Nursery in Singapore for my 16 mth old?

(67 Posts)
AmbiPambi Mon 25-Jan-10 12:38:09

We will be relocating to Singapore within the next 3-4 months and I have been searching for a good nursery for my little one but it is hard to judge from afar. I saw there are quite a few Singapore members and hope you can point me into the right direction.

I am looking for a Montessori nursery, with well-trained Western staff and mostly western expatriate children but possibly Mandarin lessons. Can anyone help?

I thought there is one opposite Tanglin Mall, up on a hill and then another one on Bukit Timah Road where the enclosure for Picotin (restaurant) is, but I'm not sure.

Where did you send your children and why? Help is very much appreciated.

dxbtosg Thu 16-Apr-15 13:39:26

Thanks anyway. Appreciate it.

papooshka Tue 14-Apr-15 21:54:16

Sorry no I don't know anyone who went to Pats. Eton House I was put off as its a chain and quite expensive.

dxbtosg Mon 13-Apr-15 20:13:33

Oh that's a good point, I have noted it on my things to consider during condo search. Thanks for it, much appreciated.

I am on that group, just too shy to ask smile

MyFriendsCallMeOh Mon 13-Apr-15 19:53:01

You will always have a mix of nationalities at nursery in Singapore, regardless of which one you choose. I think there were 8 nationalities in dd2s class of 12 at blue house but even her previous local nursery (which don't recommend) had more than 5 nationalities in her class. For big condos, you need to look at old buildings, new ones are tighter on space, although more modern looking of course with new kitchens / bathrooms. Make sure it's not scheduled for demolition (many are) and make sure nothing nearby is scheduled for demotion either. You'll probably left with one or two choices..... It's easy!

Have you looked at singapore expat wives group on fb? It's a bit like AIBU on speed but in terms of advice on specific condos, it's pretty good.

dxbtosg Mon 13-Apr-15 18:56:19

Papooshka, i already put Children Palace on my list based on your recommendation. any input on Pat's schoolhouse and Eton? Their location seems more convenient.

Basically I'm looking for a nursery that has an international feel, not necessarily British(I'm not British) but a mix of natonalities of students and teachers.

dxbtosg Mon 13-Apr-15 18:51:10

Now this has made me think, getting a car is a possible option but both me and hubby wanted to try to be car free for atleast the first 6 months. I'm not too keen on putting a 2 yr on a school bus or relying on taxi for school run.

Well ideally we find a nice spacious condo and a beautiful child friendly international nursery near DD school(Dover Court), is that too much too ask?

papooshka Mon 13-Apr-15 13:33:58

BIG outdoor space.

papooshka Mon 13-Apr-15 13:33:45

The Childrens Place on Kay Siang Rd is lovely, both my kids went there. Its a really nurturing place, fantastic teachers, bit outdoor space and down the end of a no-through road so its very quiet and in an old black-and-white house.
I know a teacher at Raintrees who is lovely and a friend sent her child there and loved it.

MyFriendsCallMeOh Mon 13-Apr-15 13:06:38

In 32C of heat and 90% humidity, people are rarely within walking distance of anything. I was 10 minutes drive (lived off bukit timah near 6th avenue) but there are taxis which a cheap and plentiful (except when it rains!) and the school has a bus that a lot of kids use. Mine took the bus to school from age 3 and loved it.

Tbh, if you get a car with your expat package in singapore, it's pretty normal for the husband to taxi or mrt to work and let the wife have the car for school runs, shopping etc. would this be a possibility?

dxbtosg Sun 12-Apr-15 21:03:17

Thanks for your feedback. Did you live close to the nursery. I'm not in Singapore currently and I'm having a hard time trying to see how this will work commute wise. Ideally I would like to be walking distance to nursery, don't intend to drive a car. Any insight?

MyFriendsCallMeOh Sun 12-Apr-15 01:15:30

Dd, not dad!!!

MyFriendsCallMeOh Sun 12-Apr-15 01:15:06

Adore adore adore blue house, my dad went there after a bad expense at a local nursery. Run by a British lady with kids, she's an ex nanny and well known advisor in the world of Reggio emilia, a philosophy that I love. Definitely get in touch / visit.

dxbtosg Sat 11-Apr-15 21:32:03

I'm looking for a nursery for my 2 year old, would like some recent reviews. My shortlisted ones (based purely on their websites or reviews on net) ars

Blue House
swallows and Amazon
raintrees
Eton house Robertson walk
Odyssey

Any info on them will be highly appreciated

Choupette Tue 26-Nov-13 02:45:53

We were very disappointed by the lack of real academic program in year 3 and 1. It is another very over expensive average school where the focus is on money and not the children. The only plus is the relatively good Mandarin lessons, but in other topics, the program is almost 2 years backwards compared to any school in England. There is a high turnover of teachers and parents which shows that the school is just a temporary choice before getting a place in other better preschools.

Choupette Tue 26-Nov-13 02:43:16

We put our son in the Loewen gardens preschool thinking it would be a nice small family school. Even though the teachers are nice and friendly, we have been very disappointed with the way how the school is run. A lot of sudden changes in management, last minute fees increase and very inflexible rules for reimbursing the deposit gave us the impression that the school is very money oriented. The premisses are small and in need of some works and the program offered is relatively short. I would not recommend to working parents. For us this school is nothing more than an average over priced expat oriented school.

ghenwa Tue 06-Nov-12 07:45:51

Hi, We will be movinf to singapore this December, i have 2 kids, my daughter will b going in Jan. to Tanglin trust school, but i'm searching for a nursery for my 2.3 years old son, i checked Odessey and it looks nice but i'm not sure if they have any available places..
can anyone plz recommend good nurseries, or recommend Odessey at the Forth Avenue?
i so appreciate any help
thk u alot

NGiaretta Mon 16-Aug-10 11:29:35

Just for info - Blue House (which we go to in the accompanied afternoon session on Tuesday, and my DD will start in January, doing 3 mornings), now has a new site in Bukit Timah - at Turf / Horse City.

I haven't been to the new site yet, but it is supposed to be much bigger and has a garden (which was a bit of weakness about the place on River Valley Road).

We're really happy with the style, but you could always think about doing the afternoon sessions as a taster, then see if you like it enough to consider unaccompanied mornings.

DorotheaPlenticlew Tue 10-Aug-10 09:29:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnotherMotherNomad Thu 18-Mar-10 12:14:24

Slim22 - thanks for your 2p worth! I suspected as much. If we were planning to stay in the region I would defo consider putting an effort into her picking it up early, but we're capping our stay at 2 years as neither of us want to be away from our (getting older every day) parents, so... if it happens, it happens, but I don't want to send her somewhere that has an intense focus on it at 2.

We've just seen a website for a place called Little Village that looks very tree hugging - which appeals. Does anyone know anything about it?

slim22 Sat 06-Mar-10 14:37:30

AnotherNomad, agree on all counts.

Been here 3 years, we already speak 3 languages (not mandarin) and have struggled to keep our children interested in the minority languages.
They only really speak them when they are surrounded by friends and family.

DS is terribly clever with languages. Can recognise and speak a few greeting words in many Asian languages.
He is taught mandarin at school, he can now recognise and write a handful of ideograms but can't speak at all.

Mandarin is not routinely spoken in Singapore so no immersion, no chance. Unless you your children are in a local school, or you have a Chinese Amah, I think no chance of picking up fluent mandarin at a young age.

tootsieroll Fri 05-Mar-10 18:52:48

I've booked in to view a number of kindergartens next week, all of which do Mandarin 'teaching' of some description. I would hate for my children to have to sit through however long listening to the droll of a teacher speaking in a language they don't understand (I speak Mandarin and sent my son to Mandarin classes in the UK but pulled him out because the teaching style wasn't orientated to the toddler), but if done in the right way, i.e. through play, music, could be effective. Despite English being the language for business and education in Singapore, Mandarin is used widely, and even more now, due to the influx of people from China. I suppose one could avoid it by sticking to expat areas, but it would certainly be useful when it comes to ordering your plate of chicken rice from the stall manned by a Chinese worker (my husband went through a similar situation this weekend, when he thought he was charged for an item he didn't order, but couldn't argue as he didn't speak Mandarin).

AnotherMotherNomad Fri 05-Mar-10 10:21:44

I hope this doesn't come across as massively controversial, but I have actually been avoiding the nurseries that refer to Mandarin lessons. I'll explain why, but if any of you whose children attend these places think I've got it wrong, please do let me know. (Of course I absolutely agree that Mandarin is a useful language to learn).

My thinking is this: firstly, I am really not keen to send dd somewhere that wants to give her any "lesson" at 2. I think her day should be about play and flitting about the room exploring, using imagination, resting and so forth. The idea that she would be sat down for a period of time and taught something doesn't really gel with me - and is certainly not something that she gets at her current nursery (which I love). Now, if by lesson, it actually just means that the nursery staff speak Mandarin while the children are roaming and doing their play - fair enough. Most of the children I know who are becoming bilingual are doing so because one of the parent speaks that language to them regularly, rather than because they are taking lessons. However, the difference is that these children are exposed to that language constantly, whereas I think that having a short period of a day with (non-parent) adults speaking a language you don't understand would be very frustrating to a toddler.

That brings me to my second hesitation - which is that even if I were pedagogically OK with lessons for 2 year olds, neither dh nor I speak Mandarin, nor is it the common language in Singapore. So, her exposure would be extremely limited anyway. If we were planning to stay in the region, I would definitely reconsider, but we are only looking at max 2 years. Then once we left SG in a few years, I would have to make a concerted effort to keep it up, when frankly I would prefer for her to learn a different 2nd language (due to proximity and frequency in the area where we will end up living). Therefore, it doesn't seem to serve much purpose for our circumstances... Thus, I'm vetoing a bunch of nurseries.

So, am I wrong?

papooshka Fri 05-Mar-10 02:24:25

My daughter goes to The Childrens Place as mentioned earlier, I am really happy with it, and so is she. The staff are fantastic, theres a big playground, all the classrooms are bright, airy and lots of fans. They do 1/2 an hour of Mandarin every day and my daughter now sings songs and can count to 10 in Mandarin!

We looked around about 6 places, including Pibo's on Dunearn, White Lodge at Loewen, Sunflower at Turf City, but none of them seemed right to me. I've got friends who go to Lock Rd and love it and also friends at Blue House (bit expensive), and White Lodge at Linden Drive (love it too), and also Eton House who are very happy.

Good luck!

AnotherMotherNomad Thu 04-Mar-10 13:22:32

Hi again,

Our move date looms and I am finding it hard not to be terrified by all this! I am really feeling the pressure because I will probably still have some work to deliver to my UK clients after I've arrived and therefore could really use a quick childcare solution.

What a pile of stress. Most places don't appeal to me, we don't know where we are going to live, and then I suspect if I do find I place I like it will have an extreme waiting list -- every time I start to think about it my stomach churns!

Since I can't check places out until I arrive I am really not sure how to do this. Do I put her name down now based on websites/phonecalls and visit once we've arrived to confirm? Or, do I wait and see after we've arrived, but then risk the waiting lists? How are others managing?

Anyway - on the advice of the recent comments, I've just emailed The Odyssey - and asked them if they have any spaces available around the time we arrive. Fingers are crossed.

springaporesling Mon 01-Mar-10 03:52:05

Tootsie yes we did 1 1/2 terms of the afternoon parent accompanied programme (playgroup) before he started last week. Which I think is one of the reasons he has settled ok (it's only been twice so probably shouldn't speak too soon) because he is very familiar with the set up now.

I would go take a look first though smile - just in case it's not for you wink!

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