This paper aims to explore the topic of facilitating children’s development in a Japanese day-care centre (hoikuen). The research is based on a case study with participant observation in the daycare facility Minami Ōsawa Nursery School in Tōkyō. After a short overview on preschool education in Japan and an introduction to Minami Ōsawa Nursery School, the three main topics of child development around the age of five years-cognitive, social-emotional and motor development- will be further explored. These three areas will be defined more precisely in the context of the selfproclaimed aims and daily routine of the hoikuen team. Furthermore the importance of a child’s autonomy is addressed.