A number of Kiddy123’s almost 30,000 website users have asked us this same question: “What are the good kindergartens in my area?”. So Kiddy123's team decided to take a drive around Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur to take a look at the preschools there. Here’s our sharing on some preschools we have found worthy of mention.
When a child steps into The children’s house TTDI, the child steps into a world of beauty, order and precision where he/she is allowed to freely explore the possibilities in the structured educational environment that has been carefully planned for him/her. Every object, letter or number has been designed for a precise purpose, and every bead, knobbed cylinder, skittle, etc. has a designated place for it to be orderly kept – all within the reach of the child to do his/her work. Welcome to the world of Montessori!
Text books are not used (worksheets are though). Instead, learning is hands-on. For example, in Number Work (mathematical skills), the child practises with creative mathematical equipment that enables him/her to absorb abstract concepts such as geometry and sequencing. The directress (teacher) first demonstrates and guides the child, then allows him/her to work on the equipment, thereby actively engaging him/her in the learning process.
In Practical Life Skills, the children are provided guidance in positive communication and behaviour. Use of polite language and courteous behaviour are focus areas in daily lessons to help the children better manage their emotions, effectively communicate and socialise. In Language, the children are guided in vocabulary, and later encouraged to discuss stories and enjoy reading. Teaching, learning and play are well balanced to achieve optimal physical, mental, social and emotional development.
The children’s house TTDI offers a Toddlers’ Programme for ages 18 months to 2½ years (9am-12pm), a Nursery Programme for ages 2½ to 3½ years (9am-12.30pm) and a Kindergarten Programme for ages 3½ to 4½ years and ages 4½ to 6 years (both 9am-1pm). The preschool also has extended hours until 3pm, during which extra-curricular activities such as speech and drama, taekwondo, Kindermusik, art, and extra BM and Mandarin classes are offered.
R.E.A.L Kids TTDI is one of the over 30 centres owned by R.E.A.L Kids, Malaysia’s largest owner-operated kindergarten chain and the pioneer in adopting Dr Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences approach for preschool education.
Believing that every child is unique, the teachers in R.E.A.L Kids begin by discovering how each student learns best. The multi-faceted learning approach allows the child to explore a full range of learning abilities to see which best suits his/her own particular strengths and interests. For example, a child who possesses verbal-linguistic intelligence would learn best through activities such as word games, rhyme recitation and storytelling. As the child gains confidence in his/her own learning abilities, this progress will positively influence other areas of learning too. True to its name, Results Enhancing through Active Learning (R.E.A.L), the kindergarten’s academic programmes are uniquely designed to prepare the child for formal schooling.
R.E.A.L Kids TTDI provides half-day (8am-12pm), full-day (8am-3.30pm) and extended (3pm-6.30pm) programmes for 3 to 6-year olds. These programmes enhance the child’s love of learning through fun and engaging activities such as music, dance, storytelling, swimming, junior gymnastics, cooking, and art and craft – all under one roof for the convenience of busy, working parents. The R.E.A.L Kids culture also includes an emphasis on character building to instil good personal values in every child.
Tadika Karya Minda, which was among the first five to start out of the 160 Q-dees centres in Malaysia, provides its students with the security of a loving, yet disciplined, homely environment. All its teachers are experienced, mature mothers themselves and, due to Q-dees TTDI’s very low staff turnover rate, have given its students the comfort of seeing the same familiar faces year after year.
It also practises an inclusive policy by accepting children with special needs, such as those with mild autism, ADHD and dyslexia. Parents are also provided support as they are encouraged to work together with the teachers to provide the best outcomes for their children.
In terms of fees, Q-dees TTDI is within the medium to low range, with the added advantage of its own swimming pool, free Mandarin classes for 3-year olds onwards, and Agama classes for Muslim children. Its preschool students are from ages 2 to 6, with a total yearly enrolment of between 50 to 60 children. Average class size is about 15.
Its teaching methodologies are based on Q-dees’ programmes which make learning fun through song, dance, animation, art and craft, poetry and stories via a highly interactive multimedia platform and teaching tools. These provide students with a greater range of learning, higher rates of absorption, improved attentiveness, and enhanced ability to apply lessons learnt in the classroom to their daily activities. Academics-wise, Q-dees TTDI strives to provide first-class education to prepare its students for selection to enter the top primary schools in Kuala Lumpur.
Krisaliz Kindergarten in TTDI is the first kindergarten in Malaysia to use the Accelerated Learning method in their teaching syllabus – a method that engages the child on many levels, for example, in recording, presenting, learning and recalling information. When using this technique, a child can double or even triple his/her learning capabilities. This learning method is combined with Thematic Learning and the Montessori approach plus various enrichment classes to develop an all-rounder child with character and a love for learning. Character is emphasised by the educators in Krisaliz as they believe that core attitudes and behaviour in a child are learnt before 6 years old. Mandarin classes are also available – intensive Mandarin for those going to Chinese-medium schools later on and less intensive Mandarin for those going to sekolah kebangsaan.
Krisaliz’s teachers, who have been selected based on qualifications and early childhood experience, facilitate a stimulating learning environment for the child. The kindergarten’s small class size and low teacher to student ratio of 1 teacher to 12 students allow for a systematic observation and ongoing assessment of each child’s achievements. As different children study better in different ways, the teacher will adopt methods of teaching that suit the child – even the type of reading materials can make a difference. The kindergarten’s extensive teaching and development resources make it possible for the students to benefit fully from the education programmes provided.
The bright, spacious and squeaky clean premises to provide a conducive and comfortable environment for the child to learn, while the little stomachs are provided with nutritious and delicious food by a dedicated cook who is a Muslim. The children not only receive academic education at Krisaliz, they are also taught dining etiquette in a proper dining room and personal hygiene in toilets with child-size toilet bowls and wash basins, complete with paper towels. Every child is also given an eye-check to test for lazy eye, a condition that needs to be treated as early as possible.
Tadika Diyana has the advantage of being the largest kindergarten in TTDI. Its impressive purpose-built premises, which has a total built-up area of over 5,000m2, houses 25 classrooms, a computer lab, a library and language centre, a music and movement room, a cultural room, a big multi-purpose hall, a canteen, a sickbay and a daycare room. There is also a large field for outdoor activities and an outdoor playground. The setting is almost similar to that of a school. Parents who want their child to get used to an environment like the one he/she will experience upon entering Standard One may wish to take a look at Tadika Diyana.
The kindergarten provides an English and Bahasa Malaysia session in the morning from 8.15am to 12.15pm and a Mandarin session in the afternoon from 12.45pm to 4.45pm. Children who will be entering SJK (Cina) or independent Chinese schools later on can be prepared ahead by taking the afternoon session, whereas parents who wish to send their children to national or international curriculum primary schools may opt for the morning session. Parents may also opt to send their child to both the morning and afternoon sessions.
The teaching approach used for the 2½ to 4-year olds is Thematic Learning integrated with the Montessori Approach, while the 5 to 6-year olds are taught using the Thematic Approach. There is also a host of after school extra-curricular activities held by outside facilitators in Tadika Diyana. These optional activities range from soccer, modern dance and ballet to science discovery classes. The full list of activities and fees are available on their website.
Tadika Diyana’s fees are in the medium range where the TTDI area is concerned. Parents can also take advantage of a 5-day trial period upon paying a registration fee of RM100. There are two terms: Jan to May and June to mid-Nov. Transportation services are available from a number of areas in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya.
Do let us know
Kiddy123 hopes our take on these kindergartens have helped you to gauge the choices available out there for your child. Please see our list of kindergartens in Taman Tun Dr Ismail and do let us know when you see others that are worthy of mention.