Journey to Finding the Right PreSchool: First Stop: Cambridge International Preschool (365/19)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How time really flies so fast and my little tot will be 4th this July so in as much as I wanted to stop the clock, I cannot. Having said that, I am now on the hunt of a good preschool, and I must admit it's not that easy. Let me share you the criteria I am using for judging LOL! I actually got this from an advise in a forum (Pexer):

1) Monetary Consideration (This will definitely plays a big role on our decision LOL! It should be affordable or reasonable enough but of course the quality of teaching should not be compromised)

  • Tuition fees /miscellaneous charges
  • Financing scheme if any
  • books / school supplies/ uniforms /etc
  • bus service / gasoline expense
  • food / money for allowance

2) School
  • proximity to our residence
  • teaching method
  • curriculum
  • facilities
  • ratio of teacher vs student

And these but are optional since I think this will be more applicable if I will be looking for a Big School for her (Elementary/Primary Grades)
* reputation of school
* historical passing rate sa NSAT / CSAT / any applicable tests before
* Coed

Here's the list of schools I have contacted and will schedule a trial class for my little tot:
  • Cambridge Child Development Centre
  • Kinder Care Learning Center
  • Learning Garden Montessori School
  • Montessori De Manila
  • The Little Gym
  • Australian International School (formerly Esteban School)
  • A+ Chinese Learning Center
And here are some schools that I need to call and check:
  • Virgin Mary Immaculate School
  • Maria Montessori
Our first stop was at Cambridge Child Development Centre, a Singapore International Preschool located at Alabang Town Center, it is near The Spa. It follows the Progressive Method.

I first contacted them via email and got an immediate response from Teacher Blue inviting us for a 3-day trial classes so she could also discuss to me the TF and all that. We have attended the first day of the 3-day TC this morning and as expected, my little tot was still having this stranger anxiety. But good thing she didn't cry just as long as her nanny was with her. She didn't want to mingle just yet which is expected since it was her first day and that was her first time mingling with kids of the same age. She did try to mingle but as you can see from her photos, she still prefers to play alone just with her Nanny. But I know soon, she'll get the hang of it.

Now as per Tuition Fees and payment schemes, here's for the Nursery (this is actually for SY2009-2010 but if I remembered it right, it is almost the same, if there will be difference, its just minimal. So at least you will have an idea)

Annual (10 months) for one-time payment: PHP117,700
Semi-Annual (5 months) with 7% surcharge: PHP125,940 (PHP62,970/5months)
Quarterly (2 1/2 months) with 10% surcharge: PHP129,470 (PHP32,370/quarter)
Monthly with 12% surcharge: PHP131,820 (PHP13,180/month)
* I still recommend you calling them to check if these rates still applies

The TF includes the following:
  • Course Material
  • Snacks (don't expect too much on this, I was a bit disappointed on this part LOL!)
  • Field Trips and Events
  • 1 Center Uniform
  • A Cambridge Bag
  • Insurance
Here are the things I have observed while attending the 3-hour TC this morning:
  • roughly 8 students per class which is great because the teacher can really focused on each student
  • the classrooms or should I say class area, is just enough for 8 or maximum of 10. Otherwise, it will be so crowded
  • cleanliness are really observed all around the area
  • teachers are so nice and are all approachable
  • there's a mini space allotted as waiting area but you can easily view your child if you wish to

From someone who grew up on a traditional way of teaching, you would really find their method so easy which you might even doubt how will they be able to learn academics. Their approach is more lax, it is almost seems like they were just playing. Which I think will be really helpful in getting the kids attention.

So here's my ratings for Cambridge (from 1-5, 5 being the highest):

Keys Ratings Comments
proximity to our residence 5 very much accessible
teaching method 5 progressive
facilities 5 very well maintained
curriculum 5 it fits the child's interests
ratio of teacher vs student 5 just enough
Cleanliness and Hygiene 5 well-observed

Everything passed our standards, our main concern now is the TF LOL! So if you are leaving near our area and looking for a good preschool as well, hope this helps. Will add more to these if I will find another thing about them that is worth sharing. We still have 2 more days to observe.

Here's their contact information as for your reference:

Cambridge @ Alabang
Lower Ground Floor Sports, Hobbies and Fitness Zone
Alabang Town Centre
Muntinlupa City
Tel: (02) 659-7387 and (02) 659-1406

They have different branches just check their website if you would like to know if there's one near you.

Til our next trial class!

Stay-tuned for the next preschool review!
I am participating in the 2011 Mommytography 365 Project! For this year long project I will be posting an image a day, to get me out shooting, using my camera and learning new things with it daily. Anyone interested in photography can join, no need to be a Mommytographer. We have teens to adults, male and female, as well as people from all over the world. Come join the fun!
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16 lovely thoughts on this:

Tracy January 20, 2011 at 11:41 AM  

Love the chubby hands!

Chew On This January 21, 2011 at 4:45 PM  

I think I need to bookmark this page for future use :) thanks for sharing sis.

rjs mama January 22, 2011 at 10:00 AM  

super busy sched! and the tuition fees, wow!

cheri January 22, 2011 at 11:26 AM  

based on everything, the TF is worth it. but gosh, ang mahal!!!! :)

Teacher Weena July 26, 2011 at 7:57 PM  

Wow! Makes me feel even more proud of being part of the Cambridge Alabang team! Thanks for sharing!

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David Lee March 7, 2016 at 2:21 PM  

Excellent post! Well needed. I would like to read such updates. Thanks for sharing.
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armiemay rico May 16, 2016 at 8:31 AM  


Thanks for your blogs. Any updates on Maria Montessoria nd Virgin mary Immaculate School?

james abram June 14, 2016 at 10:59 AM  

Thank you so much Marice! I would probably make your list into consideration. By the way, do you have a list of the best preschools in Pasig.

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The successful education of the child is not seen on the physical attribute of the school. Most of the time, it depends on the teaching quality or strategy of the teachers. Kahit mura kung magaling naman ang teacher. And not all expensive schools highly pay their teachers so, minsan walang magaapply na magaling na Teacher. Minsan kung maraming facilities na minemaintain ang School, mababa ang sweldo ng teachers. Kahit murang tuition fee if less overhead, facilities and utilities to pay, a good school will invest in giving high salaries to the best teachers. So be careful.

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The Sexy Wife of Chichi, a Loving Mom of our little tot and a certified Super GirlTalker! Thanks all for dropping by and leaving some love! Please don't forget to FOLLOW me, its on my sidebar. And to those who already followed me, I'll definitely return the favor :) If ever I failed, please don't hesitate to grab my attention. I prolly just missed it. Thanks again! Smooches to all! Don't forget to leave me some love when you drop by :)

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