Cram School Teaching Under 6 yo Loophole?

Good evening Formosa.

I remember often hearing people say teaching students younger than 6 is “illegal.”
However, the cram school I’ve been working at for the past 5 years has a lot of 4-6 year olds in that early afternoon slot. A lot. Never had any issues.

I’m now in the process of opening my own cram school. I would like to continue teaching that age group, as I wouldn’t want to miss out on customers for a rule that (doesnt seem to) be enforced …

My question is, does anyone have experience with this? Is there a loophole? Perhaps the enrollment form has a little “must be at least 6 years old to enroll” box to keep me covered? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

No matter what Taiwanese people try to tell you about loopholes and how their school is legal, don’t believe them, there is no such thing. Kindergartens continue to teach English to children under 6 because the government doesn’t care much, when they do care they are easily paid off, and even if you can’t pay them off they give warnings after warnings before anything actually happens and they always manage to snake their way out of getting shut down.

The common excuse is that it’s legal because it’s not all English, and the weekly 2 hour English class is the same as the 2 hour arts class where a teacher comes in from outside. It’s still not allowed though.

Kindy doesn’t equal cram school. As long as they aren’t eating or sleeping there it’s fine.


If you plan on poaching students from your previous school, I wouldn’t go after the clearly illegal ones. The first person to report you will be your former boss or a parent who is friends with said boss and can’t switch out their kids to your new place. Keep it on the up and up for a while.

Nope. You can’t teach kindy age kids at a cram school regardless of whether or not they sleep there. Completely illegal. Whether the government cares is a whole other issue.

I also seem to recall no textbooks or other types of formal academic teaching materials. Otherwise, cram schools are fine to teach very young learners.

This is not true. To teach kindy age kids you need a kindergarten license, and if I recall correctly a cram school cannot also get a kindergarten license on the side, at least not on the same floor and registered to the same business officially.

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I was pretty sure the conclusion last time was “no explicit English instruction”, which means song, dance, and art are actually ok. They don’t want handwriting and textbooks. Imagine that!? You shouldn’t force a child under the age of 6 to write things on paper when their hand isn’t physically prepared to hold a pencil!

Kids are all different. I have a 4-year-old that prints more beautifully than I can.

Well there’s always the exception. As Maria Montessori said, “Follow the child”. I’d say most child psychologists have made it quite clear that while some littles can read and write and that’s fine and it should certainly not be stopped if it happens organically/pencils and papers should be made available to them for spontaneous creation of written work, no real effective and child-centered preschool program should be requiring kids to write full sentences, which is what the English kindies tend to do here. I have quite a few first graders from those schools. Their English reading and writing is fantastic (often above the expectation for a native-speaking child). But they don’t have souls. And they’re only six.

Definitely. Most Jong Ban and lower kids basically chicken scratch.

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I’ve been teaching kids as young as 3 for many years with absolutely no problem. When I began to research what kind of school I should start, kindy or buxiban, I was told explicitly that I should start a buxiban. This came from the clerk at the MOE, in person. My advice is to call them yourself.

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