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Kinder Kids International School Reviews

Updated 29 January 2018
32 reviews

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3.8
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Kimiko Nakayama
11 Ratings

32 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Great place to work with room for improvement"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher, Kindergarten in Tokyo (Japan)
    Former Employee - Teacher, Kindergarten in Tokyo (Japan)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Kinder Kids International School full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    This was a fun and tremendously rewarding experience. I will never forget the four the years I spent teaching with Kinder Kids. But be warned -- you will work, and you will be tired. This is not a job for someone who wants an easy English teaching gig. If you are truly passionate about it and put forth your best effort, keep a positive attitude and are willing to adapt to change, you'll have a great time and love what you do. And if you're not? Abandon hope all ye who enter.

    The management in the company works incredibly hard to support and provide resources to teachers. They want you to succeed. Many of my fellow teachers had been with Kinder Kids for nearly a decade when I started. It was amazing how passionate and hard-working everyone was. Nowhere else I worked in Japan had quite the atmosphere of enthusiasm and creativity.

    Cons

    Not so much a criticism as an observation -- Many of the Japanese staff complain that they are working harder than the native staff, and for less money (which is in some cases very true). Obviously, there's a lot more to it than arbitrary income disparity, but it doesn't seem like the issue is being addressed in a way that seeks to appease those most affected. When half of the employees feel that they're being under-compensated without any avenues for voicing their opinions other than staff-room chit-chat, negativity ensues and begins to spread.

    One more thing to note is that the staff assigned to your school at the beginning of any given school-year will greatly determine whether your Kinder Kids experience is a positive or negative one. You might have a group with wonderful camaraderie and enthusiasm, who support each other and want the best for the team, in which case you'll have an amazing time. You might, however, get something far less desirable, and you'll be stuck with it for at least a year. I wish there was a way to change this, but it's probably just the nature of the beast. Same goes for your teaching partner. I had the good fortune to partner with some funny and talented people during my time, but a bad match can be miserable.

    Advice to Management

    If I really must pick something, emphasize improving what you have over expanding and opening new schools. It seems like more could be done to improve the quality of schools and well-being of teachers before developing beachfront property. Kindergartens don't need swimming pools, but they do need happy people working in them. Maybe that's not the best business model, but then education isn't all about business.


  2. "Loved my students, Head Office can be disappointing sometimes"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Native English Teacher in Ibaraki (Japan)
    Former Employee - Native English Teacher in Ibaraki (Japan)
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Kinder Kids International School full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The kids are amazing
    Most co-workers are fun
    Time outside
    Ability to create

    Cons

    Lack of follow-through
    Lack of consistency

    Advice to Management

    Make sure all teachers are on the same page, stop bribing for reviews. I completed 4 contracts successfully, never got the letter of recommendation I was promised.


  3. "good experience, sometimes very demanding, but worth it!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Nursery Teacher in Tokyo (Japan)
    Current Employee - Nursery Teacher in Tokyo (Japan)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Kinder Kids International School full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -the children!
    -co-workers and management
    -you are always busy (i like being busy!)
    -well organized curriculum
    -very supportive environment

    Cons

    -not enough prep time
    -some school buildings look old/not enough space for kids
    -old toys
    -work/life balance can be challenging
    -company seemed to be focussed on how to make more money although at some point the managers should think about investing more in the kid's wellbeing (more/new toys, better playgrounds outside)
    -too many rules (if you compare it to other preschools)


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Great employee benefits and a good curriculum"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Full-Time Teacher in Sakai, Osaka (Japan)
    Former Employee - Full-Time Teacher in Sakai, Osaka (Japan)
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Kinder Kids International School full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Good salary
    - Generous amount of annual leave
    - Great kids
    - Good amount of freedom around activity planning and structure
    - Freedom to be creative with kids

    Cons

    - Different schools operate differently and have different standards and ways of doing things which can create issues if you are covering or are transferred to another school.
    - I observed some bullying.
    - Overtime hours, especially around events can be demanding.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Day Care Assistants"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    I worked at Kinder Kids International School part-time

    Pros

    It's been wonderful when you get a second chance, then full support, help and insights are provided. Always!

    Cons

    The schedule is quite tough and partners are changed often. Different school has different rules. You need to adjust yourself to it as quick as possible.

    Advice to Management

    Keep making improvement :)


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Daycare Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Kinder Kids International School part-time

    Pros

    Paid transportation, you don't have to be a native English speaker as a part time worker.

    Cons

    Lack of staff, can be very busy.

    Advice to Management

    Hire more regular workers / part timers (not only cover teachers).


  8. Helpful (1)

    "A bit depressing."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Kinder Kids International School full-time

    Pros

    Easy to take time off.
    Great kids
    Many Locations
    Easy to get hired
    It did feel nice to be in a big company. Kind of a secured feeling.

    Cons

    This job will take over your life. Being a substitute teacher was kind of awful. They would send us to schools that would maybe be a two hour commute from my apartment. Doesn't matter how far away you are, if you are scheduled then you gotta go. You never really got a chance to connect with any of the kids because you'd be shipped from one school to the next. The kids would sometimes recognize you, but at best you'd be looked at as a "playmate". In my experience as a substitute teacher, you never actually get to "teach" a class. I would be scheduled as the class teacher, but usually the partner teacher would take over. Honestly it felt like I was disposable. Just a stand in play partner for the kids and someone to mop the floor.

    The management wasn't horrible but I was frustrated with them. There would be major lack of communication from them when I needed to ask something. Also to note, sometimes there would be holiday events for the staff. All of the class teachers would get invitations to them via email, yet us substitute teachers were "somehow" left out of those mass email invites. Like I said in my earlier notes, I felt very disposable.

    Also to note, the job takes over your life. Our shifts are supposed to be from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm. Yet I would see teachers stay after hours to create lesson plans. They would stay at the school (with unpaid overtime) to work on lesson plans they had no time to work on during the day. I met a teacher that came in on his day off to work on his lessons because he was tired of coming back home so late during the week. Everyone is in a constant rush during the school. You have to be because your working with babies and young children. But by the end of the day, you just want to pass out. Thats what the life is. Wake up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, sleep. That was the routine for most of the employees at the company.

    It wasn't a horrible job. It was just exhausting and for me personally, a bit depressing.

    Advice to Management

    Please give teachers more time for prep.
    Please try to remember that the substitute teachers are employees too. We are not any less than the class teachers.
    Please work on communication.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Best Job I've had in Japan"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Kinder Kids International School full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Above average salary, lively workplace, a highly detailed and developed in-house curriculum that continues to evolve and improve, awesome co-workers & social opportunities, comprehensive training and support for new teachers.

    Cons

    Not recommended for those looking for an easy job to fund their Japan experience. Engaging with and teaching children can be hard work - be prepared to put in the work and you will reap the benefits, don't be prepared and you might not enjoy yourself or the work so much. Don't expect to come in and change the game year one - even with a qualification and experience you should earn your stripes by proving you can follow and meet expectations.

    Advice to Management

    As the company continues to grow, maintain the humanity in management. In my opinion it has been this trait that has helped the company to the success it has thus far had.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Average Wages, Fewer Work Hours/ Days and Higher Expectations"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Part Time Teacher
    Current Employee - Part Time Teacher
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Kinder Kids International School part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    A new teacher with no experience would get exposed to a better than average curriculum.

    Cons

    The volume of work asked of the students exceeds the time allotted, so there is often a lack of time to finish all the activities in a way which produces deep learning. There is also a lack of time to finish non-teaching responsibilities within the time allowed.

    The wages are average, in fact, I earn the same amount as I did nine years ago at any average part time English teaching position. The biggest drawback of working here is an unusually high number of unpaid holidays compared to most employers in this industry.

    Advice to Management

    Walk the walk. Positioning yourselves as a top school should come with the reality and commitment to deliver it. Your expectations for your students and employees exceeds your willingness to deliver appropriate resources from your end to achieve said expectations.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - English Teacher
    Current Employee - English Teacher
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Kinder Kids International School full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Comprehensive training, upper management encourages feedback and idea sharing about curriculum and policies, performance reviews are helpful, sufficient days off and sick days per year, the pay is fine/slightly better than average

    Cons

    You may get sick a lot in the first year, behavior management techniques seem straightforward but they take practice (the kids can be crazy at times), as a cover teacher you have to travel a lot and your schedule is unpredictable

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work. I feet supported and respected as an employee. I heard some bad rumors from a female employee about the owner of the company. Not sure if they are true, but it might be something to try and mitigate.


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