Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Preschools and playgroups in Kuala Lumpur

Seeing how some mummies have been asking about this, I thought I would just do a post on schools and playgroups. Monthly fees for preschools can range from RM300 at a local kindy to RM4000++ at one of the posher (read: more expats) schools. Personally, I didn't see why I should enrol Connor at a school simply because there were a lot of expat kids. It's not like he doesn't get to see expats.. there's one at home every day.

What I did go for was a mix of cultures. The school he goes to has a mix of local and expat kids... they have a very cute little German boy who cried and cried non-stop on his first day there. We happened to be there checking out the school then and I felt so sorry for him because all he spoke was toddler German and could not understand the English-speaking staff who were trying to comfort him. I dropped by again 2 weeks later and he'd adjusted to school by then.

Connor seems to enjoy school. When we're approaching school, he'll bounce up and down in his car seat and get really excited. Then when I leave him, he'll whine, "Mummyyyyy!" But the teachers tell me I'm forgotten in 5 min time. When he returned to school after a week off for CNY, he ran to one of his teachers and gave her a big hug. That was very reassuring for me, a sign that he finds security in his teachers.


I've got here a list of schools for your consideration so do check out their websites and call them up.
The Children's House
Very popular with expats and the upper class of KL. Pricey though and way out of my budget for Connor. They have several schools in the Klang Valley - Bangsar, TTDI, Ampang Hilir.

Julia Gabriel
Ouch. Price also out of our budget. Another school that's popular with expats and the socialite mums group.

Children's Discovery House
Aiyo. Another big budget school. Apparently started by teachers who left The Children's House. No wonder la name is same-same!

Lorna Whiston
If I'm not mistaken, this school started out as an English language school. They now have programmes for children as well. I remember talking with the little boy who was cast alongside Connor in a tv commercial. "How old are you?" "I'm three years old." "Do you go to school?" "Yes." "Wow... that's good! Which school do you go to?" "Lorna Whiston." Wah. Minutes later, his mummy swanned in with a Tod's bag on her arm. Oh. Like dat hor. She was a very nice lady though and he was a lovely, well-brought up boy.



Okay, now that we're done with the big budget schools, here are some more budget friendly ones.

Beaconhouse
This is a private school that also has primary and secondary schools.

Summerfields
Located in a quiet cul-de-sac in Sri Hartamas. They have large grounds for the children to play in.

Kinderland
A local franchise. My friend's son goes to Kinderland and he seems happy enough there. They have locations all over the Klang Valley so you can pick one that's close by.

Brighton Schoolhouse
One that I really liked but they only take in children from 2.5 years onwards and I simply could not tahan anymore, having run out of ideas and energy to entertain my 2yo. They are in Damansara Heights. I'm thinking of switching Connor there next year.

Tulip Montessori
Located in Bangsar. It's housed in a double storey linked house with a garden and play equipment.

My Montessori School
One highly recommended by many mothers I've met. They are housed in 2 connecting terrace houses in Bangsar, just next to BV I. They don't have a website as they operate by word of mouth. I found out about them when I was chatting with a mum at a playgroup and she said her son was there. What I don't like about them is the location (right at the intersection of a rather busy street) and the fact that there are no stairgates in the school building despite the presence of many stairs. Unfortunately I've lost the contact number of the school but you can't miss it from BV I. If you are standing at the Starbucks entrance, you can see a pre-school opposite the HSBC. That's them.


As for playgroups, we used to attend the Garden International School playgroup. I haven't been there for months now so I have no idea if it's still running.

Another playgroup we used to attend was the ibu playgroup at Bangsar Shopping Complex's Jungle Gym. But ibuy has recently reopened after all the legal wrangling they had to endure in 2010 and I think that playgroup has moved back to their HQ in Sri Hartamas. Many expat mums have highly recommended joining ibu. You get to meet a lot of parents and have a chance to socialise with someone other than your toddler. Check out their website here.

The various expat women's associations in Kuala Lumpur have playgroups organised at their premises as well. I know that Assoc of British Women have a playgroup, I was informed by a friend that I needn't be a ABWM member, just pay RM10 each time I turn up but we haven't been yet since Connor's started playschool.

Hope the links help you mummies out there!

224 comments:

  1. hi, can I ask for more than a little help from you? actually I am to move to KL from Pakistan within the time span of four to five months as my husband has started a business over there. I am having a four years old special needs child somewhat a mild autistic. can you tell me about any such schools catering to such students?? looking forward to your reply

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  2. Hi Farazay, welcome to KL! I don't know of any school that caters specifically to special needs children. I took at a look at www.autismmalaysia.com and they have something called Stepping Stones Centre where the child can receive therapy and play - is that what you are looking for? You can call them at 03-2094 0421 if you want to find out more, I'll keep looking for special needs school and will post if I find one.

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  3. thanks a lot Mrs.Top Monkey:) and, I will look forward to any such more information specifically KL based.

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  4. Need guidance for pre-school in KL

    Fee range: 300 to 700 ringitt
    School type: International
    son age: 3.5

    Wife would be working for Standard Chartered Malaysia

    send your comments at saeedshan@gmail.com
    www.economistshan.blogspot.com

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  5. Hi,

    I'm relocating to KL as well and worry alot about getting my kid into a good pre-school there.

    Which would you rate best in your list above. We are thinking a 1/2 day session for her. We are concern about the language used in the school to be honest.

    Thank you.

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  6. Hi Saeed, international pre-schools charge from RM10,000 upwards. I'm afraid there is no international pre-school in your budget.

    Hi Tan,
    Hmmm... tough question. I guess it would depend on what you want for your child. Some parents favour local preschools because they do a lot of drilling and work and they want their children to be fully prepared for Year 1. Some parents prefer a more play approach believing children should be children. Some parents just want their little one to be enrolled in the It schools. The pre-schools I looked at for Connor all use English as their main teaching language, I picked that as one of my criteria because my son will be enrolled in a British-based curriculum once he starts Year 1.

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  7. Hello. Thank you for posting lots of information on preschools and play groups in KL.I am also an expat and I am looking for a nice school for my son to attend once he grows up.

    Have you heard of R.E.A.L Kids? Do you know anything about this school? Have you heard anything from friends who send their children here?

    Thank you very much!

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  8. Hi Nat, thanks for dropping by! Sorry, never heard of REAL Kids, perhaps it's a new school? I do know of REAL international school. A friend's daughter will be starting secondary schooling there. They're a more affordable alternative to the likes of Garden and British Intl School.

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  9. Hi there, my daughter went to Real Kids preschool in Tmn Tun. It's a local preschool runs by mostly local ppls. It's one of the cheapest school that u can find in m'sia. They taught in english, mandarin n bahasa. Depending on where you are as Real Kids can be found in few different areas of Kl. So far am quite happy with what we're paying for as the teachers are very good to children plus the system n my girl seems to be more confident since she's been enrolled there.

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  10. Thanks for your comment, I hope Nat finds it helpful.

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  11. Thank you for sharing the list of preschools :)) They are so useful! I'm also going through the stage of searching preschools up & down for my son to enroll next year. Currently he is going to Gymboree 3 times a week. Also just discovered a learning center of english located in The Strand. Conducted by Mrs Seaborne who previously engaged in Lorna Whiston. She is so loving and passionate. She makes the learning progress so joyful too. I would recommend this place for any parents who want to introduce english classes to their kids :)) My son also attending an hour session at shichida on weekly basis. It's not much of socializing with other kids during the class. More on focusing on teacher's teaching (flash cards, music, memory games). Wish all parents enjoy the bittersweet searching :))

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    Replies
    1. Hi, may have contact number for mrs. Seaborne english language center? Because i would like to send my son to the center

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  12. Hello. I was wondering if you have gone ahead and placed your son at Brighton Schoolhouse and if so, what you thought of the school. We have a 3 year old and are considering sending him there. Thank you. Mrs S

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  13. Hi Mrs S, no we decided to keep Connor at his current play school as he's very happy there. We may only be in KL for another year so we decided not to go through the hassle of a new school again.

    Hello Anonymous parent, thank you for your post. Where is the Strand? So many new shopping places are popping up and I've lost track of them.

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  14. Hi, The Strand is in Kota Damansara. Right next to Sunway Giza and Giant hypermart. Yeah new shops, i think only half them there are operating.

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  15. Hi we are moving to KL in 2 months' time. Thanks for the great info on preschools. We live in Norway and the kindergardens here are great fun for the kids. Lots of outdoor activities and no classroom system indoor. In your opinion which preschool might come closer to this model ? I am thinking of Brighton as it seems to have a nice ground and intereting program in the afternoon. Also thinking of Children's Discovy House for the same reason of having an interesting afternoon program. Any thoughts ? Thanks.

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  16. Hi Lilian, welcome to KL and hope you'll enjoy your time here when you get to Malaysia! In Msia, the hot weather makes it difficult to have a lot of outdoor activities as little ones burn easily and get too hot quickly. I haven't been to both schools you're thinking of so I can't comment. I do know of indoor schools where they do a lot of play, there is one in Mont Kiara and another in Solaris Dutamas.

    The school that Connor goes to had very little "work" (as in sitting down to learn abc) when he was in toddler class and that was fine by me. It was mostly play and having fun and interacting with other children.

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  17. Hi, my son will turn 2 soon, I am wondering which school u are sending Connor to? My older kids are so much older, not sure where to send my youngest.

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  18. Hi, many schools now will take children from 2yo onwards. Children Disc House and Julia Gabriel have programs from children as young as 18 months old. If you have a more modest budget, Summerfields and My Montessori School also take in children from that age. Hope this helps!

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  19. Wow! You have no idea how helpful this thread of yours is to me .. It's very informative, thanks for sharing;) I'm wondering if you are able to share witch preschool Conor goes to? I am also a Malaysian ' banana' Chinese - with the mats leg husband around hartamas area. My son will be 2 in a month. Considering my very first full Time maid for only 2 months now will be sent home soon, I need advice on playschools! I hv been speaking mandarin to him as a baby n he fully understands it, with French and English too. Does conor's school provides play in mandarin too? My focus is very much for him to learn thru play. I'd be glad to have some pointers. Tq liv.

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  20. Hi Liv, you can't be as banana as me if you can speak Mandarin! :)) My Mandarin is non-existent now as I have not spoken it for so long. Connor's school doesn't do Mandarin, they do it as an afternoon activity (you have to pay extra). Little Mandarin House in Bangsar is a pre-school with Mandarin as the main language of instruction. There is also Bao Bei which has Mandarin classes, I will send Connor for classes there next year once he's stopped falling asleep in the afternoon!

    A neighbour sends her twins to Summerfields in Desa Sri Hartamas, I have the link up in my post. She says her twins are very happy there and she's very pleased with the school. Why don't you check it out as it's in your area and will be very convenient for you?

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  21. Thank you for sharing this list of playshools! This is very helpful. I've been trying to find a playschool for my son, he is 19 mths. We too just moved back to MY, and my son has been attending playschool since he was 8 mths. Even just 2 weeks back here, I can see he's missing his routines (socializing and meeting friends). My budget not that high. Mid range probably. What's important to me, the playschool has to be enjoyable and he'll leave with good experience. I have few playschool in mind. And wondering if you can share with me some lights ;)
    1. Have you heard of the FastTrack Kids in Bangsar Village? Not sure of how the school fee tho. Heard it's high-tec
    2. Julia Gabriel - Do you know the school fee. Have emailed to them, awaiting for their reply. Is the playschool recommended?
    3. Kindermusik
    4. Lorna Whiston - avail for under 2?

    I love to read your experiences of the playgroups you attended. Both at GIS and Ibu. Will try to call both to find out more. Any idea on the fee?

    Thank you again for sharing! You have no idea how this post lighten up my day! ;D

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  22. Hi Anees welcome back to MY!
    1. Been to look at the school from the outside, I think FastTrack charges in the region of RM4-5k per term for school. I didn't consider it as I wanted a school with a garden for my son.
    2. I don't know of anyone who sends their little ones to Julia but I'm guessing their school fees must be about the same as The Children's House which charges about RM4k per term.
    3. Never thought of Kindermusik to be honest! LOL Sorry.. can't help much here.
    4. Lorna Whiston has something called a Playnest (I think) for 18 months and onwards. This is not a daily thing and I think it only runs for 1.5 hours.

    GIS did not charge for its playgroup when we attended.

    Ibu charges RM20 for non members for playgroups and RM10 for members. I would recommend you join ibu, they have a lot of playgroups and activities and they run a great forum on FB. I've seen lots of new and/or expat mum ask for help on the forum and everyone's very helpful. Annual fee is RM200.

    Hope this helps!

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  23. Thanks for your insights ;)
    I haven't visited the FastTrack, however you just highlighted an important aspect - the outdoor play! ;) Thanks.
    For sure I'll join the Ibu playgroup. That's very exciting. Will check out their forum on FB. Another playschool that I'm looking at is the Children's Discovery House. Wondering if you have any insights. Emailed them yesterday, sill awaiting for their reply.
    BTW, how old is your son now? Hope he's enjoying school. ;) For me the challenge of coming back home is to get updated with the roads here! ;D It's so confusing, many new areas and heavy traffic! ;) So, having play school nearby to where we're staying will be great, that will eliminate time wasted on the road.
    Thanks again for sharing. Hope we can meet someday ;)

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  24. Hi Anees, didn't check out CDH as the fees were out of my budget. Generally schools that cater for expat children tend to be more play-based while schools catering for children who intend to go to Msian-stream school are more learning-based (this is prob not the right term but I can't think of one now).

    Connor is 3yo and he LOVES school. I'm glad as it makes it so much easier to get him ready in the morning.

    Good luck with the roads, it's horribly confusing for newbies and yes, Malaysians still drive as badly as ever. Take care out there... would love to meet up if you can leave me your email in a comment, I will not publish it.

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  25. Hi Mrs Top Monkey,

    Thanks for the comprehensive compilation of the pre-school available in KL. It is really useful!

    We're looking to relocate to KL and I'm looking for the right pre-school for my 3 yrs old boy. I'm considering Garden Intl school .. but also contemplate whether to send him to one of the above mentioned pre-school. He's currently in a Montessori based pre-school and doing very well.

    You mentioned that Connor used to attend Garden Intl.. so comparing between Garden and his current school, what are the key differences ? Setting budget aside .. which will be a good learning platform for 3 years old in KL ..

    Thanks ..

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  26. Hi there,
    cheers to your effort! thanx for the list.
    im thinking of sending my 2yr son to any kindy near by. Staying at brickfields. checking out kindys at bangsar. I've checked at beacon house bangsar and their fee is like 7k++ per annum. Its find but after visiting your post, thinking of checking My montessori School too. Is there any other school you would suggest? My main concern is save & healthy environment..crazy physical activities (he has a sign of growing book worm) and not so much on the education. Can i ask u this. Did u find out WHAT IS THE MAIN ONE THING that makes connor likes his school?
    -winnie

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  27. Hi Anonymous, can you let me know what is the name of the English Learning Center at The Strand?

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  28. Hi Mrs Top Monkey,

    Our family is looking to relocate to KL from US sometime in March next year. I've been looking for a suitable preschool for 3 yr old son since I think he's already bored out of his mind staying at home with me and his 5 month old sister. I'm looking for a Montessori based school since I think that will suit his personality best. I'll be staying around the Setiawangsa area. Have you heard of the British montessori school or the Seri Mawar school? Do you know any that you can recommend around the Setiawangsa/Ampang area?

    Thanks so much. -Amy-

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  29. Top Mom,
    do you know any chinese class for kids that reliable ?
    TIA for the information :)

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  30. Anon (Nov 27): Hiya! No, Connor didn't attend Garden for schooling, we just went for the free playgroups when he was younger to keep him occupied. Looks to me like the likes of Garden are more organised and it does make transition to Year One easier as they are used to the school by then.

    Winnie: Connor liked the teachers and he has a lot of friends at school. Some mums have also reco My Little Home in Dsara Heights, they do daycare as well so is useful for working mums.

    Amy: Eep, sorry... I don't know that area very well as I'm staying on the other side of town. I do know Children's House has a branch there on Jln Ampang Hilir, Treetop on Jln U Thant and Etonhouse on Jln Eaton.

    Giesetiadi: Friends have reco Bao Bei, they have various branches all over KL and there is a Mandarin SmartKids school in Bangsar. Will look at those next year for Connor.

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  31. Hi
    I am hunting a kindy for my 18 months old too..am going to start working full time. I live in Ampang area and i have so far checked out Tree Top House in Jalan u-thant (behind ampang hilir) www.treetophouse.com.my. I have also checked out Children's Discovery House in Jalan Damai. Fees for both ranges rm4k+ which i can't afford at the moment as my two elder ones are International School. CDH is very new, opened up only last year after chinese new year and have very few students. Am suppose to take my son for a day trial on monday. Tree Top House you can check out their Facebook..If i could afford, i would choose Tree Top House. My friend sends her daughter to Children's House in Ampang hilir.

    My elder son was in Seri Mawar before he moved to International school. And he had a mild case of autism, language and speech delay and didnt play with the kids. Now he's just the opposite and i believe the school had alot to do with it as i had not sent him to a speech therapist or other therapy at all. He's very happy there. The the teachers have been teaching there for long and the principal seems to take a genuine interest in all children's well-being. unfortunately they dont take in 18months old, hence am on the search for one for my youngest..gosh! so difficult and scary to do this again.

    My eldest daughter I had sent to R.E.A.L kids kindy which at that moment i had put in coz i didnt know better places and had just moved to Malaysia. Only did so coz someone recommended and i regret not fishing for more places. I dont like that place is coz they do not have much play based and is very much on disciplining even at the age of 2. didnt like them spanking kids on the butt when they wouldnt sit still (lightly or hard..hitting is hitting!!!) and complained alot to them and finally took her off.

    I have given up on Ampang area for my 18months old and told myself that even if i have to drive to bangsar or hartamas area after dropping the elder two to school, i will do it. It's so tough to decide on the right preschool that suits the individual child. Am gonna check out Cherie Hearts that opened up last year but already has quite alot of kids. It's nearby and thought worth checking and will check out tulip, summerfields and my montessori school as well. Thanks for your post..u have no idea how much it has helped me :D

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  32. Hi Mal, thanks for sharing your experiences, I hope other parents will find the info useful. I've just sent you a pm on Facebook, would love to hear more about your experiences with your elder boy.

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  33. Hi,

    Your post is very helpful! I'm looking for a play class for my 22 month old daughter. Where abouts is My Montessori School and if you don't mind sharing, where do you send Conor?

    Also, would you know where i can send my daughter for swimming lessons?

    Thanks!

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  34. Hello hello everybody, i went through all the posts and the only question i wanna ask all the mommys is that "What school did u finally choose for ur toddler son/daughter and why?"
    and Mrs. Top Monkey, would u b generous enough to share the name of the school that ur son goes to.. It seems like the biggest mystery ever!!!
    If ur son likes the school, the teachers and everyting 'bt the school, then y the name of the school a big secret!!!

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  35. Hi Far, My Montessori School is opposite the HSBC in Bangsar, the one that is near Bangsar Village 1. I can't remember what the signboard says, it's in Malay so it doesn't say My Montessori School. I think it says Taska Montessori Saya. Do check it out, I've heard good things about the school.

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  36. Hi Anonymous, I don't post the name of the school that he goes to because I get a little nervous at the thought of someone reading this blog and then walking into the school, claiming to be picking him up on my behalf. The school has a policy of not releasing the child to anyone who is not a parent/not an authorised person but I dread to think of what might happen if that person was convincing enough.

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  37. Hi
    Looking for a school for my 3yr old ard KLCC area. Anybody knows of a good school to recommend? Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot for the information.

      Delete
    2. Hi Anonymous
      I recommend KL International Kids Club for you. This school is located by ampang park and has a website. You can see and check this school on website of school.


      http://www.klkidsclub.com

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    3. Hie .. why dont try checkout little playhouse kl.. very near to klcc.. at megan avenue 2.. 0173961292

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  38. Would like to spread the word about Etonhouse. On the surface, it is phenomenal, albeit spendy, school. It boasts some of the best physical facilities in the area. Amazing outdoor space, kid-friendly and learning-friendly indoor spaces, new furnishings/books/toys. It also has (had!) some excellent teachers. Unfortunately, the administration is inexperienced and ill-equipped to handle the needs of the fledgling school. As a result, the teachers are leaving like rats fleeing a sinking ship. There was a near 100% turnover during the first year of school operations, and the school is well on its way to another near 100% turnover during the second year of operations. A very unfortunate situation all around.

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    Replies
    1. Can any other parents confirm this experience? Most of my friends send their children to Bangsar/Mont Kiara/Damansara pre-schools so I've never heard any comment on Etonhouse.

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    2. I can confirm this experience. The administration lies and is too arrogant to give any straight answers when asked to address problems at the school. Etonhouse is such a disappointment.

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    3. Hi, I am currently looking for a preschool for my 2.5yr old. I live and work in KLCC area (Ampang Park) and will also be needing transportation to/from school. I was on the verge of enrolling my son at Eton when this post caught my eye...and got me worried...they charge enrollment/deposit which are quite high...I think I will also take a look at Childrens Discovery House too. Can Etonhouse Parent tell me where you ended up putting their child in instead of Eton? Would be very very helpful. Than you so much.

      Delete
    4. Hi,

      I am another Eton House parent and would like to concur with the comment above. Teachers are generally very good, but made to feel miserable by the administration. So they tend to quit, which means there is a huge turnover of teaching personnel. Children are not their first concern, money is. Also the alleged headmistress is not the real manager, there is someone else running the show behind the scenes. Which makes it very difficult to deal with the school and its administration. My advice is to stay away.

      Delete
    5. This is a fantastic post. Myself and my husband are currently in KL looking for a place to stay for next three years, we have a 22month old and tomorrow morning I am going for a visit to Eton house. I'm glad I have read this and will let you know how I get on. We are from UK and moving here at the end of the month. I am not working but my daughter needs interaction with other children so a few days a week will be plenty for now. Could anyone recommend anywhere in KLCC they have had good experience. Thanks Mrs Top Monkey I am sure I will read this post over and over again!

      Delete
  39. Hi, Am relocating with family Mid May. Need details of a good play school for my kid. Pls share your feed back.. My mail id: itsashishmittal@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ashish, you could try visiting the schools I've listed out in this post. Personally, I've heard good reviews of My Montessori and Tulip but it really depends on your requirements and your child.

      Delete
    2. Hi Mrs TM,

      My heartfelt thx to u for running this forum. I m shifting to KL in July end and wud stay at Suasanna Sentral. I hv a a 2.5 yr old kid and wud wnt to put him in gud preschool/day care. Prefer place with decent indian population: 30% or so. ENGLISH medium. Cn u suggest nearby ones?

      Regards,
      Abhi

      Delete
  40. My husband and I are thinking about sending our baby girl who is turning 2 this Sept 2012 to a pre-school. Any good recommendations for a good pre-school? We are staying at Sungai Buloh area.
    We would like to have Mandarin as part of the language my girl learn in her school as my husband is from Hong Kong. We think it is crucial for her to know Chinese language. But at the same time we want to keep our options open rather than just sending her to traditional Chinese School.Little Mandarin House in Bangsar seems a little too far from the place we stay. So need some good feedbacks from experienced parents.

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    Replies
    1. Hi sorry.. not familiar with Sg Buloh area. All I know is ELC is one of the international schools in Sg Buloh, passed it when we were driving up north. Any other parents can help out?

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  41. Any thoughts about the Waldorf kindergarten in Taman Tun?

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  42. Anyone have experience of the Waldorf philosophy kindergarten in TTDI?

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    Replies
    1. I've just found out about it myself! Have just msg the school for more info. Apparently there is a very long wait liat to get in.

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  43. Thanks for the information. I wonder if anyone can help me. I'm from England and looking to operate my company from Malaysia. I'm going to come over to kl with my family for about 6 weeks in the summer and stay and see. Some weeks we are staying in Sentul, and other times we have not picked yet. I have 2 children ages 2.5 and 5 years. Is there any summer schools play schools you would advise for a short term in summer? July \ August.? Regards Mr Jamie

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jamie, most play schools here operate on a termly basis. They do not require you to pay a full year's fees so you can check them out and sign up your children for just a term. However, you usually have to pay a full year's fee for art supplies etc (which usually costs the equivalent of 70++ pounds) but you can try and negotiate that. I'm sure you'll be able to find places in summer as there are many expat families going home/on holidays then.

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  44. Did you manage to find out more information about the Waldorf kindy in TTDI? I just found out about the Waldorf method and is keen to find out more for my 18 mth old boy.

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    Replies
    1. I wrote to them and got a reply. They said that they have very limited spaces as they only have one class of 25 children and currently that class is full. They have quite a long wait list and they will only be able to enrol new students when someone leaves. So I had to cross that out as an option for Connor. :(

      You can email them at hilltophousecdc@gmail.com if you need any further info though. Your son is still quite young so you can still put him on the wait list and hope a place opens up but Connor's already 3 1/2 yo. Good luck! :)

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  45. Hi Mrs Top Monkey,

    Is there any english language centre in town which take in 18 mths to 2 years old, also taught by native speakers?

    Many thanks .

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    Replies
    1. Julia Gabriel has a playnest for children that age but I don't think they teach English specifically.. it's just a playgroup. Most language classes I see tend to be for children aged 4 and above.

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  46. Hi, my girl is 2.5 y. I'm thinking to send her to tadika diyana in tmn tun since she was born. Heard that it's a good one too but why there isn't any parents mention bout this kindy.:-)

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    Replies
    1. Heh... prob not an expat kindy? Lots of local parents send their children there and it wasn't on my list because I didn't check out the kindys based in TTDI/Damansara area. But I took at look at their website and it looks nice!

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  47. Hi. Appreciate if I can get some feedback about Taska Tulip in Bangsar. Considering to send my baby there next year. Thanks;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of mums on ibu have recommended this school. A lot of expats I know who live in Bangsar send their children either to Tulip/My Montessori as a budget-friendly alternative to Children's House, Julia Gabriel. Children in the toddler class play a lot, not much emphasis on sitting down to do writing/reading etc until a little older at 2++yo. That is what I like in a school but some parents prefer a more rigorous approach. Good teachers who are open to discussion regarding your little one's progress at school.

      Any other parents with comments on this school, please do feel free to contribute!

      Delete
  48. Hi hi...Thanks so much for the above information. Any insights about Peter and Jane in Mutiara Damansara? Txs in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't check that kindy out as I thought it might be a bother getting there in the morning. Any other parents can help?

      Delete
    2. My son went to Peter and Jane for two years and I can vouch that it is the best decision we made...not as expensive as Children' House but they are very organized and school is well run with excellent teachers. Very careful about hygiene and all kids are screened for fever and hands sanitized before being allowed to enter the school. Highly recommend.

      Delete
  49. Hi there! My colleague's sister's kids (phew what a mouthful!) goes there. Seems they emphasize on the kids learning through experiences rather than sitting and being force fed a b c's :). Haven't been there myself so cannot vouch for them.Also heard that security is good, which is a plus for those of us who are worried about safety (and who doesn't these days)?
    Am planning to take a look (soon-ish), will report when i do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Michelle, are you talking about Hilltop House? I have several updates from them via FB and they seem to focus on building life-skills for children. They don't believe in rushing children to read, write, do phonics, multiplication etc etc before they're ready and they're very much into play learning.

      I wish I'd learnt about this school earlier, would have tried to get my son into it but it's too late now.

      Delete
  50. HI Mrs.Top,

    Would like to check with you, do you know is there any playgroup for 9 months old? I plan to send my daughter to THe Children House when she turns 18 months, any comments about the school ? Any parent would like to give me some advice?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Weng Lee, I know of playgroups for that age run by Ibu. Members pay RM10 to attend, non-members RM20 but I'm not sure you can just keep attending as a non-member i.e. not sign up for Ibu membership and just attend their playgroups as an outsider. Other than that, I don't know of any. We only started attending playgroups in KL when Connor was 15 months old because that was when we moved back to KL, so I'm afraid I don't know of any playgroups for babies younger than that age.

      Which CDH do you plan to send your daughter to? Maybe if you specify the branch, some parents can help out with comments. I personally do not have any as it was out of our budget and I never even peeped into the school as I didn't want to be disappointed with not being able to send Connor there in case it was super-duper!

      Delete
    2. Hi Mrs. Top Monkey,

      Thanks for the reply. I plan to send my little to Damansara heights branch, as it is nearer to my place. Anyone used to be there before ?

      Thanks

      Delete
    3. Hi wenglee
      Julie Gabriel has playnest for babies as young as 6mo. It's rm100 per class so works out to about RM2000 per term. There's 4 terms in a year

      Delete
  51. Hi Mrs Top,

    My 4 years old son is currently with a kindy which is quite academic driven. I am planning to move him to other kindy which is play based learning type. Would like to know more about Kinderland. Do you know what kind of teaching method they used? Do they focus on kind character building as well?

    Thanks.

    Emily

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Emily, sorry for the late reply, we've been away... well, we're still away and I've not been able to get reliable internet access.

      Didn't check out Kinderland as I got the impression from my friend they're quite academic. That wasn't quite what I was looking for so I never checked it out.

      Delete
  52. Hi there,

    Do you know of any reliable center for 6mo baby? Also, anyone knows swimming instructor for 6mo baby? Am very keen to send my baby as he loves water and being in pool!!!

    Appreciate feedbacks.

    Thanks,
    Harvind

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Harvind, if you check the ibu Facebook page, they have listed several contacts for swim teachers. Just type in "swimming"(or something similar) in the search box to look for past posts. Lots of mums are interested to have their little ones swim so there's quite a few who have posted there regarding this topic.

      The only centres I know who take in children so young are the full daycare centers. There is one in Bangsar I pass by... can't remember the name now! Taska Sri Bangsar or something.. it's on Jalan Tualang.

      Delete
  53. Hi, my son is 3 years old and still wearing diaper. I'd like to know, is it a requirement for kids to be toilet trained to enter preschool/kindy? Thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes if you're sending him to international schools. No if you're sending him to the local preschools ie the Tulip Montessori, My Montessori House, Children's House.

      Connor wasn't toilet trained when he started so I always packed spare diapers. The school changed him at least once during the 3 hours he was at school. Later when we started toilet training, the school asked to be informed what methods we used so that they would do the same and keep it consistent to avoid confusing Connor.

      Hope this helps!

      Delete
  54. Mrs Top Monkey, thank you for posting this information, it's fantastic help!
    I am currently looking for a preschool for my 3 year old boy. I thought I would add my (brief) experience of Julia Gabriel as I know this is a popular choice. I checked it out last week without an appointment. There is no security there, the gate was left open and even when shut it can be opened from the outside. They have a security guard who was sleeping when I walked passed him. Once inside I flagged this with the lady on the desk and noted that she did not see the gate was wide open even though this was clearly visible from her desk. These factors put me off. That and the current ratio of 60% local children to 40% ex-pats. Personally these factors put me off but other mums may feel differently...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no, that doesn't sound very good! I thought it would be fantastic as the fees are so much for a preschool! Thanks for sharing the info.

      Delete
  55. Hi.. I am thinking of sending my 2 1/2 year old daughter to Noah's Ark in Lucky Garden but currently having some trouble looking for transport from school back to our place at Bangsar. Can anyone recommend any reliable transport providers?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, not that I know of. Perhaps you could contact the school and ask for names and numbers of parents in your area for a carpool?

      Delete
    2. Hi, I am trying to find more information about Noah's Arc, can you give any feedback please?

      Delete
  56. HI There,

    interesting blog you have here, thx for all the useful info.

    May i know apart from international schools, is there any school that provide teaching using native English teacher?

    Hope to hear soon,
    Wan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Wan, sorry for late reply as we were away and I didn't have reliable internet. I'm not sure if Julia Gabriel uses native speakers for English... can anyone help?

      Delete
  57. Hi....
    has anyone tried the Peter & Jane kindy at Saujana? I wanted my son, who'll turn two in Sep to join Small Wonder playhouse in Subang Jaya, but unfortunately it's full. So, next best option is the P&J in Saujana as it's the nearest to my place. And grandpa will be the designated driver.
    Would appreciate any feedback.

    thank you.
    tej

    ReplyDelete
  58. Hi,
    I'm really looking for a school in the upper range for local but lower range for expat. english medium yet nice local mix. something thats hands on, say montessori. small groups, homely and friendly yet secure.

    I'm based in Ampang and work in KL. There used to be a kindy inside the building next to the Australian Embassy but they've moved. Can anyone suggest something? My son is 3+
    Txs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've had expats and locals on the ibu Facebook page recommend Treetop House and KL International Kids' Club. Both are on Jalan U-Thant so do check them out and see if the fees are within your budget. I didn't check these two out... too far for me!

      Delete
  59. I woild try SURIA KINDERGARTEN in Bangsar , Jalan Ara. . Friendly and reasonablly priced. Caregivers are very accomodating. Its close to BV and BSC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Friend of a friend sends her daughter there and has raved about it as well so mums, check it out!

      Delete
  60. Hello,

    I am also looking for upper range options for the locals around Segambut/ Mont Kiara, Hartams area, can anyone here help? A little further to Kepong is fine too if it is good especially teachers reputation, both in English and they being passionate and loving.

    Talking about English, I just want to share my disappointment that it is really hard to find good local teachers nowadays, it is unlike the old time where I remember most of my teachers have really great command of English, you hardly hear a broken sentence or rojak English out from them in the class, and they correct every single mistake you uttered... I used to hate that but now I appreciate it. Unfortunately all of them have retired now and we have to look for native English teachers that come from overseas, sigh...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My friend sends her son to Smart Reader franchise, I believe they have one in Sri Hartamas? She's happy with the school so do check it out and see if it fits your requirements.

      I share your views on English teachers in school these days. When I was in school, I had many teachers who spoke very good English. But friends of mine who have school-age children tell me that their children's teachers speak terrible or no English. A sad situation as I believe a good command of English is essential for succeeding in the commercial world.

      Delete
  61. Hi Mrs.Top Monkey, my hubby will be moving to KL in a couple of months and we would be following him there by November.My son is 5.5 and my daughter is 3.5 and need to be admitted in school. Do schools take children at this time of the year? Could you please suggest a good and not too expensive school for the children.We are moving from India and are looking for a school that will be compatible to the Indian curriculum pattern as well.However, I would like to have a list of names of good schools in KL that provides an overall education for grade 1 onwards...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know of any schools that do the international schools that do the Indian curriculum, sorry. Can't vouch for any of the international schools as I haven't sent my son to any of them yet but the more established schools are Garden, Alice Smith, Mont Kiara, ISKL. The only school I've visited is Alice Smith and I think it should be a very good school based on what I've seen.

      Delete
  62. thank god, ive landed here. *hugsMrsTopMonkey* thank you very much for the info, and threads. very, very, very useful. i have only a month to look for a playschool/nursery/etc for my son, affordable and not way to expensive heh. he will turn 3yo this sept .

    i'm just a local malay, SAHWM for almost 3 years and now need to report to work this sept in Damansara Heights near plaza damansara. sigh. yeah, it's like heaven already, when u can actually stay at home and be with your baby, look after him 24/7. (thank you to my boss for these 3years) can't thankyou enough.

    ok, back to my prob. i'm going for a hunting this thursday to see all the above mentioned kindies/preschoools near bukit damansara. the prob is, i am not sure where to start *omg*. if they have website, this surely helps. hoping for your recommendations again :)

    looking for:
    safe/hygienic env
    english-medium (additional language is a bonus)
    available from 10am-6pm, mon-fri
    affordable of course

    thank you again, hope to hear from you soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sue, thanks for dropping by! All the schools I've listed above are close to Dsara Heights... it just happens that Dsara, Bangsar are areas close to where I live so these were the schools I thought of.
      Brighton looks pretty good location-wise for you, they have Mandarin in the afternoons as well and would be just round the corner from your office.

      Delete
  63. Thank you Mrs Top Monkey! We are going to visit Summerfields and Brighton hopefully next week. I am not too concern about the quality of English used by the teachers. Cos just to share with you that I am also going to send my son who will turn 4 end of the year to Emphasis English centre in damansara Perdana. Visited the centre last month and very happy with it. All teachers are native speakers and many happy kids too. I will also send my son to bao bei to learn Chinese. But still looking for one near damansara Perdana.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome!

      I was going to send Connor to baobei as well but as he was having speech therapy, I thought it was best to let him get that over with first before starting on a new language.

      Hope you find a school near you in Dsara Perdana, anything to cut down on the morning school run is great!

      Delete
  64. I send my 2 year old son to casa Montessori in Sri Hartamas. It is run by local teachers but the school is clean, secured and the teachers are loving and passionate about their job. There is no strict schedule and the students learn through play. Most parents send their kids here through recommendation. The school does not advertise their service.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for highlighting a good school! Sometimes the best schools are found through word of mouth.

      Delete
  65. Hi Aileen,
    I'm June, don't know if u still remember me. Thank you so much for email me your little Connor's current preschool. Ya I've been check out tulip montessori b4 and I think this school is good. Only one thing they didn't teach mandarin daily. So I decided to put my son in Children's Discovery House Bangsar as they teach mandarin daily although just 15-20mins. Do u mind to share your comment with CDH? Pls send me an email so that we could keep in touch :)
    Thank you so much

    June

    ReplyDelete
  66. Hi,

    Your post is really helpful. I will be shifting to Brickfields, KL from India by about mid Sep'12. I wish to send my kid to a good international school but all schools accept kids at the age of 3 except one or two which limits my options. Hence, in the meantime I would like to send her to a budget play school which can help in preparing her for further admission. Request if you can suggest one in my desired area.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anjali, the list of schools I've provided in this post are mainly in the Bangsar/Damansara Heights area. Bangsar is just next to Brickfields and Damansara Heights is next to Bangsar so these schools may be of interest to you. Hope you find the links useful!

      Delete
  67. Hi, thank you Mrs Top Monkey for this blog... I am thinking of sending my 2 yo girl to Tadika Sri Puncak in Country Height Kajang. Any feedback or insight about this place... thank you in advance!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Annie, glad it's of help to you. Sorry... didn't check out anything around Kajang as it's too far for me. Hope some Kajang area mums reading this can help out?

      Delete
  68. hi thanks for this blog im looking any good international school near cheras area for my 2.5 years old. i did went to becon near bangsar but abit far from my home. any advice from other moms. thanks

    ReplyDelete
  69. This is really a good post and all these comments just further prove it. Thanks for that. I do wonder though, that some of the centres you mentioned like if they are spread by the word of mouth alone, how much do you trust them?

    With so many unlicensed centres out there which promise much but deliver little, not to mention all those cases which involve death because of the centres' ignorance and incapability as well as not being very responsible to their tasks ... what criteria do you consider before you willing to admit your son into that specific centre of your choice?

    ReplyDelete
  70. Hi, my child is currently in Daffodil Garden , located in SS1, PJ. He's been enrolled since he was 2.5 years. He Looks forward to going to school everyday.
    DG is very affordable and have both half day and full day programs. For an additional fee, there is a mandarin enrichment program for an hour twice a week. Teachers are experienced and speak English. Facilities are new and modern. I like that they don't charge me extras for cooking and gym classes. These are all part of the curriculum. I highly recommend this school if you are in the PJ area.
    I would also recommend Children's discovery house in mont kiara if you are in that vicinity.
    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, I heard about Daffodil Garden and been there for visit. Do you mind share more about the school environment as in the safety? As I saw the pathway of stairs (quite a lot) that the kids need to walk through before reaching the (kids waiting area) for pick up, I am concerned of the safety....as my kid is active in his 3++ (y.o) now. Is your kid doing good there now?

      I believe in looking/following a good teacher is very important too in the preschool. I know that at DG, kids are group into 12-13 in a room with a specified teacher. Do you mind sharing which teacher your kid are with now?

      Delete
  71. Hi Mrs Top Monkey. I'm glad I've stumbled across your blog. Double thumbs up for sharing such useful information. Have you visited Beaconhouse at Bangsar and Big Blue Marble at Dsara Heights before? Was wondering if they are worth checking out. Thanks. Bee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bee, no I didn't. I was a bit hesitant about Beaconhouse because of the location... right next to such a busy intersection. I've heard of BBM as well but didn't check it out. Hope some other mums who have can help with their input?

      Delete
  72. I just want to say thanks to all the mums who've dropped by and posted comments to help the other mums who are seeking information on schools. I never knew school searching would be such a nerve wrecking experience. When I was a kid, there was only one school in consideration for my parents, so that was that!

    ReplyDelete
  73. Hello!

    I am considering relocation to KL from USA. I would arrive in April 2013 with my wife and 14 month old daughter. Do you know of any schools that accept children that young? My wife and I will both be working so we would need to send our daughter to a school. Or maybe do you know are there expats who watch children from home for a fee?

    Thanks,
    Ken

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ken, the ones I know of usually take children in from 18 months old. Julia Gabriel has a Playnest programme for children that age but it's only for once a week. If you're looking for full-time childcare, perhaps you could look at an FB group called Maids Stories or the ibu FB page as they do publish contacts of maids.
      I'm sorry I don't know of any full time childcare centres as I never considered that option for our son when he was little. I hope this helps!

      Delete
    2. Hi Mrs Top Monkey, I couldn't seem to find the FB groups (Maid Stories / Ibu) you mentioned. Would you be able to provide the links? We would be relocating to KL and are looking for a preschool for 2 year old. Hubby would be working in Jalan Tun Razak area.

      Delete
    3. hi mrs top monkey,very informative blog.
      iam a expatriate from india.my daughter now 3 1/2yrs.started play school when she was 1 1/2 yr in bangsar childrens play group that was weekly twice from 9.30 t0o 11.30.(one of the parent shoud b ther)fees 120 rm /3months.medium in english ,very experienced teacher.they got pre school also.fees 350/month

      Delete
  74. Thank you! We will probably be staying around Bukit Jalil.

    Ken

    ReplyDelete
  75. Hi Mrs Top Monkey,

    First of all, I want to thank you so much for posting up such wonderful and useful informations. Really helps me a lot as I was so confused and blurred about pre-schools as they are so many of them out there. Currently, my 11 months old son Damien has just recently joined the Kindermusik Village class (which is for newborn to 18 months old) at Desa Park City. The educator is Ms Jenny.

    You mentioned earlier on that you have a friend who sends her son to Smart Reader franchise. Is Smart Reader a kindergarten school or are they like Kumon (those like Tuition Classes, I think)?

    Any highly recommended but budget friendly pre-school in Kepong or near Desa Park City?

    Thank you again Mrs Top Monkey.

    Jaime

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Smart Reader is a franchise kindergarten. I never checked it out myself.

      Sorry.. I'm not familiar with schools in Kepong/Desa Park area... anyone else?

      Delete
  76. Hi there,

    i was looking for pre-sch for my daughter too.She's turning 4 yr old next yr.
    Any suggestion for the kepong area?

    Thanks =)

    ReplyDelete
  77. Hi Mrs Top Monkey. Great info you have here. I'm not an expat, just a local who work somewhere near Bangsar. Currently hunting for a day care nursery for my baby due March next year. Do you know any place in Bangsar which can take as young as 2 months old?

    xx,
    Suria

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Suria, most of the schools I looked at took in children from 18 months onwards. But if you drive along Jalan Tualang in Bangsar (parallel to Jalan Bangkung), I think there is one daycare that takes children in from one month old. They are a corner house but I just can't recall the name of the place right now!

      Delete
    2. the name is Taska Sri Bangsar... I send my baby there since 4 months old.... and love it. to be honest it is quite hard to find a daycare centre which takes baby as young as 2 months old around this area.... and i'm glad i found this school.... although i don't think it provides good programmes for older kids but for infant daycare around bangsar/damansara/hartamas... this is certainly a good place

      Delete
  78. Hi Mrs Top Monkey,

    thanks for the list. But just to add here... British Montessori is in Taman TAR, Ampang; walking distance from Kelab Darul Ehsan. We operate from 8:30 - 12 or 2:30 or 6:00pm

    Our fees are Registration RM3,000 (a discount of RM2,000 is given if you register in December for the January intake); Anuual Fees are RM2,500.00 and monthly fees are RM600 (until 12 noon); RM750 (until 2:30pm) and RM1,100.00 (until 6pm and limited to 10 placements only).

    We are open all year round and have our own holiday schedule. Basically we are open more days of the year than any other school in Malaysia.

    We are registered as a pre-school with the Dept of Education, licensed with City Hall and Insured.

    Our curriculum is of course hands on Montessori but due to the increase in the number of days in school our pupils are well advanced by the time they leave us. For local expectations, our pupils are aged 9 academically at chronological age 6.

    We are English medium with extra curricular activities that are free of charge.

    We teach: English, Math, Science, History, Geography, Botany, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Practical Life, Sensorial, Art & Craft, Dance and Drama; we also have Islamic classes, Mandarin and Tamil language classes.

    Do call or sms for more info at 0123788879 or email zaradavies@yahoo.com

    Thank you, Datin Zara Davies British Montessori Ampang

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the info, Datin Zara!

      I actually considered your school but the thought of battling rush hour traffic was too much for me!

      Delete
  79. dear all, what do you recommend as school for my 17th months old in KLCC? thank you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  80. Great Job Mrs Top Monkey. This blog really help me to find a good place for my daughther. Will check few in the list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks and I hope you found something you like!

      Delete
  81. Hello Mrs Top Monkey,

    You've posted one of the best site on the net.
    It is indeed nerve wrecking to find a good school. You cannot imagine the stress we encounter..

    We would deeply appreciate if you could recommend a good kindergarden in KL or Selangor area for my child whom is turning 5yrs old next year. I live in Ampang-Ukay Perdana area and my child spent the last 2 years in Summerfields @ Sri Hartamas. It was a good there and my child enjoyed school life very much. The teachers are friendly and nice whom my child is very close with.

    I am also concerned on the approach of teaching. While most kindy and pre-school promotes Montessori approach, our education system may not permit such learning methods as once they are in Primary education (personally i would opt for traditional Chinese School), they may not adapt to the Montessori approach and that may affect the child's interest or worst their ability to learn. What do you think? I would love to hear your comments.

    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, thanks for your comment. My friends had a positive experience with Summerfields as well.

      For us, we had planned to send Connor to Alice Smith once he turned 5yo so I didn't check out any other schools as we'd fallen in love with Alice Smith. But then we moved... sigh.

      As we were opting for Alice Smith, I didn't worry much about the transition from Montessori to Year 1. But a friend who taught at a kindy told me that in her experience, children who attended Montessori-style preschools tended to struggle in local/Chinese schools for Year 1 as the expectations and methodology are so different. It's just her opinion though and may not hold true for every child.

      Delete
  82. Hi, I have recently checked out some pre-schools in Ampang for my 2.5 year old. Hope this helps some parents who are looking for a school around the vicinity.

    1. Kidz Cabin
    It's a single storey bungalow with good size playground. Environment is nice and quiet as it's
    tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city. If i am not mistaken, the ratio of teacher
    to this group of toddler is 1 to 10. 3 days week from 9am - 11.30am, snacks
    and light lunch provided. Fees is RM350 per month, payable quarterly.
    Registration fee = RM200; 1 month deposit = RM350; Insurance = RM10; Books,materials & supplies
    = RM50 per mth.

    2. Kindicare (Montessori)
    Also a single storey bungalow with good size playground located near Kidz Cabin. Similarly,
    environment is quiet and green. Ratio of student is comforting, 3 aunties to 12 kids (1 Aunty
    assisted by 2 others). Principal Jeanne Danker is very friendly and experienced. 5 days week
    from 8.30am - 12.30 pm, snacks and lunch provided.
    Fees is RM650 per month, payable quarterly (RM1,950).
    Registration fee = RM350; 2 months deposit = RM1,300; Uniform = RM48 per set

    3. Seri Mawar
    Located at One Ampang Avenue sharing condominium's facilities, this place is very spacious,
    clean and bright. Outdoor space is equally large. According to the Principal Dr Irene Leow,
    children can also use the condo's playground and pool on certain days. Ratio for 2 - 3 year old
    are 1 to 5 kids. Parents can choose either 3 or 5 days week, from 8.30am to 11.45am. Only snacks
    are provided. Fees for 3 days is RM360 per mth, whereas for 5 days week is RM450 per month,
    payable quarterly.
    Registration fee = RM200; 1 month deposit = RM450; Stationery (per half year) = RM100

    4. British Montessori Preparatory School (Tadika Adinda)
    Although I did not visit this place, I managed to speak to the Principal Datin Zara Davies on
    the fees. 5 days week from 8.30am - 12.30 (I can't really recall...), monthly fee is RM600,
    payable annually. Yes, you got it right, annually.
    Registration = RM3,000 (currently discount RM2k); Annual Fees = RM2,000, 1 month deposit (if I
    am not mistaken).
    Fees are too hefty for me, especially when I have plans to move my son back to Petaling Jaya mid
    of next year, so I am not keen on paying annually although i am sure some are refundable.

    I hope the above help parents who are scouting around that area. Note that whatever is provided above are for those age 2 - 3 only, above age 3 have different fees structure and options for full day as well.

    I am planning to send my son to Seri Mawar although I like Kindicare equally well due to transportation issue. Can only find transport to Seri Mawar....so well, fingers cross that my son will like that school.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, THANK YOU for taking the time to post this! I'm sure it will be very helpful to all mums and dads out there... thanks!

      Delete
    2. Thank you.
      British Montessori in Ampang.
      School time is 8:30am - 2:30pm
      School is open all year round and does not close for term breaks
      School is registered with the Ministry of Education and is fully licensed
      Teachers are subject based and ratio of 1 teacher to 5-8 pupils
      Fees are - Registration RM1,000.00; Annual Fees RM2,500.00; Monthly Fees RM750.00 and there is NO DEPOSIT.
      We also offer PAY & PLAY which is a drop off facility at RM50 for 8:30 - 12 noon and RM65 for 8:30am - 2:30pm

      We are expensive as a local school but cheap as an international school, hence we have both expat and local children. Fees include breakfast and lunch, all stationary and equipment. Staff are professional and friendly. This school is 20 years old this year. Can't believe how time flies, but everyday we are having so much fun. Our academic standard is very high without stressing out the children.

      Delete
  83. Hi,

    Thank you for the very useful info. I am planning to send my 22 mths old daughter to play school. do you have anyvidea if Brighton school practice full montesorri? Children house vs Brighton which has better learning environment ? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi chantelle, sorry I have no idea as I never checked out the schools personally. Perhaps someone else could help?

      Delete
  84. If anyone is looking for an Islamic playschool, there is one in Kota Damansara. It's called The TreeHouse. It combines montessori, waldorf and reggio approaches. Their website is www.thetreehouseplayschool.com.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, thanks for posting! I was looking for an Islamic preschool as well as a friend of mine from overseas had asked about it.

      Delete
  85. Hi ladies,

    I've been checking out the preschools around Ampang/KLCC for my 24mth old son. KL Intl Kids Club, Treetophouse, Children house etc.. Has anyone heard of Lil Footprints Infant & Childcare at The Weld?

    Too many schools and I'm lost.. any recommendation to which would be a better pick?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anyone out there with some reco on KL city centre-based schools? I didn't visit any as it was too far for me.

      Delete
    2. Try checkout little playhouse kl.. located at megan avenue 2.. new school plus daycare... call 0173961292.. I send my daughter there. .

      Delete
    3. Loladiena, do you still send your daughter to little playhouse? May I ask how old is your daughter? I'm thinking of sending my 19 months old son there. How do you find them? Good? What's the monthly fee and hours? Thank you for sharing.

      Delete
  86. Hi, I would like to send my precious bundle of joy who is just 2mths plus to a day care centre. I heard about taska sri bansar. Do you know about this centre? I and my husband do need to work. My parents are in ipoh. So i have no choice thn sending her to a day care centre.
    Thanks n regarda
    Shasha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry no, I never considered a day care as I'm not a working mum. Hope someone out there can help?

      Delete
  87. Hi Mrs Top Monkey and all the parents, thanks for sharing so many useful information. Anyone of ur send ur kid to Tadika Sri Perdana? Mind to share the feedback or insight about this kindergarten pls? thanks in advance!

    ReplyDelete
  88. Hi, I'm looking for a preschool for my daughter mainly for mix culture, outdoor sports/curriculum/enrichment classes and as well as early education.
    Ive went and checked out Brighton School House that was on of your favourites and summer academy damansara utama as well as their ttdi branch.

    Wonder could you share v me more about Brighton? What is there that you like about the school? And pls tell me more.

    Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I only liked what I saw online and from the outside. I never visited the school personally because we were scheduled for a move away from KL and I thought it was pointless to withdraw Connor from his current school.

      Delete
  89. Hi I need to know more about Brighton school house & summer academy ? Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, I never visited both schools personally... only know from online web visits and from what friends have told me of their own experiences with the schools.

      Delete
  90. Nice Nursery Kids playing ideas added by you,Thanks a lot for sharing.
    Top Nursery Schools in India

    ReplyDelete
  91. Hi, as a mom who was also looking for my son's school, I would like to share something here. It's about a school called The Children's House in Jalan Ampang Hilir.

    This is one school who sent my child home only after 2 days being in the school. They even gave me a brochure of autistic children simply because my child was an active child and stood out than the rest of the students. I was very ashamed and shocked that they send him back on the 2nd day due to my son's condition who wasnt talking much at the time, active and cried because of course it was his 2nd day and havent adapted to a new environment. they told me to have my son checked and to send a shadow-aid to assist him in school on top of teaching my children. My thoughts were, in what situation are you a teacher if a shadow aid will be the one assisting/teaching my child and not the teachers?

    This is coming from a principal who she herself couldn't pronounce the word 'children' - she pronounce it as 'chirren'.

    There is a way of approaching parents when it comes to talking to them about their children, and The ChildrenHouse were not accepting, not subtle and telling you your son is an autistic child is a slap on the face even if he has issues. Paying RM10,00 for one semester is absurd and I did but this was how they were. Unprofessional.

    When I was a teen, I fell in love with the 'red school' (as I called it back then) and told myself I will send my child there when I have one. The day came and I did just so.. But they shattered my dreams when they sent my son home in just 2 days - they don't deserve to be called teachers or someone who nurture children. Their motto is to nurture children each child in their unique ways, so where is this motto when along came a challenging child like mine? My son now goes to speech therapy and improving every day. The Children's House should be ashamed of themselves.

    I would not recommend this to anyone. These are my words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry to hear of your experience with them and thanks for sharing.

      On a more positive note, I'm happy to hear your son's improving with speech therapy. We too had very positive results with speech therapy and I'm happy to hear of another child benefiting from it.

      Delete
    2. Dear Parent,
      My name is Datin Zara Davies and I run British Montessori in Ampang. I'm really sorry to hear about your son and your experience. WE do take active children and I would be honored if you came to visit us. Currently we have 3 active (autistic) children in our school who are doing very well. Do call me on 0123788879. Take care and all the best.

      Delete
  92. Hi Mrs Top Monkey, your blog has indeed benefit many parents..well I came across your blog while searching for something else. and ended up reading all the comments by the enthusiast parents....my daughter is studying in REAL KIDS in Cheras and yes it is relatively a good school. I also have a son who is autistic...not sure whether it is appropriate to ask here but would anyone know where they provide swimming lessons for autistic children?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did a post on swim lessons, you can check it out and call up to ask? I'm showing my ignorance here but does it matter if he joins a class of non-autistic children? Is it because he may have sensory problems or..? I'm asking because one of Connor's classmates was autistic and he always joined in the other non-autistic kids.

      Delete
  93. Hello....we are planing o relocate to kl from srilanka ,we have a daughter who is 4years old,kindly advice us on any good schools around which is not also with a very high fees,as when we did some survey n the net we found quite a many schools with the fees so high.we would also like you to advice us on which location would be good to reside as we would prefer something near by to her school,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have posted a list of schools with an estimation of their fees and you can check out the links I gave if you need further info. I don't know what your budget is and sometimes fees that seem high to one family seem reasonable to another so I can't really tell.

      Good luck with your search!

      Delete
  94. hi Mrs Top Monkey,
    Can I have the address and contact number for Little Mandarin House?
    I tried to google it but can't find its website or any details.
    Thanks so much in advance.

    -Joanne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't have it either. I got it while driving up Jalan Ara one day and hopped out to copy their phone number off the sign. But I've deleted it since we've moved away from KL.

      Delete
  95. Mrs top monkey the information you are giving i fab. Private schools in k Kuala Lumpur are Damn expensive. I am from Pakistan and planning to shift to Kuala Lumpur. Are there any good English medium schools and preschools that are less expensive and preschoolers affordable. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree international schools cost a lot. However there seems to be more affordable ones appearing in KL as a result of strong demand. You can check out the REAL chain of schools, my friend's daughter goes there and they're very happy with it. According to them, fees are reasonable and the standard is good.

      Delete
  96. Anyone heard of Lil Ones in Mont Kiara? Am staying in Puchong currently (will be moving to PJ next yr)as my office is in PJ. Daily commute is a prob with the heavy traffic. Am now looking for a suitable kindy for my twin boys who are as different as day & night. Have heard kids trained in montessori based methods will have problem adjusting in Chinese Primary school as I plan to send them to one when the time comes. Any advice on that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If any parents out there have any feedback to share on Lil Ones, please do!

      I never planned to send Connor to Chinese school so the adjustment wasn't an issue for us to consider. But I have mentioned before that I have a friend who is a Montessori-trained preschool teacher and she had told me she had seen some of her young charges struggle when they enter national-type schools (vs international school curriculum). This is because of the difference in teaching methodologies. It doesn't mean they'll struggle forever, kids can catch up with help. And it doesn't mean EVERY kid will struggle. It's still a point to consider though.

      Delete
  97. Hey Mrs Top Monkey (yr nickname tickles me pink!)

    Like many others, while searching for something, I came across yr blog. And I'm relief to hv read thru EVERY single post. I'll try to make dis short. Just like everyone else, I'm going thru mental stress by selecting a place for my eldest daughter (turning 4 in August). I realise dat whatever I choose for her now is rather crucial as it will determined the type of school I wanna send her to when she starts Year 1. There's a lot of feedbacks frm yrself n other parents dat have given me a slightly clearer picture of wat is gud or not for a (soon to be) 4yr old. Yr blog (+ other parents feedback)is a blessing for me. N I will share dis info wz other soon-to-be-mentally-stress parents!

    Another note to add, how wonderful it is dat u still take the time to reply eventhough u no longer reside in KL. All the best wherever u are now.

    Thank you Mrs T.M!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Michelle, hehe... there is a domestic reason behind my nick... LOL

      I share your (and almost every parent's!) confusion regarding which school to choose. When we moved to the UK, I had the decision taken out of my hands as Connor automatically goes to the local school. I wasn't sure whether to be relieved or scared! I'm glad the blog has helped, that's the sole intention of most of the serious posts - they're just to help other parents.

      Thank you for your kind comments. Yes, I do reply to KL-related posts even though I don't live there anymore as I think it's rude not to. I still try my best to help with pointers.

      All the best to you too and hope you'll find a great school that suits your little girl!

      Delete
    2. Hi Mrs Top Monkey,
      thanks for the very useful links and your post. Was planning to send son to kindy only after he's 4, but my 3yo son is itching to go to school so much so he potty-trained himself in 3 days. Thus the scrambling, googling for information. Keep up the good work!

      Delete
    3. Hello Siti, thank you for your comment! I must say we should also thank all the parents who took the time to post their experiences and info here to share, it's always helpful to hear from parents instead of just listening to the school.

      Wow, you're so lucky that your son potty trained himself! What a guy. Well done, sir! Hope he enjoys school.

      Delete
  98. juz for addtional info.

    i sent my son to The children's house, Ampang Hilir branch. http://www.thechildrenshouse.com.my/

    Suitbale for expat/local.
    in my son class : 5 local 13 expat.
    english medium - big space for each class - very clean - good security - good n healthy menu (bfast n lunch) - max 15 students perclass with 3,4 teachers at one time.
    reading session 1 to 1 basis.
    more on play group
    from 8months - 6years old.

    school time : 9am - 1pm
    afternoon session : addtional until 3pm

    school fees : reg 1 time only RM500
    material 1 time only : RM1000
    school kit, uniform, etc... a few additional.
    3 term per year, per term RM5200
    afternoon session up to 3pm...addtional RM1600 per term

    Very suitable if u are staying at Ampang or KLCC area.

    thanks
    Ayza Sarbani

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ayza, thanks for taking the time to post this comment for other parents' info! I'm sure many parents will find your feedback useful. Thanks!

      Delete
  99. Thanks, Mrs. Top Monkey, for running this great blog.

    Can anyone provide additional perspective on Eton House and whether they've resolved some of the administration/ staff turnover challenges described above? We visited today and were impressed with the facilities and people we met, but just want to make sure we didn't miss something!

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome KBN and thank you for dropping by! As a parent, I know how confusing selecting a school can be as there are so many factors involved.

      If anyone out there has any feedback on Eton House, you're very welcome to post it.

      Delete
    2. The facilities at Etonhouse are enticing and beautiful and quite possibly the best in KL, and the school can attract some great teachers. However, the administration remains . . . very challenged. An experienced teacher was brought in some time ago to act as "the fixer", as even the Singapore head office finally acknowledged that there were serious issues. She (from what I understand) has made valiant efforts, but is still hamstrung by the preschool director.

      I used to have my children at EHM, and am still friendly with parents who still have their children there. These parents are either still hoping for things to improve because the school is convenient to where they live or work (they have not) or unwilling to move their children to other schools because EHM is convenient to where they live.

      A child was "expelled" when, in response to a fairly benign medical condition, the parents requested verification of which teachers, if any, were certified in CPR. The parents were essentially told that even if there was a CPR certified teacher present, that the school's policy would be to NOT RENDER ASSISTANCE. Why? Because it would expose them to liability. (I guess the preference would be to let the child die?) The school used to have a head teacher who used to be a highly qualified nurse before switching to being an educator, but she left as soon as her contract permitted her to.

      I can confirm that there was a large number of teachers who broke their contracts (and ended up owing the school money) because they were treated so badly. These were great, committed teachers that were loved by, and in return, loved the children in their classes.

      There was an alleged incidence of a child going to his parents complaining about not wanting to have a "brown skinned teacher," the parents took the complaint to the school, and instead of addressing the situation properly, the school reassigned the teacher to a different class. This should not be acceptable to any parent, let alone any school program with any iota of integrity.

      Most recently, a parent told me that the school can't decide what curriculum base it uses. Reggio? Montessori? IB? The parent grew up in the IB system, and when told that EHM was an IB school, couldn't get satisfactory answers as to the IB qualifications of the teachers.

      The school is (at last I heard) still only certified as a daycare center. The school runs (or used to run) a bus service where the drivers were still "P" platers, and have nearly run parents in my neighborhood off the road after engaging in road-rage.

      Since the original head of security left, there have been multiple reported instances of children running out into the parking area during pick up/drop off time because the security gate has been left open. One parent who complained about this subsequently found out that she was labeled a "problem parent" by the preschool director, and staffers were told to "keep an eye on her".

      The owner of the school was fond of assessing the parents of children enrolled in her school as "having marital problems" if there are any on-campus accidents, disciplinary issues, or if the child is the victim (not perpetrator!) of bullying. She was also fond of sharing that assessment with anyone willing to listen

      Children enrolled in the after-school ECA programs have been "forgotten" in the playground, to be found wandering around completely by themselves (with no teachers or other staff present) when the parents have come to pick them up.

      These are some of the many examples of things that have been reported by parents at the school.

      My assessment of the school is that on the surface, everything looks beautiful and wonderful and top-notch, but scratch the surface a little bit, and there are significant issues. Reasonable people can disagree about curriculum and menu plans, etc., but the health and safety of my child should not be something that I am constantly thinking about when he is in school.

      Delete
  100. i want to know if a parent has an experience of beacon house pre-school klang. my son is 2.5 years and i am going to put him to put him in pre-school n day care of beacon house. please give me your reviews too ..

    ReplyDelete
  101. Hi,

    We have recently moved to KL and live in Mont Kiara. My son 3.5 yrs old is due to start Alice Smith this september. I am looking for a kindergarten in the interim as it gets very difficult to keep him occupied at home. Please give me some suggetions for nurseries in Mont Kiara

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you live in Mont Kiara, there's Blue Daisies which operates out of one condo.. I forgot which one though. There's also Children's House I think that operates out of the condo behind 1 Mont Kiara. Nearby would be Summerfields in Sri Hartamas which has gotten good reviews from my friend. There could be new ones that have sprung up since we moved away from KL, Sunrise Properties website usually has a list of schools that you can check out.

      Hope this helps!

      Delete
  102. Hi there.. i need help to find a suitable place for my 22 months daughter. Currently she is attending a taska near bangsar south and i found out that the teacher is unwilling to close the window although with current haze problem which can affect all the children health. This triggers me to find another place for her. I need help and want to find one near bangsar area. My budget is around rm300-700 p/mth.

    Thanks a lot for the info shared and what u r doing here Mrs Top Monkey. I try to find the info i need however seems like i couldn't find it.

    I hope i could find a better place for my daughter..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could try My Montessori School which is right opposite the HSBC in Bangsar (near BV) or Tulip Montessori. I'm not sure what the fees are right now but they were about RM700+ when I last checked. Good luck!

      Delete
  103. Hi Mrs Top Monkey, i'm the one posting for help on any preschool or daycare at bangsar area.. i just saw ur recent post on ur new born baby.. Congratulations to u n ur family.. :)

    ReplyDelete
  104. Hi Mrs Top Monkey,

    Really appreciate to write about all the preschools which u knw. Do u knw abt any good preschool on USJ or nearby? I am planning to put my 3.5 yrs old kid in Real kids plus or Beaconhouse in SS19? Do u hve any idea about these two schools as in which one is better. Planning to have 1-2 Days trial classes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi megha, sorry for late reply but have been busy with a newborn AND a big kid recently. No, I'm not familiar with any schools in USJ area at all as I rarely go there. Can anyone reading this help megha?

      Delete
  105. hi Mrs TM,
    we've just moved to KL. staying in Bangsar. i have a coming 5 years old gal.
    could you share which preschool Connor attended when you guys were still in KL?
    thanks in advance.
    -Jasmine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Connor attended Tulip. He was 2yo when we started and about 4yo when he finished as we moved away from KL. The majority of kids there were younger than 4yo as many were expat kids who then went on to attend Reception (kindergarten) at international schools when they turned 4yo+. As your daughter is a little bit older, you may want to look at some other schools as well with more older kids in attendance so that their curriculum is suited to them?

      Delete
  106. Hi,

    Thank you very much Mrs Top Monkey you are doing a amazing job here. I am planning to move to Malaysia next January from UK. I will have three year old girl which I want to enrol in to a good preschool. I will eventually moving her in to an international school. I am going to work in Semenyih area so not sure which area should be more suitable to find a house. My main priority is a good preschool for my girl. Have you mums got any advises which area I should be looking for a house to target a good preschool. I was thinking Alice Smith but it is too far away from where I will be working. Any suggestions or advises are welcome. P.s.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there! Hope you'll enjoy Malaysia the same way I'm enjoying UK now.

      Can anyone out there help? I don't even know how to get to Semenyih, let alone navigate around there so I'm clearly the wrong person to ask for help.

      Delete
  107. Hi Ms Top Monkey, i have to say you really are a God sent with this blog. i have twin boys who will turn 3 in sept and i live in KLCC, jl kia peng. I am looking for a pre-school in the area and i am interested in tree top house, i was wondering if anyone has any feedback about the school or if they have any other recommendations for pre-schools. thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nadine, hope you're enjoying life in KL! I wish we were still living in U-Thant when Treetop appeared... it looks like such a fun school! Hope someone can help you with some tips on preschools around KLCC area!

      Delete
    2. Ms Nadine
      We are moving to KL end of this month, currently here for a few days to look around and we have chosen to stay in KLCC area. My daughter is younger than your boys as she is 22months but I have also been told about tree top house, I've had a look at their website which looks great. Have you been there yet for a look? How have you got on looking for a place for your boys? Any info you have would be great. Thanks

      Delete
    3. Hi Mr Top Monkey,
      I have come from India and currentl staying in Jalan Ampang near to great eastern mall. I am looking for a prep cum day care school for my 15 month old baby near by who has the time till 5:30 at evening. Please help.or you can mail me at thapliyalarchna @gmail.com

      Delete
  108. Hi Mrs Top Monkey! Thank God I found your blog and it is very useful to me. My husband and I just moved to Kuala Lumpur from United Stated. We are finding a pre-school for my 2 years old daughter. I would like to ask about Beaconhouse. How is the education system and the fee? Thank you so much.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Hi! I'm Justine. Can you please tell me more about Taska Tulip? I'm looking for a school that my daughter can learn through play, not sitting in a class room doing work sheets all day... Are there lots of play time in Tulip? Out door play too? Field trips and other fun activities too? thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  110. hi everyone... can anyone suggest good preschool for my 18 months old around damansara heights/ bangsar area which takes in from 9am - 6pm... both of myself and my husband are working, so many other good options like brighton school house is out from the list already.....

    i know My Little Home montessori school in damansara heights takes in from 9-6 ... anyone who send their kids there would like to comment about this school? thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  111. Hi Mrs Top Monkey,
    Few times visited and read your posts and its so helpful! Since the decision to move to M'sia in Jan 2014, I'm very worried for my son who will turn 4 next year! He's in playschool and speaks his mother tongue. But he's slowly picking up English. M'sia is going to be a whole new experience for him. He's quiet and shy, and I want him to go to a school where they encourage more play and socializing with other kids.
    Would like a recommendation from you for a medium budget (RM 800/ month) preschool with expat kids near to Desa Kiara Condo/ Help Uni/ Segi. Me and my husband will be studying for our Masters degree either at Help Uni or Segi at Kota Damansara.
    Through this blog you have helped many parents and I appreciate your effort. Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  112. We are Indians, and about to relocate to KL with our office at Technology Park, Bukit Jalil. Our daughter is 24 months old. Can you advise any good english medium based preschool which focuses on hands on learning? We are willing to take a home on rent anywhere and commute to office. On a single salary, we cannot afford schools charging 40k an annum, anything below 15k an annum is much more practical. We are thoroughly confused, please help.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Can anyone comment on the difference between "The Children's House" and "Children's Discovery House"? I am aware that the latter was started by teachers that left The Children's House and that they are both Montessori format schools. Does anyone have information or experience regarding the quality of the education, staff, and teachers? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  114. thanks for this wonderful overview! I LOVE that there are some preschools with little wading pools outside, and Montessori seems to be so popular in KL! I am looking at moving to KL and Brighton Schoolhouse looks fantastic. I am not sure you touched upon the topic but how did you find the pollution in KL? I'd love to move there but my husband says he'd prefer Penang because KL air is not so clean? What did you think? (sorry for the off-topic question.

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  115. Hello... Can somebody please suggest on Childern's Discovery House in Bangsar. We are about to select that for our kid.

    ReplyDelete
  116. Hi Ms Top Monkey,
    I am a mother to a 18 months boy and will have to relocate to KL for work next year as my son turns 2 years old. Am looking for a nursery/playschool for my son within the area close to UMMC (University Malaya Medical Centre). As my husband and i work long and unpredictable hours, we do hope that we will be able to find a nursery/playschool with more flexible hours which is also within out budget of RM1000-1500 a month. Please help! Feeling rather helpless right now.

    ReplyDelete