The area around the Aegean would be a good area to set up a kinder garden. There is a lot of residential property in that area. Occupancy rates are high, and there are a lot of young middle class families. There are already several kinder gardens in the area, which proves that there is a market. I would not worry too much about competition, as the population density is fairly high.
I have lived in 5 apartments in 4 different areas of town, I won't bore you with all of them, but I'll tell you the 2 best areas I lived. I started off in the area near Green Lake. It's definitely the most characterful, cool, and sociable part of the city, but it's not the easiest place to drive a car. I also lived very close to the GuangFu Rd Aegean Mall, it is a nice part of town with everything you need a short walk or drive away (Carre Four, Walmart, Metro, and hospital with a few very nice foreign doctors). Downsides - for nightlife closest areas are 1903 or Nanya (which are both beautiful semi-outdoor malls) and you are unlikely to meet many foreigners there - foreigners drink/eat in Salvadors, Green Lake O'Reilly's, Barflai, and The Turtle just north west of the city centre. Driving or ebiking to these places from the KIA area takes 35-45minutes.
Being able to see green and nature from your windows will increase your life span. That's been my main flat and area choosing factor, a not easy one.
And the least laowai the better, since I have the privilege to live in a nation so different.
But I quite freaked out in a traditional old xiaoqiu by the green lake with mostly old conservative Chinese.
Thank you all for your feedback. It seems the Aegean mall area seems to be the right fit after all. I was just afraid it was far off from the city center which meant that it was more reclusive since I like the busier city life (not night-life mind you).
From all of your feedback I would say I'm pretty certain to look for a place around there for our flat and for our kindergarten as well. Honestly I was thinking about that area for a kindergarten for a long time since from my experience there were quite a lot of new compounds there which would suggest a high-middle class living over there. We'll start off small anyway so we don't need to attract 100 kids straight away so having other kindergartens around the area shouldn't be a problem especially since, from my research, they mostly do not provide foreign curricula or even a western teacher in the class all the time.
To piggyback @hongxiongmao's comment on 1903 mall.
In two days on the 20th, those living near Guangfu Lu like above posters ought to visit 1903 mall and Hema's grand opening as most stores/restaurants are having 50% discounts.
Follow on them Wechat for details.
It will be festive inside like a grand opening or anniversary event of sorts. Perhaps worth a visit on that merit alone for folks who haven't witnessed such before.
I would say it's better to live in the center (e.g. within 30min bus ride of green lake) or slightly north e.g. Beichen, than in the south. or close to a subway station, some areas in the south are not easily accessible by public transport so I think it would be much more isolating, I know going to visit people in the south where I had to catch the subway then the bus it took two hours because the buses didn't come.
If you lived near a subway station in the south I think that could work though.
Or if you have no problem catching taxis all the time.
Forgive me if this is too personal, but how are you managing to open a Kindergarten?
A legal one licensed up?
Or just a undercover one?
We actually have a car so I think travel wouldn't be too much of a problem. I fear if we move to the north while the family is obviously in the south of the city it might not be the best first move.
To be honest we're still only in the opening stages of the process but from my understanding the Kunming government is a little bit more open to international kindergartens that have a fully thought out international curriculum etc as there are not so many in Kunming. There is a bit of a guanxi involved as well, otherwise I wouldn't have known this information
I faintly recall some article or news from Kunming about a year ago, noting that even here commercial education establishments have been kindly(?) requested to drop the "international" from their names.
It probably has more to do with penalizing false advertising, than restricting foreign early education, but the latter may be a factor too.
Maybe in comparison to coastal cities it was more welcoming years ago, but since then we've had some city administrators penalized as well.
There has been a crack down on these schools/training centers/kindergartens. There was a news link here on gokunming but I can located right now. Web International was a well known franchise that was closed recently besides other places. Too many schools make promises, take the money and flee when things go south. Hope you have better luck here.