If you are moving here with young children, you’d be glad to know that Penang has quite a good variety of pre-schools throughout the island. Generally, pre-school in Malaysia is structured for children from 4-6 years of age but most establishments accept children even from the age of 2 or 3. Some pre-schools also function as daycare centers where children will stay back in the afternoon after their classes have ended and have their meals, take afternoon naps, and complete their homework under the guidance of the teacher. Here are some recommendations in random order:
Reputed for pioneering its successful tri-lingual immersion programme in 1999, The Learning Garden is a child development centre set up by speech and language specialist, Chia Kien Eng and her engineer husband, Chow Chee Keong, who is also a talented and creative dramatist.
Location: 121 Halaman York (04-2296388)
Founded initially as a boarding school for children of missionaries, Dalat International School is now a Christian international boarding and day school that caters from pre-school to high school education. It uses the American curriculum.
Location: Tanjung Bunga, 11200 Penang (04-8992105)
This is a Rudolf Steiner inspired kindergarten started by a Japanese lady and her Chinese husband. It teaches in Japanese and English and class sessions here are slightly longer than other pre-schools i.e. from 9am-2:30pm.
Location: No. 7, Jalan Nunn, 10350 Penang ( 04-2265480)
The curriculum is based on the British National Curriculum and Quality and Curriculum Authority (QCA) Schemes of Work.
Location: 10 Nunn Road, 10350 Penang (04-2263589 / 2280752)
The curriculum is based upon the England and Wales National Curriculum, combined with Cambridge Primary and Secondary Checkpoint for Maths, English and Science
Location: 1 Square Penang. Tingkat Mahsuri 1, Penang Cybercity, 11950 Bayan Lepas, Penang (04-6115969)
The curriculum is in line with the Malaysian National Standard-Based Preschool Curriculum. The school is offering a “Parent and Me” class for toddlers from the age of 18 months old to 3 years old. This program encourages the development of a toddler’s independence, confidence, fine motor skills, concentration, respect for others and love of learning.
Location: 6, Jalan Tingkat Laut, Tanjung Bungah, 11200 Penang (012-383 2573 or 012-478 2473)
The curriculum integrates the Malaysian Pre-school Standard Curriculum (KPSK) with the inquiry based approach. Apart from the academic curriculum, the students get to be involved in a variety of other fun learning activities such as show and tell sessions, water play, themed parties, etc.
Location: 66, Lorong Kenari 1, Desaria, Sungai Ara, 11900 Penang (04-643 6431/ 012-466 0671)
8. Kidiland Montessori
Although the pre-school follows mainly the Montessori program, they also incorporate other teaching methods into their curriculum. One of the school’s main focus is to prepare the students to be ready for the Chinese National Schools; therefore there is a lot of emphasis on learning in Mandarin.
Location:10-16 Changkat Minden Jalan 11, Taman Minden Heights, 11700 Gelugor, Penang (04-658 9639)
9. Odyssey (new update)
Just opened in August 2014, Odyssey was first established in Singapore and is based on the Reggio Emilia approach which was developed by Loris Malaguzzi and the people in the villages of Reggio Emilia in northen Italy. The philosophy is centered upon the child who is unique and has his own personality and the aim of this program is to nurture the child to his full potential by teaching them to use their personalities, uniqueness and strengths in everyday life. Educators use a variety of media and different types of environment to enhance the learning experience of the child. Children learn through play, songs and fun activities like cooking, music and dance, art, outdoors and more.
Location: 358 Jalan Macalister, Georgetown, 10450 Penang (04-226 9090, Mon-Fri 8am-4pm)