Time to start school? These Hong Kong preschools and kindergartens promise to give your little ones the very best start to their education

After savouring the first few years of your (not so) little one, it's that time in their life where you have to send them to school. Every parent in Hong Kong wants the best education for their kid, so we've done all the research for you and are letting you know the preschools and kindergartens to have on your radar.

See also: The Best International Schools In Hong Kong

1. Canadian International School

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Above Photo: Courtesy of Canadian International School

Ages: 2 to 5 years

Curriculum: The International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme. The Pre-Reception and Reception half-day programmes, along with the Preparatory curriculum, are designed to provide the younger student with an age-appropriate introduction to school life.

Language options: English is the primary medium of instruction. Pre-Reception and Reception students enjoy four Putonghua classes for 25 minutes each week; Preparatory students participate in 40-minute classes seven times per week.

When to apply: Pre-Reception to Preparatory: Early October

Campus and facilities: Spanning more than 450,000sqft across 14 levels, the Canadian International School (CDNIS) campus overlooks the Aberdeen Channel and is equipped with excellent state-of-the-art facilities. Younger students will bene t from a new Reggio Emilia-inspired Early Childhood Centre opening in August this year. This flexible classroom space is designed for three- and four- year-old students and will be located adjacent to a large outdoor playground which was developed as an environmentally friendly, dynamic and inviting play area for children to learn through interaction.

Canadian International School, 36 Nam Long Shan Road, Aberdeen, cdnis.edu.hk

2. Chinese International School

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Above Photo: Courtesy of Chinese International School

Ages: 4 to 5 years

Curriculum: Reception is Chinese International School’s entry year, half-day programme. Students normally move to Year 1 after finishing the programme.

Language options: Both English and Putonghua are used as the medium of instruction.

When to apply: From September 1, two academic years before entry, to October 11, the academic year before entry.

Campus and facilities: Chinese International School (CIS) is located on the top of Braemar Hill, a quiet residential area noted for its many schools. The school derives much of its sense of community from its single campus, focused around three central courtyards. A whole-school library will open before August 2018.

Chinese International School, 1 Hau Yuen Path, Braemar Hill, cis.edu.hk

3. English Schools Foundation

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Above Photo: Courtesy of English Schools Foundation

Ages: 3 to 5 years

Curriculum: An International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme curriculum planned around units of inquiry and structured upon principles of good early years education. Early literacy and numeracy are integral to the programme. Putonghua is the specialist language and is integrated into the programme.

Language options: An English-language education for children, who are also introduced to the culture and language of China.

When to apply: From September 1-30, the year before entry; apply year round to be added to the wait list.

Campus and facilities: English Schools Foundation (ESF) operates five kindergartens: Abacus, Hillside, Tsing Yi, Wu Kai Sha and Tung Chung. All classrooms are well equipped with age-appropriate education and technology resources. The exciting indoor and outdoor play areas promote the development of children’s gross motor skills while challenging children to develop and stretch themselves.

English Schools Foundation, Five locations around Hong Kong, esfkindergartens.org.hk

4. Harrow International School

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Above Photo: Courtesy of Harrow International School

Ages: 3 to 5 years

Curriculum: Follows the UK’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum that builds strong foundations for independent learning skills in seven key areas: personal and social development, physical development, communication and language, literacy, mathematics, understanding the world, and expressive arts and design.

Language options: English

When to apply: Application deadline is November 1, the year prior to entry

Campus and facilities: On the 400,000 square foot campus, the K1 and K2 classes are housed in spacious classrooms, which are situated in a modern, purpose-built Early Years Centre that’s specifically designed for younger children, with an outside terrace and an adventure playground. In addition, there’s a dedicated music room and a large multi-purpose area for activities such as productions, indoor sports and assemblies.

Harrow International School, 38 Tsing Ying Road, Tuen Mun, harrowschool.hk

5. Malvern College Preschool

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Above Photo: Courtesy of Malvern College Preschool

Ages: 2 to 5 years

Curriculum: EYFS, though Malvern’s education system has also been inspired by the Reggio Emilia educational philosophy which views the “environment as the third teacher”. 

Language options: English and Mandarin

When to apply: The Malvern Preschool Admissions Office accepts and reviews applications on a rolling basis, however, parents are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Campus and facilities: Malvern has two pre-school campuses, one in Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong Island, and a second in Southwest Kowloon. Both schools school’s interior spaces are designed to create a natural learning environment. The classrooms also feature an open-plan layout to foster a flexible and dynamic learning environment

Malvern College Pre-School Hong Kong (Island West), G/F and 1/F Viking Court, 165-166 Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong

Malvern College Preschool (Coronation Circle), G9-12, Coronation Circle, 1 Yau Cheung Road, Southwest Kowloon, Hong Kong, malvernpreschool.hk

6. Mulberry House International Kindergarten

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Above Photo: Courtesy of Mulberry House International Kindergarten

Ages: 3 to 6 years

Curriculum: Mulberry House’s curriculum is Inquiry-Based blended with the Reggio Emilia approach, underpinned by Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Language options: English, Mandarin and bilingual streams are available

When to apply: Two years in advance of the desired year of entry.

Campus and facilities: The 20,000 square foot campus features brightly-lit classrooms, which are complemented by an indoor playground and outdoor garden, music room, sensory area, sports field and bilingual library.

Mulberry House International Kindergarten, LG/F Kindergarten, Mayfair By The Sea I, 23 Fo Chun Road, Tai Po, Hong Kong, mulberryhousekg.com

7. The International Montessori School of Hong Kong

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Above Photo: Courtesy of The International Montessori School of Hong Kong

Ages: 2 to 6 years

Curriculum: The year-long Foundation Programme at The International Montessori School of Hong Kong (IMS) is in preparation for the Casa dei Bambini classroom the following year.

Language options: Providing a high-quality, dual-language (English/Putonghua) programme is one of the core values at IMS. The classroom has two teachers: an English-language speaker and a Putonghua speaker.

When to apply: Anytime; assessments for the Foundation Programme (ages 2 to 3) are held in late spring.

Campus and facilities: Aldrich Bay is the newest campus; it hosts three Casa classrooms and a Foundation Group in Sai Wan Ho. The cosy Mid-Levels campus is where the youngest Foundation and Casa children enjoy their first years in the school. The South Horizons campus is surrounded by trees, an outdoor park and a promenade along the sea in Ap Lei Chau.

The International Montessori School of Hong Kong, Foundation Year schools in Mid-Levels, Sai Wan Ho and Ap Lei Chau, ims.edu.hk

8. Parkview International Pre-School

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Above Photo: Courtesy of Parkview International School

Ages: 1 to 6 years

Curriculum: Enquiry-based International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme. 

Language options: Classes are bilingual or in English. Working together in a co-teaching partnership, an English-language teacher and a Putonghua teacher lead the bilingual classes. The English classes are taught by two English teachers and supplemented by a Putonghua specialist.

When to apply: Anytime

Campus and facilities: In addition to their classrooms at PIPS, children enjoy a vast amount of space that is equipped with shared common areas. There are 10 classrooms and separate shared common areas that include an audio-visual area, a library, a pet corner, an art and drama area, a music room, a cookery room, an Exploratorium, a playground with a sand pit and a riding area, a garden, a covered play area and a physical education area. All of these have been structured to cater for children’s developmental needs, to facilitate their skill development, and to foster their sense of exploration across multiple disciplines.

Parkview International Pre-School, Tower 18, Parkview, 88 Tai Tam Reservoir Road, Repulse Bay, Hong Kong,

Parkview International Pre-School, Podium Level, Kowloon Station, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, pips.edu.hk

9. Victoria Educational Organisation

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Above Photo: Courtesy of Victoria Educational Organisation

Ages: 2 to 6 years

Curriculum: International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme; Columbia University Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP).

Language options: Trilingual (English/Putonghua/Cantonese) or bilingual (English/Putonghua).

When to apply: Pre-nursery and K1: September to November. K2-K3: anytime.

Campus and facilities: Large classrooms, libraries, outdoor and indoor play areas, and a multi-purpose hall.

Victoria Educational Organisation, Nine locations around Hong Kong, victoria.edu.hk

10. Woodland Pre-Schools

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Above Photo: Courtesy of Woodland Pre-schools

Ages: 6 months to 6 years

Curriculum: EYFS, while the the Repulse Bay Montessori location uses Montessori teaching methods that are fully approved and accredited by the Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board.

Language options: English, pure Putonghua and bilingual classes.

When to apply: Anytime

Campus and facilities: It varies per campus; with seven campuses in six convenient locations across Hong Kong.

Woodland Pre-Schools, seven campuses around Hong Kong, woodlandschools.com

11. Yew Chung International School Early Childhood Education

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Above Photo: Courtesy of Yew Chung International School Early Childhood Education

Ages: 6 months to 5 years

Curriculum: Each Yew Chung International School (YCIS) Early Childhood Education class has an experienced Early Years team comprising at least one English-language and one Chinese-language teacher, who support the child-led, play-based learning environment in a multicultural setting.

Language options: English and Chinese with a bilingual focus.

When to apply: Anytime

Campus and facilities: Features music rooms, libraries, an exercise room and outdoor playgrounds.

Yew Chung International School Early Childhood Education, 3 Somerset Road, Kowloon Tong, ycis-hk.com

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