K through 5th grade is divided into cycles cycle 1 (pre-kindergarten, junior kindergarten and kindergarten), cycle 2 (1st and 2nd grade) and cycle 3 (3rd through 5th grade) ...
St. Agnes Academy Of Legazpi City - Academics - Kindergarten
... It refers to the form of education for young children which serves as a transition from home to the commencement of more formal schooling (which is either Pre-School or Grade 1, depending on the student's level) ... Children are taught to develop basic skills through creative play and social interaction ...
Coleville School District No. 3645 - Kindergarten
... Kindergarten was introduced to the Coleville area in 1960 ... For a tuition cost of $4 per month, kindergarten classes were held for 100 half-days (900AM to 1130AM) ... Kindergarten was established and initially taught by Vivian Close, and classes were held in a small storage room in the basement of the brick school ...

Famous quotes containing the word kindergarten:

    Taking men into the union is just the kindergarten of their education and every force is against their further education. Men who live up those lonely creeks have only the mine owners’ Y.M.C.As, the mine owners’ preachers and teachers, the mine owners’ doctors and newspapers to look to for their ideas. So they don’t get many.
    Mother Jones (1830–1930)

    Life begins at six—at least in the minds of six-year-olds. . . . In kindergarten you are the baby. In first grade you put down the baby. . . . Every first grader knows in some osmotic way that this is real life. . . . First grade is the first step on the way to a place in the grown-up world.
    Stella Chess (20th century)

    While waiting to get married, several forms of employment were acceptable. Teaching kindergarten was for those girls who stayed in school four years. The rest were secretaries, typists, file clerks, or receptionists in insurance firms or banks, preferably those owned or run by the family, but respectable enough if the boss was an upstanding Christian member of the community.
    Barbara Howar (b. 1934)