Building a School, Building Community

It has been months — nearly five very busy months — since our last blog post, when we shared with everyone our official child care center-opening in What a Blessing!, back in July 2016. Being a new school in the child care marketplace in East Honolulu has been eye-opening. While we have worked to become better known to families through very grassroots (Read: “practically no advertising budget” 😉 ) methods, the most humbling and gratifying discovery has been the consistent power of word-of-mouth advertising, of staff, parents, colleagues, friends and family inviting parents to see Kid’s☆garden Kahala as a place for young children to begin their educational journeys. Through this dynamic process we have also continued to listen to parents, to ask about and hear their wishes and wants about child care settings, curricula, and affordability, even outside of Kid’s☆garden Kahala. To this end, as a result of listening to what our community needs, we have made the choice to expand our programming to serve as many families as we can, in ways that meet scheduling, toddler-to-preschooler transition, and financial needs, while still maintaining a mindful, purposeful, high-standard approach to early learning.

Programs offered year-round are:

  • Full-time [7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.]
  • {NEW!} Full-time Extended Day [7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.]
  • {NEW!} Part-time Monday/Wednesday Friday [MWF 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.]
  • {NEW!} Part-time Tuesday/Thursday [T Th 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.]

Please see our Enrollment Forms page for the most updated Fee Schedule for the 2016-2017 school year, or to download an application.

Seasonal Programming (i.e. Fall Break, Winter Break, Spring Break & Summer Break weeklong Camps) has varying dates and times to scheduling. Check our Seasonal Programming/Camps page regularly for announcements, Camp details, and to download active Registration forms.


What A Blessing!

On Saturday, July 9, 2016, Kid’s☆garden Kahala welcomed the last important piece of creating a new & successful business in Hawai’i: Having the building and property traditionally blessed, before symbolically entering,  with the gestures and sounds of the Hawaiian language and culture, done by a respected community Kahu or   “…Honored…pastor, minister, reverend, or preacher of a church.” (Ulukau, Hawaiian Electronic Library) KGKP was fortunate to be able to receive the support and service of renowned Kahu Wendell Davis, former Chaplain for Kamehameha Schools Hawai’i (Big Island) and currently Chaplain at Mid-Pacific Institute in Mãnoa. With attention to the history and use of the land and building at 1339 Hunakai St. and the knowledge of the educational intentions of Yumi & Kenjiro Ide, our school’s owners; Malia Lagaso, our school’s Center Director; and the whole staff of Kid’s☆garden Kahala, Kahu Wendell “opened” our doors for the purpose of offering families and children in East Honolulu a wonderful new setting for early learning. We were cheered by the joyous audience of visiting Kid’s☆garden families from Chiba, Japan, our own families and friends, and many local community supporters, with whom we celebrated at a small reception afterwards.

We are truly thrilled and excited about the future!

Some highlights from the Blessing & reception (click on photos to enlarge):

Island to Island

Island countries and states abound throughout the world. As diverse as Madagascar is from the Outer Hebrides, as Iceland is from Sri Lanka, as Mindanao is from Tahiti, anyone who has grown-up on an island, large or small, can tell you it sets a person apart literally and figuratively. Growing up surrounded by ocean, on volcanic rock, can create a way of life that affects your way of being. It can make people who meet from vastly different island backgrounds find commonality in ways of culture and community, yet also make them curious about the differences of “home.”

Hailing from Chiba Prefecture on the island of Japan, our school founder, Kenjiro Ide, has shared how years ago he discovered great affection for the island of O’ahu, Hawai’i, when traveling here often with family. Its unique filter of urban, suburban and rural lifestyles, framed within indigenous Hawaiian culture and the peoples, cultures and events in Hawai’i’s history, creates an American culture both reflective of the country and yet unique to this island place. With its own incredibly rich cultural past, Chiba can also present landscapes and lifestyles reflecting the diversity, change and traditions of the larger culture, just in one part of the country. So much to find in common, so many differences to unearth.

We see the bridge between Chiba, Japan, and Honolulu, Hawai’i through our Kid’s☆garden centers, a bridge we have the wonderful opportunity to pave for young children and families alike through early childhood education.

Planting, as an Act of Sharing

He that plants trees, loves others beside himself.  ∞∞ Thomas Fuller, British historian  ∞∞

Planting seeds with children, creating a seedling or starting a garden, is a tried and true project for an early childhood setting. It gives kids who may be curious about nature  a wealth of opportunities to learn about everything from the social/emotional aspect (working with a teacher, caring for a living thing) to the the scientific (discovering elements necessary for a plant to grow, or why tiny seeds can grow into both wispy herbs and towering trees). In the act of planting itself, and in the resulting sprout, seedling, thriving plant, there is always sharing — of time, knowledge, care, food, a gift, even timeless beauty, shade or shelter that may not be experienced for years. When we show a child how to plant, how to garden, we are encouraging them to become people who care, and who care about and for things beside themselves.

Images from our Sister Schools in Japan:


Exploring the World Around Us: The Need for Nature

Living in a tropical climate, folks in Hawai’i know the importance of shelter, of shade, of the luxury of air conditioning in a building. It can be easy to think, How lucky for kids to be inside as much as possible, to stay out of the heat! Yet one of the downfalls of settings centered around the belief that learning happens mostly inside a classroom, is ignoring the importance of being outdoors, of nature, in the lives of young children. To feel the wind, lightly moving or gusting in bellows of air; or to breathe-in and smell the distinct air of damp Monkeypod trees, grass, asphalt, on a group-walk through a Kahala neighborhood, can bring children into the present moment. Offering that moment can encourage them to want to put a hand up or out, to feel the wind blow or rustle a handful of wet leaves on a shrub; the moment can spark a question about where wind comes from, can reveal the joyful surprise of beetles scurrying down branches whose leaves have been rustled, can make a young mind suddenly awaken to itself as DISCOVERER.

Central to the philosophy and approach of all Kid’s☆garden child care centers, here in Kahala and in Chiba, Japan, is the belief in the importance of nature in the life of young children. During our school year, we will have many, many opportunities to offer nature-centric and nature-immersive hands-on experiences to our kids.

More to Know:


From the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC): Connecting Young Children with Nature

Why Kid’s☆garden Kahala Preschool ?

Our Philosophy

At Kid’s☆garden Kahala Preschool we believe children learn, grow and thrive when presented opportunities for hands-on, interactive, exploratory experiences in a high-quality, child-centered environment that includes the outdoors. We envision our spaces and programs to foster these experiences because we believe:

  • that being in and around nature – plants, gardens, parks and neighborhoods – fosters children’s awareness and respect of their surroundings and the people within them
  • that encouraging children to be mindful of themselves, to act out of kindness and positivity, leads to becoming a more empathetic human being
  • that learning about our cultures, our islands, and the Earth leads to knowledge, caring and action towards stewardship of our planet

In everything we do at Kid’s☆garden Kahala Preschool – from teaching the children how to grow a garden, to supporting curiosity about the path of how our food gets to our tables, to connecting to the wider world through music and the arts – we seek purposeful opportunities for wonder and discovery.

Our Mission

We provide a nurturing environment for young children that engages them intellectually, emotionally, and physically, inspiring them to become engaged lifelong learners who are compassionate towards people and the world around them.