Parents always have this big headache when come to the time to decide the right nursery for their pre-school children. I was one of them last year when I was required to decide which nursery is right for JY at age 3.
I’ve been surveying around my housing area for FunGates and Montessori nurseries. I prefer nursery regulated by a proper system rather than those home operated nurseries. After months of surveying and site visiting, I made up my mind on FunGates. Now it is JY’s second year with his FunGates nursery and I’m very happy with it. In fact he is very happy with it too. He loves his school so much, that there was once I overslept, he woke up crying, blaming me for not waking him up on time to go to school (which in fact it was just a little bit later than usual, and he still made it to his nursery just in time before the school starts)! *wink* *wink*
The reason why I have chosen FunGates:
1. I love the fact that they make learning process fun for the kids. They do a lot of teaching through experiments or hands-on exercises and somehow the kids enjoy it.
2. The founder is a Malaysian, and I would think she know best what is required for a kid to be well prepared for Malaysian education system.
3. All the teachers are required to attend a week training every year in the Headquarter besides their basic starting training, and I think this is a good practice. At least every year the HQ will have a checked on the teachers’ quality in the nurseries that practice FunGates. On the other hand, I found out that there are so many nurseries out there (I mean in Malaysia of course) that claimed to be adapting the Montessori system, but there is no regulating body. For example, it might be true that the principle is a Montessori certified child educator, but the rest of the teachers are just the apprentice of the principal that didn’t undergo full systematic and proper training or certification. Undeniable, there are good Montessori nurseries too, and it is only the matter spending the effort to identify them.
4. FunGates prints their own books (as to introduce the children to book concept, rather than just paper printouts and filing), and they have a complete series of books (English, Chinese, Malay, Mathematics, Nursery Rhythm, and some fun activity books) which work together very effectively with their teaching apparatus.
5. For families that forced to undergo relocation due to career requirement of the parents, you can switch your kids to any other FunGates nurseries anytime. You no need to pay the registration fees and your children is able to adapt to the new nursery pretty quickly. This is due to all FunGates nurseries are using the same text books, uniforms, sleeping bags (if you send the children for childcare), and even the annual events such as sports day, concert, and test schedule.
6. Again I love the open concept teaching method in FunGates. They don’t have classrooms in FunGate nurseries. In fact they’ll make partitions in between classes, and you can actually see and hear each other while you are attending classes. Their purpose is to train the children to stay focus even in an environment with lots of distraction. At first I really have a bit of doubt on this as they are just young children whom are easily distracted. But to my surprise, I visited my son in the school before while they were having classes, and the kids are really disciplined and focus to their own class teacher’s instructions! Another advantage of open concept according to my son’s principle is that she can anytime walk around and at a glance she can see all the teachers and children. Therefore she knows what is going around, are the teachers treating & teaching the children in a correct manner etc. That is a fantastic idea!
By the way, I may have missed out some facts on FunGates or some of you may think that Montessori is better, please share your thoughts with me and the readers of this blog and I am sure everyone will be grateful.
For more detail information, here are the links to Montessori Malaysia and FunGates: