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Choosing a Kindergarten

  1. #1
    stephchoy is offline Registered User
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    Choosing a Kindergarten

    Has this topic been already talked to death?

    But for me, it's the current headache in the last few months as my daughter is 22 mth old and she's due to enter K1 end of next year. Application/Interviews start around now. My main criteria are decent environment, good teachers and convenient location. I'd also really like for my child to learn Cantonese as husband is Brit and I'm somewhat of a "gwei-po" myself having spent time abroad. Also, I'm on a budget too...so I'm staying away from really expensive international schools. Something from around $2000 - $3000 including all the food, textbooks, transportation expenses is OK.

    We live in Olympic City but aren't so keen on the kindergartens in the Mongkok, Yaumatei, TST areas. I've looked and applied for some schools in the Kowloon Tong area and will interview with them. But my concern is that baby will still have to take a school bus for at least 30-45 minutes and they are also not always within walking distance from the MTR in case we have to rush to pick up the child in a typhoon or other emergency. Anyway, did anybody else have similar considerations when choosing a kindergarten for their child?

    And what do you think about the following schools?

    York English Kindergarten (Kowloon Tong)
    Canaan Kindergarten (Kowloon Tong)
    St. Nicholas (Kowloon Tong)
    Learning Habitat (Olympic City-but they have had other branches in Tsing Yi & Hunghom)

    Also, is it SO important for them to get into a well known kindergarten to get into the right primary school, to get into the perfect secondary school, to enter an IVY League university, to get a six-figure job when they graduate.....to become a major success in life?????

    Love to hear any advice or experiences anyone has had!

  2. #2
    lynn cheung is offline Registered User
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    I started doing some "research" for my 12 months. I'd like some info about this, too, since I just moved to Hong Kong 2 years ago.
    I'd like to send my son to International Christian School (Fo Tan) but they'll consider my application only on Feb 2007, for Aug 2007 intake (my son'll be 3 years and 10 1/2 months!). Fee: K1 (1/2 day)$38,000.
    Christian Alliance PC Lau Memorial Intl Sch (Kowloon City), K (1/2 day) $24,000.
    Starters Schools (Wan Chai&Causeway Bay), around $30,500.
    Earlybirds Community Playgroup (HKPPA) (Tai Po), around $30,000-$36,000.
    So far, these are the ones I'd like to consider.
    But I agree with you that a lot of schools are just tooooo far from MTR station. And since I live in Tsuen Wan, they are absolutely very faaaaaaaaaaar.
    Please tell me how it goes for you. My email: [email protected]. Thanks.

  3. #3
    ggrizzy is offline Registered User
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    i heard that the ymca kindergarten in tst is not that bad! however the school fees are a bit pricey for me so i chose to let my son attend the sunnyside kindergarten on jordan rd/nathan rd. it's 2100/month but eng only kindergarten

    some other parents also told me that the baptist kindergarten in kowloon tong is good so you may want to call them and find out...

  4. #4
    stephchoy is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for the input. Yes, heard of both those schools. YMCA is rather expensive and I did call Baptist and again they are also eng only. We got Canaan for an 'interview' this Saturday. That's something else the baffled me. Is it just the capitalist system in Hong Kong of survival of the fittest, only the smart kids get accepted to go to kindergarten? Or is there a good reason for this? Any other countries have this practice? My mother-in-law from the UK was appalled to hear that her 2 year old grand-daughter would have to go through such a process.

  5. #5
    Sandrine is offline Registered User
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    I guess it's the norm here and it seems to me that some kindergartens just love the process...parents line up for forms, for interview...and the child needs to pass an interview to get accepted. If they don't get accepted, the parents might write a letter attaching some reference letters, a portfolio of the child, etc. to beg a place. It happens, especially in some very popular kindergartens.

    I read it in another forum that some parent arrived at 6:30am for an application form and she was already no. 60 in the line. That was only a Poleungkuk kindergarten and as the forms would only be available from 9:00am-12noon on a specified date, parents line up early. Another popular kindergarten in Kowloon Tong has 35 classes in the morning and another 35 classes in the afternoon, totalling 70 classes a day. Yet interviews are scheduled on 2 mornings and parents have to wait on average 1-2 hours for the interview. Isn't it ridiculous?

  6. #6
    lynn cheung is offline Registered User
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    Yes. I don't know that it will be like this. If homeschooling is legal here, I might just consider it,
    Stephchoy, could you tell me how it goes?
    Is Canaan good?
    I'd like to send my boy to a christian school. But some schools here are just too pricey. Do you have any ideas of where to send your child after kindergarten?

  7. #7
    Helen is offline Registered User
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    Check out http://www.classmateasia.com for a list of kindegarten. I sent my son to Victoria International Kindegarten in Causeway Bay - however I think they have some schools in Kowloon. They provided him with an integrated billingual programme, with both an English and Chinese teacher. The cost was around HK$3000/month. He had a lot of fun in school, but also came out learning some Chinese words as well as mastering English phonics - all before the age of 4! His teachers were caring and enthusiastic. Do check out the school.

  8. #8
    scr
    scr is offline Registered User
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    I'm not too sure about other schools but when I put my son in school they scheduled an interview too. But it was nothing more than just making sure that the child has no obvious learning difficulties. I was the only parent being interviewed..or rather it was just a meeting with the principal. She said it doesn't even matter if the child speaks no english before coming to school. As long as she can see that mother and child can communicate without any problems a place will be offered in the school.

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