Do you have children that are too young to go to an international school? Infancy is a very important part of your child’s childhood. Not only is it the time to establish the foundation for all that your kid will learn in the coming years, it is also a time where he or she will learn to interact with other children. You wouldn’t want your child to miss out on such important skills, and your child won’t have to; Shanghai offers all sorts of kindergartens and pre-schools that teach in English.
Which type of place is suitable for your child totally depends on what you want. Pre-schools focus on education and developing your child, while daycare is just a place for your child to interact and play with other kids. Children as young as 6 months are allowed at some of the nurseries. Most of the places that allow international children teach both in English and Mandarin. Some schools also teach other languages, such as Japanese (Happy Bridge Kindergarten of Shanghai), French (Melody Jiezhou Art & International Preschool, Sunrise Montessori International Preschool and Kindergarten, and The Child Academy) and German (The Child Academy).
The focus of the different preschools and kindergartens differ a lot. Some have a focus on bilingualism and multiculturalism, while others focus on the development of creativity or academic skills. There are several schools offering a Montessori curriculum, others have American, British, or Chinese curricula, and one teaches according to the Reggio Amelia Approach (Inquire-Think-Learn). A general rule is that Asian curricula are stricter and focused on academic skills, while European or American curricula target to educate your children creatively. The price difference is as big as the difference in teaching style; it can vary from 2 000 RMB to 12 000 RMB per month, or from 30 000 to 150 000 RMB per year.