Education / Childcare
We recommend you ask someone who understands Japanese to accompany you when enrolling for childcare facilities and schools.
In Japan children must attend nine years of compulsory education: six years of elementary school and three years of middle school. Children begin elementary after turning six years old. The school year begins in April and ends in March.
Support for Foreign Children
SenTIA(Sendai Tourism, Convention and International Association) provides various information on their website for parents/guardians having foreign nationality.
Elementary & Middle School
If you wish to send your child to a public elementary or middle school, you must register with the Sendai-shi Kyoiku Iinkai Gakujika (Sendai City Board of Education, Educational Affairs Division). Which school your child will attend depends on where you live. There are no tuition fees, but you will be billed for school lunches and educational materials.
Information on Nearby Elementary Schools
Those living in Tohoku University International House or the Sanjo dormitory for university employees usually send their children to Sendai Kunimi Elementary School.This school offers an international class where foreign children can take Japanese language and supplementary classes.
Sendai Hachiman Elementary School offers Japanese classes for children whose native language is not Japanese.
The city's public middle schools sometimes have volunteers and support staff available to assist students whose native language is not Japanese. Please inquire directly with the relevant school for details.
Schools Providing Education in English (Private)
Tohoku International School
Although this is a private school and is not part of the Japanese educational system, it is accredited by WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges). Its graduates are qualified for entering universities in Japan and around the world. Children of Tohoku University employees may be eligible for a tuition waiver.(*Children of Tohoku University students are not eligible for the waiver.) Please inquire for details.
Financial support for foreign Tohoku University staff with children (Human Resources and Planning Department website) (Japanese only)
Sendai has childcare facilities for families with young children in which both parents work. There are both public and private facilities.
Parents/guardians wishing to use a childcare facility
Parents/guardians wishing to use a childcare facility must obtain usage authorization (authorization to receive support) based on their employment status. There are separate procedures for enrolling in kindergarten and daycare. An "Application guide for childcare facilities and services" (in English, Korean and Chinese) is available at the Home Health Section of each ward office.
See the Sendai City website for details: "Now Taking Applications for Sendai City Childcare Facilities and Services for April 2020" and "Application for Center for Early Childhood Education and Care (Kindergartens Only) and Kindergarten"
We recommend looking at the following websites for general information before applying to use the childcare system.