Its been a while since I updated about my kindergarten visits but I haven’t been sitting on it. I have visited a few more and my husband did too. I went to baby haven, the infant and toddler care arm of Pat’s Schoolhouse since I intend to put Sophia in a preschool from 18 months on and their big boys and girls school starts only from the year kds turn 3. Baby haven was not impressive honestly. Its at a pretty quiet row of several kindergartens including Chiltern’s Place and Pat’s Schoolhouse Halifax. The indoors area is quite typical, a 2 storey house divided into several classrooms. Looks kind of dreary but no different from The Children’s Place which seems similarly devoid of natural light indoors. The person bringing us around was pleasant enough. The teachers were gentle, not terribly energetic but acceptable. The chidren did not seem too interested in the class. Overall I didn’t mind it but was not impressed. I walked out thinking I like the feel of Odyssey more.
However, I reminded myself that Pat’s Schoolhouse is tried and tested and yet significantly cheaper, especially after Odyssey’s recent ridiculous hike. Moreover, the Odyssey actually had a pretty low standard when hiring teachers. They just needed 5 O level passes and some even failed english and had to retake at the British Council. I would want my girl to be immersed in an environment wher proper language is spoken so she can grow up with proper language skills. This is really the window of opportunity for her to pick up language is the most pain-free way, just by imitation. To unlearn any wrong linguistic skills picked up at this stage when she’s older would be a serious pain. So Odyssey is not ideal either even though we liked the vibe in that teachers and children all seem happy.
However, Kenny and I later organised a trip to Halifax which was very unpleasant. The lady bringing us around was not very interested in explaining to us and got very defensive whenever we asked about further details. I also saw milk bottles, some still half filled with milk just thrown into a plastic container and left on the floor, which seems really unhygenic to me. The children seem chirpy enough. We observed a music class and the teachers were not energetic at all. They didn’t even sing, music was played from a tape. And the teacher was supposed to be a dedicated music teacher!!
So at the end of the trip Kenny was pissed and I was not too impressed either. As such, the shortlist is back to either The Children’s Place or Odyssey, with a slight preference for The Children’s Place because of quilifications of teachers but Odyssey has a huge boost from grounds and equipment.
We’re checking out Between 2 Trees soon and I promised Kenny this will be the last kindergarten we view before deciding on one.