Pre-Primary Education

Find out about the early years schooling in the South Korean educational system…

There are a number of pre-primary options for children between three and five years old. As of March 2012, it is compulsory for children in South Korea to go to school from five years old; previously, it was six years old. Compulsory pre-primary education may soon be extended to children who are three and four years old as well.

Nu Ri Gua Jung programme

This compulsory pre-primary education programme prepares children from the age of five for primary school. Parents must contact pre-primary schools directly to enrol their children.

Nursery schools

Public nursery schools (Byung Sul Yoo Chi Won) are run by the government and enrolment is very competitive as fees are cheaper and standards are high.

There are also a number of English-speaking nursery schools (Yeong Eau Yoo Chi Won), which are also popular with Korean parents who wish to focus on early English education for their children. These nursery schools employ native English-speaking teachers along with Korean-speaking teachers. Fees are usually higher than for other nursery schools.

Private educational play schools (Nol E Hak Gyo) are private schools aimed at children from the age of two to five. Education focuses on learning through play and experience, using European and international methods. Fees are high compared with other pre-primary schools. These schools are not part of the government's Nu Ri Gua Jung programme, or its compulsory education for five-year-old children.