Day Cares and Kindergartens in Korea

Category : Family/Pets / Education/Teaching
Nov 28, 2014

Day Cares and Kindergartens in Korea


For parents with children aged between two and seven, there are numerous day care options to choose from. For very young children there are plenty of nanny and baby-sitting services, and for the slightly older ones there are kindergartens and academies (hagwon /학원). The very earliest age that most pre-school programs begin accepting applicants is from 18-20 months old. But whether you are planning for the future or requiring daycare for your child ASAP, there are lots of options to consider!


Pre-school Programs at International Schools

Many of the international schools provide pre-school programs. These are extremely costly but they are designed as feeder courses, building toward the international elementary programs. With these, parents can be assured that their child is being taught by qualified pre-school teachers. Some of these provide the IB (International Baccalaureate) course for young learners.

Please see more information in the article about International Schools in Korea.


Private International Pre-schools/Kindergartens

There are also pre-schools that have no affiliation to international school programs. They are usually found in communities with lots of expats and solely provide pre-school education. These schools are considered the most exclusive in Seoul and prices are high. Application and registration fees apply to all, and parents can decide whether they want to pay for full day or half day programs. Proportionally, the price for half day is only slightly more than for full day.


à Note

  1. If you choose to switch from half day to full day (or vice versa), a prorated fee may be charged.
  2. Some kindergartens have 10 month curriculums with a long vacation or a summer school option (for an additional cost), while others offer 12 month long programs. Most schools accept children throughout the year.


Here are some of the most renowned pre-school/kindergarten centers:


School Names

Website URL /Email



Program Ages

Average Tuition (KRW)

Based on 10 month tuition

ELCL International Kindergarten





Yongsan-gu, Seoul

2 1/2 years-

6 years

17,200,000 to 20,750,000

(differs depending on age)

British International Kindergarten (BIK)




Yongsan-gu, Seoul

2 years- 7 years



Franciscan School

Website /



Yongsan-gu, Seoul

2 years- 5 years



Namsan International Kindergarten (NIK)

** closed for 2012-2013

Website /


Jung-gu, Seoul

2 years- 5 years


Rainbow International Kindergarten (RIS)



Gangnam-gu, Seoul

3 years- 6 years


Kids of the Nations International School (KONIS)

**This school uses the Montessori Curriculum



Jongno-gu, Seoul

2 years- 6 years

11,600,000 to 12,600,000 (differs depending on age)

Puren Centennial Christian School





Yongin, Gyeonggi-do

2 years – 7 years

8, 640,000


Registration Process

Admission for most international kindergartens is based first on an age requirement. Kindergarteners are so young therefore it is not necessary to provide details of whether they have lived abroad for three years or more, which is usually required at older levels in the international school system. Most schools require proof of parents’ nationalities even when they accept Korean nationals. English level ability is an admittance factor.


Korean Kindergartens

If your child is suitably acclimated to spoken Korean, or you would like them to be schooled through the Korean education system, sending them to Korean kindergartens is a good plan. The language of instruction for these is solely Korean, though some schools will bring in English teachers occasionally to give classes. These lessons usually focus on English songs, nursery rhymes, and the alphabet. A down-side of signing up to Korean kindergartens is that the teachers there will sometimes speak very little English, making it difficult to get enrolled if you can’t speak much Korean yourself. Keep in mind, the majority of these schools operate a policy whereby parents pay a set fee, regardless of how long the child their child is at the school each day.

Check the Korean Kindergarten Association website for a listing (Korean only).


Bilingual Kindergartens

There are also pre-schools that have lessons in both English and Korean. So kids will learn core subjects like science, math, P.E etc in a both languages. Introducing English to children starting from a very young age is the goal here. The resources (textbooks, audio, practical equipment) are usually excellent in these schools as fees are not cheap. The Korean teachers here generally have a good grasp of English.


There are some large franchises with kindergarten programs:

  1. Sogang Univeristy SLP –a hagwon for all ages including kindergarten.
  2. Language Club International (LCI) – a hagwon for young learners.
  3. Canada International School (CIS) – a hagwon for young learners.


Pick-up/Bus services

The vast majority of Korean kindergartens and international pre-schools provide parents with the option to either bring their kids to school or have them picked up. For the international kindergartens, who serve a larger catchment area, bus fees can be high, as much as 3.8 million KRW annually. You are able to choose whether you opt for one way or round trip, though.


Finding a babysitter in Korea

There are plenty of ways to find a baby-sitter in Korea. Websites such as Great Au Pair allow you to place advertisements, state your preferences and review au pairs before making a decision on who to interview. Also check Nanny Job.


It is also possible to find nannies through Idolbom, a government program to aid parents in finding sitters for their children. It should be noted that Idolbom is a Korean scheme, and as such, can be difficult for expats to negotiate in languages other than Korean.



The YMCA offer care centers for children which are paid for by the hour. These centers cater to children from 20-months to eight years old. They also offer babysitters. The YMCA website is in Korean only.




Tags : Education. Lifestyle. Family.