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Just testing the water...

  1. #1
    rooj is offline Registered User
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    Just testing the water...

    I'm just wondering how popular this would be?

    How interested would you, as a parent be, if there was a day care facility available to you?

    I am a primary school trained teacher with extensive early years experience and I am thinking of starting a small day care facility here in HK. I would only do half days for now and see where it took me and only a very limited number of places too but those sessions would be filled with proper purposeful play (not the bullsh!t that most kindys offer) and it would be a chance for social interaction without having little children sit for 20 minutes doing nothing but staring at the teacher.

    I know that I, as a parent, would love something like this for my child but I'm wondering how many of you would be keen too?

  2. #2
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    For me, that might have been nice when my first child was born and I hadn't made up my mind about hiring a helper. But, now we have a great full-time helper to be with my children and I would prefer them to be at home during the day rather than in daycare. As far as social interaction goes, at 2-years-old my older child went to a very nice preschool for nearly full-days. While the style was definitely Chinese, I think his experiences there were very good for him--he loved it and learned a lot. Then when he wasn't quite 3-years-old he started kindergarten. Outside of these he has attended some nice playgroups, sports classes, art classes and other informal activities which he really has enjoyed.

    In some areas in HK with a high concentration of expats, the type of daycare you are thinking of might be a "regional" hit but I think you may run into difficulties trying to distinguish yourself from the many playgroups already running successfully in HK as the concept of "daycare" is quite foreign here. Also you probably will have to offer some sort of "niche" program to make your daycare popular. There are playgroups and "schools" for every flavor and interest out there so I just anticipate that the local population might be confused to what the difference between a daycare, a school and a playgroup are and how you fit into the mix and why it would be beneficial to send their child to your daycare rather than have their child at home with the helper.

    In the past, pre-helper, I would have considered it but at this point, I wouldn't see a need for this service for our family as we can mix and choose our activities and not be locked into a all-day, every-day schedule with one location (a daycare).
    “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

  3. #3
    rooj is offline Registered User
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    Thanks Thanka. I was looking at it from a regional perspective and definitely not a school/playgroup idea. It would be a case of just 5 or 6 children all together, no more for a few hours in the morning and/or a few hours in the afternoon. I have a helper too but I would prefer it if my child was interacting with other children in a relaxed environment rather than at a playgroup where they have to sit for circle time (from the playgroups that I have seen). My child is 15 months old, and I want him to be out there, playing with sand, with pasta, with dirt, not learning his abc's. He has his whole life ahead of him and such a short childhood that I really want him to experience a proper childhood. Thanks for your feedback though, it makes sense!

  4. #4
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    keep in mind, if you take children under the age of 3 you must register with the social services department as a child-care centre. so, i don't think that you would be legally able to run something like this from your home. you have a LOT of hoops to jump through in order to register and you will probably find that 5-6 kids for a 1/2 day would not pay the rent unless you charged an absolute bomb.

    personally, i also liked the idea of my kids being with my helper rather than a day care. i run two playgroup centres, so my kids never lacked for social interaction and had lots of playtime.

  5. #5
    charade is offline Registered User
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    I think there would be interest because people here do seem to like the idea of taking their kids to activities and often just to get interaction with other kids. I personally wouldn't be interested because I'm happy with my helper and he goes down to our apartment playroom or park where he does interact with other kids in an unstructured way.

  6. #6
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by rooj View Post
    Thanks Thanka. I was looking at it from a regional perspective and definitely not a school/playgroup idea. It would be a case of just 5 or 6 children all together, no more for a few hours in the morning and/or a few hours in the afternoon. I have a helper too but I would prefer it if my child was interacting with other children in a relaxed environment rather than at a playgroup where they have to sit for circle time (from the playgroups that I have seen). My child is 15 months old, and I want him to be out there, playing with sand, with pasta, with dirt, not learning his abc's. He has his whole life ahead of him and such a short childhood that I really want him to experience a proper childhood. Thanks for your feedback though, it makes sense!
    Oh, that's interesting. The playgroups my son has attended didn't focus soley on circle time. There was a short circle time in the beginning (sing the greeting song, listen to some stories, play some instruments), then snack time, then they played with sand/pasta/confetti/water or other textures and had free play time and a craft time...then an exercise time and finally probably 10 minutes of circle time at the end to sing some more songs, tell another story and sing goodbye. The first playgroup he attended is quite popular in HK and advertised here on Geobaby and the next one is growing increasingly popular. I definitely would never send my child to a playgroup as a toddler that was set up as a school--drilling ABCs--although there is usually some learning aspect to most playgroups but it's very informal. The good playgroups in HK, in my opinion, are organized like what you described above.
    “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

  7. #7
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    keep in mind, if you take children under the age of 3 you must register with the social services department as a child-care centre. so, i don't think that you would be legally able to run something like this from your home. you have a LOT of hoops to jump through in order to register and you will probably find that 5-6 kids for a 1/2 day would not pay the rent unless you charged an absolute bomb.

    personally, i also liked the idea of my kids being with my helper rather than a day care. i run two playgroup centres, so my kids never lacked for social interaction and had lots of playtime.
    Yep, Cara knows what she's talking about when it comes to the legality of business in HK involving children.

    But, having said that there are several co-op playgroups in HK that are informal. Meaning they are not run as a business--but maybe each mother pays like a small informal fee to cover cost of material. Then the mothers get their children together. They meet either in their homes on a rotating basis or in the clubhouse of their buildings. It is non-profit and not really run as a formal business or organization so no need to register. I know of at least 3 already operating but I'm guessing there are others.

    I did watch an RTHK program about registered child minders in HK. There are local women who do run child minding services out of their homes. I am not sure about the whole process but I know that they have to pass a safety inspection. There may be other classes and certifications they need to get too--but these are most definitely offered only in Cantonese. If you speak Cantonese, this may be one route you can take.
    “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

  8. #8
    Newbie_hk is offline Registered User
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    I would personally like child care services that are not too academic as my daughter attended a fantastic one back in Australia. As the other posters said, this would have to be a niche market. As a business model, I'm not so sure it is sustainable as I would imagine it is expensive to set up.

    In Australia we have family day care where you can establish a child care service from your home. There is a market for this especially if you want a home environment and on certain circumstances, a carer from the same cultural background - an Indian carer to look after Indian kids. I would imagine this would be useful here particularly for expats who want a carer from the same background.

    If you want to find out more about this model, check out www.fdca.com.au.

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