preschool institution with an educational approach traditionally based on playing

Kindergarten, literally meaning "children's garden", is the first stage in the move from home to formal education. Children learn through play. In most countries kindergarten is part of the pre-school system. In North America and some parts of Australia kindergarten is the first year of school. Kindergarten children are usually between three and seven years of age. Kindergarten ages vary from country to country. In Malaysia, for example, kindergarten children are six and when they are seven years old they go to primary school.

A kindergarten in Johor, Malaysia.

The name kindergarten was coined by Friedrich Fröbel (1782–1852). His work influenced early-years education around the world.

Sometimes, children go to pre-kindergarten for a year, before they go to kindergarten. Pre-kindergarten is more common in United States, Canada, and Turkey than other countries.