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justifying high fees for kids classes

  1. #9
    carang's Avatar
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    yeah, i'm guessing the LCSD doesn't pay tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in rent etc.
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  2. #10
    Anita A is offline Registered User
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    I can tell you that it's pretty similar here in Ap Lei Chau. Have signed my 4 yo up for art and football and both work out to being in the region of $250/hr.

  3. #11
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Do you like in an apartment complex with a clubhouse?
    My 1-year-old daughter goes to the playgroup in our residence. It works out to about $100 per class, compared to $250 per class at outside private kindies.
    I don't go bc I think she needs to "learn" anything in a practical sense. I'm not one of those moms lining up cello and Mandarin classes before the kids can even talk.
    But she really enjoys being with other kids. She loves clapping along to music in a group. She's also learning to follow simply instructions (not sit at a table, now put away your toys, now go to the playmat). I see nothing wrong with it.

  4. #12
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Carang -- which centers do you run? Just curious.
    I have a relative who does similar (not exact) work.
    And I hear you. If you rent a decent environment, hire professional, trustworthy qualified teachers (usually English-speaking) and buy high-quality, child-safe kids' furniture, toys, art supplies, etc. Well, it's alot.

  5. #13
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Not all classes are of the same quality, in my opinion. My son attends some sports classes that are subsidized (for 10 lessons we pay $400 HKD) through his school, taught by local teachers--they're okay but they're not that great. It's good for introductory lessons to something he's interested in (he's a kindergartener) and he doesn't know the difference at this point but if he seriously wants to pursue a sport or any other avenue there's a time when these classes won't really be enough. On the other hand, my son was TERRIFIED of swimming and I put him in some good-quality lessons at the YMCA and he became a top swimmer in his class within 6 months. To me, it was totally worth the money--not the cheapest classes around (and the classes were also held in Cantonese which wasn't a problem for my son) but it's a trusted organization that knows what its doing when it comes to sports classes.

    As far as toddler classes go--there are some schools I looked into for my son and daughter--especially focused around music or dance that I was like, "No way! That is just astronomically expensive! They would have to be serving us snacks on gold platters or something..." The reason why I seek out these specialized classes for my toddler is A) I'm not gifted in dance or music B) she shows a deep interest in both. So, for a fun treat it would be fun to attend a child-centered music or dance class.

    We live really far out of the city and there are no babies my daughter's age around. There are also no playgrounds or public places for children to play in the near vicinity (nearest place is a 25-minute walk and is covered with graffiti and many of the pieces of equipment are broken or unsafe--very small as well..and there are wild dogs in our village that have been known to bite people). So, besides interaction with her older brother, on a day-to-day basis my daughter gets little if any interaction with other small children. I think it's important for her socialization for her to spend time with children her own age. So, I take her to a playgroup once a week and she LOVES it and it's fun for me too.

    These classes are not all the same but the going rate is $200-300 HKD/hour. It's a specialized service in HK. It is not absolutely necessary to enroll your child in these classes--it's a specialty class. Years ago when I was taking private music lessons the going rate was $50 USD/hour and it has increased now that is about $350 HKD/hour. I don't think it's unreasonable to pay that amount of money for a specialized class if A) the class is of high-quality--not just the materials available but the interaction, environment and presentation by the teacher B) it's something that you can't replicate on your own and you feel will enrich your child's life.

    But, at the toddler stage, there is always the option to organize your own co-op and get together with other families to share learning experiences--such as a home-hosted playgroup. There are quite a few people in HK who do this.
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  6. #14
    carang's Avatar
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  7. #15
    carang's Avatar
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    opening a new centre is so extremely expensive, if you do it right.... of course, you could have white walls with a couple of posters, a few toys and a couple of cds, hire "teachers" with no experience, no training plan the curriculum off the seat of your pants and open straight away with very little money... but if you want something of quality, it takes hours and hours and hours of design work, curriculum development (believe me when i say the hours stretch into months, because if you are good at what you do, this part is never-ending... you are ALWAYS looking to improve what you do!).... if you want good quality toys that don't break after one class... if you want a good selection of craft supplies and craft idea.... if you strive always to improve.... this comes at a HUGE cost!

    even when i go on holidays, i spend my "spare time" away from my kids hunting for toys & craft supplies, cds, new books.... i don't take the time really, truly for myself.
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