We decided that our 4 years old girl is ready for playschool/preschool as she's eager to learn new things and we thought that she needs to develop some social skills (especially being the first grand daughter and no one to be friends with except for her grandparents and lil sister who just turned 1 at home).
That excludes all the learning she had through YouTube and cartoons TV channel. Some parents may be against gadgets and what not but I must admit that she managed to pick up quite a lot of things from the gadget, YouTube and cartoons on TV. She even mastered her ABC & 123 and even spelling. Yes, and speaking too! (That's the cons of working mom- I couldn't spend more time teaching her during daytime and after working hours are all about cooking and house chores. Sad but that's the reality)
So, we were hunting for playschool in Taman Melawati area. Our basic requirement were:
1. Location- easily access, we have to ensure we can send her off & pick her up from school. I don't really trust pickup at the moment as she's just 4 years old.
2. Shop lot/houses - I don't fancy with school located at shop lot area as they have limited space and no play/garden/outdoor activities area. Parking can be challenging too especially if it's at business or commercial area.
3. Feedback/Testimonial- Yes, I do read testimonial and I trust them. I did some survey and asked around too. Some established schools with many branches may not carry the same quality in all of their branches. I did drop by to some schools and the person who entertain my enquiry do not convince me enough that the school can deliver their promises. Personally, I think every personnel in the school should know their school, teachers, students and syllabus well.
4. Cleanliness- I did drop by without calling and I saw the school condition as it is. (Most of the time, everything look perfect during "Open Day"). So, some spot check may help and give you some indication if they really took care of the school cleanliness.
5. Fee structure- Yes, budget and also monthly commitment. Mind you, there will be a list of fees that you have to commit, ie. registration fees (between RM1,000-2000/year which include uniforms, tools for activities, graduation and such. May vary from one playschool to another. Monthly fees - most of the schools required advance payment, the one I enrol my kid with required advance fees for Jan & Dec, Feb & Nov. (I guess, this is also way for the schools to ensure we sign up our kids for a year and not to jump to another schools easily). I spent RM260/per month (I must say the fees are quite reasonable, depending on the location too). Some paid about RM170 (the cheapest that I know of and as highest at RM900/ per month (for a 3-4 hours schooling).
For 4 years old class, it's 15 pax per class.
Some school may mix 4-6 years old kid in a class.
During her 3 days orientation.
It's a painful process for school hunting, especially it's our first experience ever.
Happy hunting and you decide what's best for your child :)
On another note, playschool is expensive. Raising a child is never cheap.