Do any of the foreigners here have kindergarten recommendations? Preferably in the north of Kunming. Bilingual (English & Chinese) is a bonus, but not essential. Also preferably foreign run as well. We're inclined towards Waldorf and Montessori education, but also not essential. The most important is I don't want my kids stuck in the classroom all day, the school should give the kids lots of play time.
'Foreign' simply means 'non-Chinese'? Seems to me that bilinguality would be an opportunity too good to pass up.
There are international kindergartens. These usually employ some foreign teachers. You would need to go and visit to see how much play/study the children get.
Most International preschools are actually standard Chinese schools, with a foreign face, teaching a few minutes or hours of English every week. But you pay 3 to 5 times the amount of tuition, -you'd pay at a standard public PS.
I don't know of any Waldorf or Montessori schools in Kunming, and I assume the ones [if there are any],are just selling you some knock off version of it. Like having a set of Montessori wooden blocks laying around, and telling you that all teachers went to training in Beijing [there is only one licensed Montessori school/company in China. They are terrible but they got the copyright, so if you want to call anything Montesori, you have to buy their cheap taobao-classroom equipment...and of course pay a huuuuge monthly fee]
Plus, one big problem in China is, when you look into the classroom everything is fine. The moment you turn your back, teachers scream and shout, push or sometimes even hit the kids.
The extra tuition you pay at Int. school vs, public or standard preschools, doesn't go into better training or equipment, but to make a greedy person richer and more greedy.
Another big joke in Kunming.
My recommendation is don't go to "Fake" International schools paying for something you will never ever get, =proper young-learner education.
So, go to any school that you feel safe [for your kiddo] with, and which is reasonably priced. If English is an issue, for the money you save.
Hell,... you could hire a private preschool English teacher, coming to your home and teach the sh*t out of your little rascal. Or classes a private training center.
Scam International schools range from 3500 up to 6000 RMB /month [and more]. And then you sometimes, still must buy overpriced, sh*tty-a** quality school uniforms and book bags, add extra triple priced items, such as food, bus fees, [they include that even if you don't take their bus.....whatever they can skim, they will go for....you name it!...]
Preschool education is the nastiest, money driven and greedy business I have ever worked or affiliated with.
If your kid is a foreign passport holder, and money is not an issue, send him or her to KIA [Kunming International Academy].
In average it's a sane and probably the best preschool in Kunming, in International comparison, I would give it a 6 or 7, on a scale of 10. But you mot likely what you want and paid for.
P.S. a preschool educator with 15 years of teaching experience. And upset that something, that could be so beautiful [preschool education] is a nasty, dirty and rotten freakshow.
If I had a choice to work in a preschool again, or clean sh*t, -I would take the latter. At least, you can wash that sh*t off after a day's work.
Thought I rode by a newish Montessori school up north. Road going up panlongjiang with all the newer nice complexes on the east side of river.
Could give me directions, or address? I would like to check the place out.
Thing about KIA is that it is very heavily Protestant Christian.
I don't think the word protestant is needed.
Well so far I've checked 2 Waldorf schools, one is nasty the other just OK. My son gets English exposure at home, and I'm a native speaker, I can probably teach him better English than he'll ever learn in kindergarten, it's just living in China I feel he lacks decent exposure to western culture. I've yet to go look at the Montessori schools I know of. I'm just curious where mixed race kids, are foreign kids are going to kindergarten and how the parents feel about these schools.
@ tiger: I think the word is needed, isn't it? I mean, aren't they rather definitely not Catholic or Orthodox or other Christian?