My daughter has started her N1 in March with Ecokidd. Decided on this kindergarten, not without visiting many schools first. As we are new residents in JW, we visited schools in the same area.
Pls note that visits to the school were scheduled in Jan'13. Information about vacancies was accurate at that time.
Little Wonders Montessori was the nearest to my home. However, there were no vacancies so I did not visit the school. I have spoken to the principal over the phone. She spoke good English and responded to my requests promptly.
First school I scheduled a visit was MMI Jurong (childcare). Made an appointment for 4pm and was received by the principal. Overall didn't feel impressed with the school despite the branding. The atmosphere was not lively and from the vibe I got, I didn't feel anything positive with the teaches. The visit was short; the principal did not brief much on their curriculum and activities. It was probably due to her nursing a flu. The principal did a f/up phone call to ask if I was keen to enrol. There is a 2 weeks' trial if interested.
As I was leaving, my husband and I saw Mindchamps (childcare) on the 2nd level. We decided to try our luck and drop by without an appointment. We were warmly received by Teacher Claire. My husband and I left the school, feeling very impressed. Teacher Claire did a fantastic job showing us around. She explained to us the daily schedule, enrichment classes offered and why they are not optional, why the layout of the classroom, nap time/feeding time and addressed concerns such as allergies/potty training etc without even me asking for such info. She is eloquent and speaks good English. We saw happy and behaved children with their teachers smiling. Children's work could be seen along the corridor. This is a new branch and the facilities are rather new. The school fees are inclusive of enrichment classes and enrichment classes are not optional. This is because the school believes that children might feel disappointed to see their friends in the enrichment classes but they do not get to participate. We also received a f/up call twice from the school, once to ask if we were interested to go for their Open House and second call to f/up on the visit.
Little School House In The Tree House (childcare) - We also dropped by without an appointment. It was around 5.30pm when we visited. Unfortunately the administrator, Debbie couldn't accommodate our request to view the school. However, we observed that the children were a happy bunch and teachers were warm and friendly. My husband was very impressed with the school bus driver who appeared fatherly, guiding the children to wear their shoes and reminding them to take their school bags. Currently for N1, there is no vacancy, only waiting list.
Carpe Diem Jurong West St 73 (childcare) - appointment was made for 2pm. This school is located under a block of flats and with no air conditioning. We were shown around the school by the principal. Personally, I felt the principal did not proactively introduce the school to us. She kept asking us what we like to know. It's like a Q&A session. As it was the children's nap time, I really couldn't tell the vibe of the school. Not assuring since we really couldn't feel the principal's enthusiasm.
Pat School House (childcare) - we had an appointment at 11am. The admin clerk sorta ruined the first impression for my husband as she just left us alone, wondering what we were supposed to do at the reception area. The principal also did not leave a good impression on my husband as he felt that she did not really seem to be involved with the school. E.g. she got confused with the number of slots left for the different classes, did not answer questions on curriculum well. However she did come across as someone who genuinely loves the children and so do the teachers.
Summer Montessori (kindergarten- 3hr session) - We dropped by without appointment (around 11.45am) and we met the principal of the school, a friendly Indian lady (forgot her name). Even though she was in the middle of a class, she was still very patient and spoke to us for about 5 mins. She invited us to be back at the center around 12.30pm to observe the dismissal of children. As we needed to be somewhere else, we didn't. The principal left a very good impression on us. Even though the school has vacancies in the afternoon session, we didn't take it up as this will be disruptive to my daughter's routine. This was actually my first choice as I read good reviews on kiasuparents. Their blog is updated frequently Summer Montessori
Ecokidd Kindergarten (3hr session) - We finally decided on Ecokidd. We visited the school on a morning at 9.30am. The school is located in a private landed estate which means they have their own outdoor play area The principal is Mrs Leong. She is a chatty and approachable lady. While chatting to her, I can feel her passion in educating the next generation. She's always on the ground and very hands-on. The teachers are warm too. My daughter enjoys going to school which makes me feel I have made the right decision.
Hope this review helps for mommies who are looking for a school for your child. It's still best to visit the schools personally. Factors that are important in my decision making might not be the same as yours.
We also decided against sending my daughter for a half day session at a childcare center, instead sending her for a 3 hr session in a kindergarten. We feel that we can send her for other supplementary enrichment classes which suits her interests.