This might be a bit premature since I've only been here a few months, but I've had a couple of emails from people asking me about Peppy Kids Club/iTTTi Japan, because there really isn't much information on the internet about the company. So, after I'd written a rather long email, I thought I might as well post the bulk of it on here too, to help anyone else who is looking. And I've done it in a Q&A style to make it more accessible. You're welcome :p
What kind of work is PKC?
It's teaching children at private after school classes. Personally, I'd much rather be playing games, doing crafts and singing stupid songs with kids than teaching stuffy businessmen grammar, but it's totally a personal preference. Think before you apply about whether you're happy to work with kids everyday. My youngest class are 3 and my oldest are 17, but the average is about 8-11. You'll be teaching Tuesday to Friday evenings, and during the day on Saturdays (usually). There will be anything up to 13 kids in a class, but most commonly there's about 8 students.
Where are you teaching?
With Peppy you're teaching at 3 or 4 separate locations, and you're (almost) always teaching independently. The classrooms are all just by themselves, taking up the space where a shop or apartment or something would usually be, rather than being in bigger schools. It's great because it means you have a lot of freedom, but I think it worries some people because you have complete responsibility for the kids.
Is it true the commuting is a pain?
Because you're at 3 or 4 different schools, and because they're all in random locations, you'll probably have to commute quite a long way for some of your schools. I only have 3 schools, and one is a 20 min bike ride away, one is about 90 minutes by foot/train/bus and the last one is almost 3 hours away (that is because the train line leading there was destroyed by the tsunami last year, and I am only teaching there for one more month until I get a closer school about 2 hours away). The commuting is a pain but it's not the end of the world. It's outside rush hour, and the company pays. It sucks getting home at 10/11pm, but you do usually only have to go work at 3pm.
What are the working hours like?
Peppy has really quite short working hours. The MOST I work in one week is 15 teaching hours, and the least is 6. I also have one week where I don't teach at all, and instead I have "office days" where you're supposed to plan classes (but there's never enough to do so it'd really studying/computer game playing/reading/whatever time!). Even if you included the commuting time as work time, I never work anything like a full time job. Obviously, like anyone working, there's quite a lot of time spent at work, but it's really not that much compared to most jobs!
What about days off?
As for days off/holiday, I was confused about this right up until halfway through training!! Most working weeks are Tuesday-Saturday, although depending on your schools it might be a little different. And then holiday-wise, you get a week off at the start of May for Golden Week, a week off in August for Obon, about 2 weeks over Christmas and New Year (this is when the 5 company holiday days are), as well as several 3/4day weekends, random days off, and 5 paid holiday days to be taken when you like. You can also take extra unpaid days off, as long as your supervisor agrees, and while I haven't tried to do this myself, the other people I've spoken to said it's usually pretty easy to do so long as you give enough notice. There's more time off than I thought there would be.
Can you survive/save on the money you're given?
You can easily save money if you want to. We think we could save at least 60,000yen a each a month, and I still feel that we're making the most out of opportunities and not stressing about money to be able to save that much. Maybe in the months when we have holiday time and we go away we won't be able to save that much, but personally I'd rather make the most out of being in Asia (we're going to Taiwan for week in May :D). Some teachers seem to really struggle on their paychecks. I honestly have no idea how though. Lots and lots of alcohol, crazy trips and too much shopping I guess. But Japan isn't that much more expensive than England, so unless you're stupid you can definitely save money. Oh, but be prepared to be broke when you first arrive, whatever company you go with: the exchange rate is crap, it'll be a while until your first paycheck, and there's a lot of starting up expenses, like buying a phone, a bike, setting up utilities etc.
Is it easy to meet people?
As for meeting people...it 100% depends where you get placed. We've found it hard to meet people, but our circumstances are a bit complex since we're in the area that was affected by last year's tsunami. So a lot of foreigners left after that and there's still a lot fewer than before. But we have met people, it just might take a little while. It depends on so many factors, but there are plenty of people to be met! I think I need to get better at being brave enough to just accost random people in the street! One of the things about Peppy that isn't so good is that because you're working alone with children, there aren't many adults to be met through work.
Are you pleased you work for PKC?/Are they a good company to work for?
Whilst we've had plenty of minor issues with Peppy, they are pretty good and helping you sort out problems/translate for you etc. They're not very forthcoming with help until you directly ask them about it, but then we've found them mostly pretty good. The work is pretty easy and the hours are fairly light. I don't feel like they are trying to screw us over.
BUT, having said that, if I have other options, I don't think I'll work for them for more than a year. Working in the evenings isn't ideal, and I'm not a massive fan of their curriculum. Our apartment locations completely sucks which is their fault, and they weren't great at being honest with us and treating us like adults when we first came.
BUT, I do think they're a good, easy and relatively stress-free way to come to Japan. A good starter company, I think.
I hope that information is helpful to anyone who is thinking of working for Peppy. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments and I'll do my best to answer. And if there's anyone who disagrees with me, then feel free to write that too. And if anyone from Peppy reads this, I hope I don't get fired!