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Too early?

  1. #1
    T.S
    T.S is offline Registered User
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    Too early?

    I have a 6mth old baby born in Dec. My hubby is really worried because kindergartens will not accept children until they are 3 yrs old that means my son will have to start K1 late (3 yrs 8mths). He wants me to start sending applications now! Is it too early to do so? Are there any schools which will accept children who are younger than 3 years?

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    there are some pre-nurseries out there that accept from 2 yrs+. personally, i would NEVER have wanted my kids to go to school that early. my daughter and my son were both 3 yr 8m when they started kindergarten and both settled in really well.

    why does your husband want your kids to go to school so early?

  3. #3
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    Many schools take children born in a particular calendar year. I'm pretty sure that's how ESF for one works. So your son, since he is born in December, would be the youngest in his class and he would start K1 at 2 years 8 months or so. You'd have to check the policies at each individual school though, but I do know that many DO use the calendar year...

  4. #4
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    yes, afaik most if not all use the calendar year.... BUT children need to be a certain age by september.... my kids, born in february missed the cut off by 5 weeks. that meant that they had to wait until they were 3 yr8 months, when they could have started if they'd been 2 yr 7m (if memory serves)....

    so, my son born in 2005 (feb) started K1 in sept 2008. and my daughter born in feb 2007 had to start K1 in sept 2010.

    if my kids had been born at the end of dec, then they would have started a year earlier.

  5. #5
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    For the kindergartens I applied to they don't even start putting out applications until your child is roughly 2-years-old. So, even if you go and ask for an application, they will not accept it until they are ready to take their intake of applications. So, applying early doesn't do you any good. It's more about the interview process rather than the application submission process. For example, my son (born November 2007) started kindergarten in September 2010--he wasn't quite 3-years-old. We had to apply to the school the previous October 2009 and he had an interview with the school in November 2009 when he was not even 2-years-old. The results of the interview determine if your child is accepted--not the submission date of your application. Obviously, your 6-month-old won't even be able to interview for kindergarten for at least another 1-2 years. Just keep your eyes peeled for announcements from schools.

    As far as nursery school goes--if you want your child to attend, yes, get an application and get it in. Children can start attending nursery at about 2-years-old. In our village there is only one nursery school and there are only 15 spots in that school. I just turned in the application for my 3-month-old only to find that they have already received 25 applications from children born just between January and May 2011! I ran into this problem before when my son was born--I put in his application with the school when he was a year old and had absolutely no hope of getting him in so he ended up attending a nursery school much further away from our house which was inconvenient but the best thing for him for social purposes.

    I am actually a big fan of nursery school as long as it's a good quality one--and there are some really horrible quality nursery schools--I've seen some that made me scared to send my child there. But, my son attended a really great nursery school for about 6 months and loved it. The nursery school he attended had a special section for children with disabilities. My son doesn't have any disabilities but I thought that the integration of those children into the program went a long way to helping children learn tolerance and acceptance of others. It was a really great environment and the teachers were all very experienced and patient. My son loved going there.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  6. #6
    Biggie is offline Registered User
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    I heard some international schools do take application as soon as baby was born (eg kellet) you should check with the schools you have in mind. Though this is not the case for the ones I have checked.
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  7. #7
    penguinsix is offline Registered User
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    Many studies have shown that being the oldest kid in a class is better than being the youngest and/or smallest kid in the class.

    We're having a similar discussion right now on GeoExpat

    http://hongkong.geoexpat.com/forum/71/thread195885.html

  8. #8
    AndreaSB is offline Registered User
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    Most international schools around the world use an end of August cut off date rather than going by the calendar year. In other words they want the children to be a certain age by the time they start. It's best to check with the schools you're interested in to be sure. Also some start lists from birth (eg. Kellett) while others wait until the child is 1 or 2 years away from starting (eg. HKIS). Personally I think sometimes being one of the youngest in the class is a struggle, especially for boys (and especially if it's a Dec cut off). A HUGE difference can be seen in a class between the oldest and youngest in the earlier years (of course there's always exceptions). I'm not too sure why the HK culture wants to send kids off to school as soon as they can talk (or even earlier!), and once in school it's all about work, work, tutoring, extra classes etc. There are hundreds of studies that show there is no real benefit to the child in the long run, but what they have done is missed out on being children. Recently there was a study showing the most successful high school students are in Finland. At what age do they set foot in a school? 7. A child's development goes waaaay beyond academics.

    So I wouldn't be too upset about my child missing out on starting school a year earlier. Enjoy an extra year of stimulating and fun activities with your little one. He'll have plenty of years of schooling to come!

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