This article is an anthropological analysis of the recent policy reforms of the Japanese preschool system. It takes the introduction of the nintei-kodomoen ('accredited children's centre') as a point of entry to discuss the historical, social and political debates concerning early childhood education and care. The 'dual system' which characterized the post-war Japanese preschool system is undergoing change. The falling birth rate and the increasing number of women choosing to continue their careers after childbirth are bringing changes to the values of motherhood and childhood. The reforms taking place in the preschool system - which are accelerated by the political process of liberalization - both reflect and affect these changes.
To cite this article
YUKI IMOTO (2007) The Japanese Preschool System in Transition, Research in Comparative and International Education, 2(2), 88-101. http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/rcie.2007.2.2.88