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  • 2 Post By howardcoombs
  • 1 Post By CMGogo

Help for a dad-in-distress

  1. #1
    CMGogo is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Help for a dad-in-distress


    We have a 10 months old angel and we just moved to HK. I was incharge of her education, my wife taking care of the rest.

    Unfortunately I havent been able to look at anything apart from some baby GYM options.

    I heard yesterday that I should have already filled in applications for preschool and primary school. This has deprived me of last nights sleep and now I am running like a headless chicken.

    Could you kindly share your experience on what are the good international schools and pre schools in HK. Cost is not a major concern, and eventhough I live above Kowloon MTR I dont mind if my daughter has to travel a bit.

    This is our first child and we are both clueless as to what should we look for in a school?

    Thanks a lot

    helengou likes this.

  2. #2
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Happy Valley

    1) calm down
    2) for a 10 month old, its not going to matter
    3) go outside your door and walk around. I'm sure within a 10 minute walk you will find at least 1-2 places. Walk in and ask for a tour of the place. If you feel good about the environment, you've found your solution.

    You can worry more when she is 3 or 4 years old. For now, just find a nice play school for her to go to.

    If you are thinking of being in Hong Kong for any length of time, you should also consider going with a Cantonese nursery. Your little one will start speaking in no time.

    satay sue and curlybaby like this.

  3. #3
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    North Point

    My daughter is 15 months old and I am only just now starting to think about putting her into a nursery - but she won't start until somewhere between 18-24 months, and that's still dependent on whether I think she's ready. If you want to do kindergarten (not "compusory" here in HK, but most kids do), it generally starts in September of the year that they turn 3. Many international schools, including ESF, only take applications one year before (ie, around August or so of the year that they turn 2). I know many kids who didn't do anything before kindergarten and they were fine, got into the schools that they wanted, etc.

    I agree with HC above - calm down, at this age, you have plenty of options. Even if you leave it for another year, you'll still have options :)

  4. #4
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009

    I have to admit that I am not fully aware of all the deadlines and application procedures for international schools but I am pretty sure that you can't even apply and interview for primary school until your child is in kindergarten (3-5-years-old). With local schools you won't be able to apply until the autumn before your child will be entering the school. So, my son entered K1 when he was 2-years, 10-months-old and he went for his kindergarten interview when he wasn't quite 2-years-old yet. Applications were only released the month before the interview process began.

    Now, for nursery schools time can be a factor. In our area, there is only one nursery school. I made the mistake of waiting until my son was about 1-year-old before applying (for entrance when he was 2-years-old) but then found out that they only have spots for about 15-20 students and my son was added to a wait-list of at least 75-100 children and never got that call for nursery school. We ended up having to take him by train and light rail to another district to attend nursery school (1 hour trip each way). So, when my daughter was born I got that application in before she turned 8 weeks old and STILL was told that there was already a waitlist and my daughter would be number 20 on that wait-list because other children born 3 months before her had already applied.

    So...if you have a specific school in mind, I recommend that you at least go out and pick up applications--that is for NURSERY school. Nursery school is not mandatory and many people choose not to send their children to nursery school. For that matter, kindergarten is not mandatory either but many people send their child to kindergarten if they want their child to enter a specific school associated with that kindergarten later on.

    There are a lot of playgroups to choose from in Hong Kong if you're just looking for some interaction for your child and development of social skills or language. The ones I like are Baby Buddies and Learning Adventures (or English Adventures). Baby Buddies has a new location in Kowloon.

    Don't stress.

    “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

  5. #5
    mummymoo is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Hong Kong

    I agree with everyone who has posted thus far. Thanka's advice being cloest to my experience, expectation.
    Do not stress, my hubby and I were whipped into a 'school' frenzy when we first landed by family and a few local friends. A few years down the track, it is all fine.

  6. #6
    Biggie is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Hong kong island

    I have heard that there exist schools that takes application as soon as birth (I've heard Kellet) but I believe most don't. So really no need to worry yet. Enjoy hk for now!
    Posted via Mobile Device

  7. #7
    Obiwan is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Hong Kong

    Kellett, GSIS and CDNIS accept application from birth.

  8. #8
    TheQuasimother is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Hong Kong

    Also, waitlists and priority placement can depend on nationality.
    Baby Buddies is extremely reliable. We love it. Our elder one (currently in an ESF PIS) attended BB and so will our young daughter (who is now 14 months). She will stay with BB until she is eligible for ESF Kindergarten or until we leave HK.

    The Australian International will take in applications from when a child is 2.
    If you are Australian, and a native English speaker, you will go to the top of the list. We have been offered a place twice.

    The German Swiss International, will take in applications early but if you are German or Swiss, you go straight to the top of that list too.

    In general, there really is not a lot to panic about for a 10 month old baby. There's lots of options.

    “If you want to get to the castle, you’ve got to swim the moat.” Richard Jenkins in Eat Pray Love

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