Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Montessori Pre-school Mont Kiara / Sri Hartamas

My first son is turning 4 years old this year and it's time to seriously scout for his kindergarten, we are a bit late as the year has already begun but we were busy settling the house since we moved just before Christmas and couldn't get a lot of things done fast due to the festive season.

When we were at Taman Tun Dr Ismail previously, we were spoilt for choice since there are a number of kindergartens there and Mont Kiara and Sri Hartamas are also nearby. In Sentul though, it's getting a bit difficult finding information regarding Montessori Pre-schools around the area or at least good kindergartens. So, for a start, we went to look around at some Montessori Pre-school at Mont Kiara and Sri Hartamas to see the facilities, program outline and fee structure. 

There are a few kindergartens at Sri Hartamas, I found Sparkles Montessori, Montessori Kidz Studio, Casa Montessori, Summer Fields Pre-school and Kinderland

We went to see Summer Fields Pre-school just to gauge the traveling distance and traffic conditions between Sentul and Sri Hartamas. 

I love Summer Fields huge out door area as I think that kids need to have some outdoor play time so that they will not be bored indoors. The kids play ground is sufficient for the number of students that they take in and I don't think that the kids need to scramble with others for a chance to play. The school is also spacious as it's actually two connecting houses and the principal said that they move the classes around each year. 

Curriculum focus on language and literacy, numeracy and mathematics, knowledge and understanding of the world, personal and social development, physical development and creative development. 

Summer Fields Pre-school programme runs from 8.30am - 12.30 am for Nursery 1 & 2 and 8.30 am - 1.00pm for Kindergarten 1 & 2, Extended programme is also available till 3.30pm or 5.30pm

Fees are pretty affordable at RM600 per month (till 12.30pm or 1.00 pm) RM750 (till 3.30pm) RM850 (till 5.30pm) There is lunch fee of RM60 for the extended programme and if you would like to sign up for the extra curriculum activities, additional fees apply; Mandarin RM200 per month, Music & Movement RM 120, Gymnastics RM120, Speech and Drama RM150. I figured if I take the extended programe one and take additional Music & Movement and Gymnastic classed for my kid it will cost me RM1050 for my son's schooling per month. Other considerations include; food constraint for my Muslim son and transportation is not provided outside Mont Kiara and Sri Hartamas area. 

Next, we decided to look at Montessori Pre-schools at Mont Kiara. We narrowed down to Children's Discovery House (kind of knew it's going to be expensive but we just want to see what the place offers in comparison with other Montessori Pre-schools), Lil House Montessori, HanaSuria Montessori and San Lorenzo Montessori at Publika, Solaris Dutamas. 

In the end, we only managed to see Children Discovery House today since Lil House Montessori's visiting hours are only around 11.00 am - 12.00 pm and HanaSuria Montessori at Solaris Mont Kiara needs appointment and visiting hours are 4.00pm onwards. 

We went to Children's Discovery House at I-Zen II Mont Kiara (though they have another branch  at Seni Mont Kiara too) and my kids really love the place, it was colorful, cheerful, and surprisingly spacious for a Pre-school that is inside a condominium compound. No worries about kids getting bored indoors here, the school compound itself is like an indoor playground waiting to be explored. They also have an indoor play area with artificial grass and playground that makes the kids feel as though as they are on a field outdoors (without the heat).  I also love the fact that meals are prepared by Muslim ladies and that there are a number of Muslim teachers/ caregivers too. Apart from Montessori Curriculum, Music, Gymnastics and Taekwondo are also offered at no additional fees. The drawback? Again no transportation to Sentul and the high fees. Maybe if I am enrolling only my first son, we might consider this place but to enrol two is too much of a stretch financially. RM 1350 per month for Morning programme (9.00am - 12.30pm) and RM1813 per month for extended prgramme (9.00 am-3.15pm). 

Next, we drop by HanaSuria Montessori since it's really difficult to find information about this place online. HanaSuria Montessori is at Block B. 15-2 & 15-3, Jalan Solaris 1, Solaris Mont Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur. You can call them up at 03 6203 7508 to make an appointment. They take in kids from 18 months to 6 years old and offer Creative Arts, Mandarin, Geography, Music & Movement, Speech & Drama among other stuffs. Fees are also quite reasonable at RM530 per month (9.00am-1.00pm) and RM820 per month (9.00am-3.00pm) We didn't get a chance to go inside since we didn't make an appointment and when I called up they are busy till this Friday and when I raised my concern regarding play area in the school and enquired how big is their space, the guy over the phone responded that their place is not really that big. So, I might not go over to see the place. But from the outside it does look nicely maintained and cheerful. 

After these visits, we were too tired to check out the Montessori and Gymboree at Publika. Will update this post again after my visit to Lil House Montessori tomorrow :) 

If you would like to consider Bukit Damansara area, I think InsightKids Preschool and Brighton School House are also worth checking out though we didn't venture there as my husband said that the distance is too far away. 

It was a tiring day today and tomorrow I have some kindergartens scouting lined up at Jalan Kuching and Jalan Ipoh area too. Hopefully, there will be one that is about the same standard as Summer Fields so that I won't have to travel that far to send my kids to a pre-school.