October 29, 2008

Kindergarten hunting – Part 2

Kinderland, Juara Cerdik, Educare and Peter & Jane

Approach to education
Peter & Jane and Educare employ the Montessori Method but during my visit to Educare, though I see some apparatus, they don’t look like the typical Montessori apparatus, unlike Peter & Jane. There's a clear difference between these two, with Peter & Jane having a more complete collection of apparatus which are neatly arranged, much like the actual Montessori classroom pictured below.

However, I get a sense that the 5- and 6-year old classes become more academic in nature, to prepare the children for primary school. Juara Cerdik belongs to the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) and employs the FunGates System, which also uses lots of apparatus in their teaching. The emphasis on academics is pretty strong, with the aim of getting the children familiar with the concept of homework and assessments. Kinderland is also very academic in nature. All four uses the thematic approach (e.g., family, occupation, animals) in their teaching and only Peter & Jane offers Chinese medium classes. Kinderland and Juara Cerdik offers Chinese as part of the syllabus and according to the principal of Juara Cerdik, most of her students attend Chinese primary schools.

Overall, the quality of teachers in these four centres appears to be a GREAT deal better than those of R.E.A.L Kids, Smart Reader Kids and Q-dees.

Physical characteristics
Both Educare and Kinderland have a lot of similarites: both are housed in a double-storey bungalow, both have reasonably attractive façade and interior, both do not have child friendly facilities, and both have a minipool and sandpit in their compounds. Kinderland also has a music room with several keyboards, where the children learn music and fiddle with the instruments.



Juara Cerdik and Peter & Jane also have lots of similarities: both are housed in a custom built building, not your run-of-the-mill double storey bungalow or double-storey corner terrace unit. Both have really impressive exterior and interior as well as having child-friendly facilities. Juara Cerdik also boasts of a science lab and computer lab, and since it is within the large DUMC complex, it has access to the multipurpose hall for its activities. Peter & Jane also has a computer lab, and its music classes are conducted using the Musikgarten program, no less!

Child friendly facilities at Juara Cerdik

The huuuugggeeee compound of Peter & Jane

Security at Educare, Kinderland and Peter & Jane are pretty lax. Similar to the R.E.A.L Kids and Q-dees centres I visited, though there’s a latch at the gate, it was not locked. At least at Peter & Jane, the first point of entry is the administrator office so there’s still some measure of screening of visitors. The DUMC complex is a guarded complex, but the guards don’t really stop anyone from going into the complex. The main entrance to Juara Cerdik though, is locked, at least at the time of my visit that evening. It’s somewhat similar to the typical office security system where access is only granted with an access card. Not sure if it'll be locked during school/dismissal hours.

Juara Cerdik and Educare costs about the same as R.E.A.L Kids, while Kinderland and Peter & Jane costs about 50% and 65% more respectively.

In conclusion
Among these four centres, I like Peter & Jane the most, but its fee is quite prohibitive. Juara Cerdik is a close second, and given its lower fee, appears to give more bangs for my bucks.

So what’s next? I’ll make another visit to Juara Cerdik when school is in session, to observe the children and teacher in action. I’ll bring Yiu Yiu along too, just to see if she likes the school. And if trial classes is an option, I’ll certainly enroll her. In the meantime, I’ll explore other Q-dees kindies in the vicinity.


chanelwong said...

wow...another great write up...

Anonymous said...

I'm for Educare too :) (not simply because I'm a Catholic ok...)

Wow...this Peter & Jane looks and sounds like a real school instead of a kindy.

Not sure about you but I don't really fancy kindies with swimming pools. While it means additional extra-curricular activies, it's also opportunity for mishaps, know what I mean?

Do bring Yiu Yiu when you check your shortlisted ones. That way, you can see how they interact with newcomers etc when class is in session.

Remember how different my impressions were during my visits to the first preschool I chose? All the best!

Anonymous said...

Wow! was very impressed by your kindergarten hunting, you did a very comprehensive search, well done!

Liew said...

So how did the visit with Yiu Yiu go? Is she more receptive to the idea now?

A Mom's Diary said...

Chanel - thanks.

Kittycat - you mean Juara Cerdik right, not Educare? P&J is really cool, I'm very impressed but it's way too expensive.

I understand your concern with swimming pool.

I brought YY to visit Juara Cerdik, just one, coz I'm likely to enrol her there.

Libby - thanks. Guess that makes me a kiasu and kiasi mum :-)

WK - you know the answer already, right?

Anonymous said...

Wow .. Impressive search .. guess I can keep these info for my boy in future.
By the way, do you know any daycare for baby 5 months above? Did you sent YY to any day care centre. My current day care is not so .. as per my first visit .. the nanny turn over is very high ..
Will appreciate your feedback. Thanx.

A Mom's Diary said...

Joyce - YY goes to a babysitter in a private home. So sorry can't help you with any comments on daycare.

LittleLamb said...

Hi, blog hop from Chanel.
The reason why P&J is expensive because they really take care of their teachers very well. Very seldom you see their quiting. How I know..because 12 yrs ago, I was offered a job by the school and was surprise with the pay they were offering me, compared to other kindi. and yes, from my research, P&J is one of the better ones in Klg Valley area. If you visit P&J in Hyatt Saujana, you will be lagi impress :)

A Mom's Diary said...

Littlelamb - I know the quality of the teachers are really good in P&J, and I also understand why they charge so much. But the fees is really a whole lot more than what I would pay for pre-school.

Unknown said...

I am hunting the kindergarten for my daughter and happens to see your blog. Thank you so much for the information, it's really help !
I wondering how is Yiu Yiu's school learning process with Juara Cerdik? Did you satisfied with the service provided by the school?

A Mom's Diary said...

Joeann - glad to know that the posts are helpful to you. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and I can say YY looks forward to going to school everyday. During this 2-week holidays, she keeps asking whether tomorrow got school or not. I guess that's the best testament for the kindy.

Unknown said...

I'm searching parent's comments on Smart Reader Kid and happens to see your blog...and it's so comprehensive and informative! I'm staying in Cheras, there are only 3 kindergardens around my area, i.e. Smart Reader Kid and 2 standalone; not many choices.

Anonymous said...

Choose Peter and Jane!!!!! It's awesome!! I'm doing my PMR this year.... So kindy was quite a while ago I dun rmb learning anything, all I can remember is having fun all day throughout the 3 years I was there... Despite not remembering learning, during my STD 1, I was one of the fastest learners there and I owe it to Peter & Jane.... That's my comment .... U're a good blogger I happened to stumble upon ur blog because I was looking for some Peter and Jane photos .... Keep writting..

Anonymous said...

I think kinderland fine but 1 month need to pay RM300 plus...
P&J & Juara Cerdik is way too far from kota kemuning...

Anonymous said...

i was browsing & searching kindies on the internet,came across your blog.impressive & full of information about few kindies write up.btw,wonder how much is juara cerdik charging & P&J?

Anonymous said...

What is the fees like for juara cerdik..?

littlepumpkin said...

I'm hunting for a good pre-school for my son and came across your blog. Thanks for the comprehensive research, you've done an awesome job! Peter & Jane is on my list too, glad to know the quality of teacher is good. Will pay them a visit soon!

Anonymous said...

kinderland fees is much cheaper compare to P&J.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for the information and comparison between these pre-schools. It's really helpful to me. I just visited P&J today, and plan to visit Juara Cerdik. Just want to say thank you, and i enjoy reading your blog very much.