In Malaysia, kindergarten is a non-formal and flexible education programme for young children aged 4 to 6 years old. Children enroll into the programme at 4 or 5 years old, depending on parents' preference. Kindergartens in the country are either government funded or private-run.
Kindergarten classes conducted by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and other government agencies enable under-privileged children from lower income families the access to kindergarten education for free or at a minimal charge. Private kindergartens cater for children from high and middle-income families. The fees charged by these kindergartens vary and are largely determined by market standards.
All kindergartens have to abide by the curriculum guidelines set by the MOE, except for the International or Expatriate Schools that has their own syllabus. The aim of kindergarten education is to specifically develop children’s skills in the following aspects:
Focus on children’s interaction with the environment and the people in their surroundings, development of positive self-concept, discipline, social responsibilities, and positive attitudes towards learning.
Emphasize physical environment, the concepts of space, numbers, alphabets, and prerequisites for writing, reading and language competencies.
Focus on the physical activities that involve co-ordination of the various parts of the body such as the head, hand, leg, eye and fingers.
Train children to express themselves through their hand-made creations, drawings, music and movement.