When you are travelling with kids, does it mean that your kids would be stuck with you all the time? How can you educate them and prepare activities for them? How can they make friends and have a social life?
Going to local daycare or school is a great option, but as travellers, can you find a short-term daycare and school? In Chiang Mai you can!
The following is our experience looking for daycare and pre-school in Chiang Mai. I also made a list of International Schools (including daycares, preschools, and kindergartens) in Chiang Mai. Please click the link to check it out.
Anyways, we sent Rae to Daycare for a week in Chiang Mai. She loved playing with other kids and Mom and Dad enjoyed our time going out for movies and Thai messages 🙂
Before we came to Chiang Mai, I read a couple of blog posts about daycare or pre-school for travellers in Chiang Mai. Someone mentioned the Little Star Pre-school. They take drop-in child. Unfortunately, that blog post didn’t provide the address and I couldn’t find it on Google Maps.
Coincidenally though, I went to Punspace to work and I saw the sign for Little Star Pre-school! I went in the building and it turned to be a language school-CEC Language School, but had the same owner. They helped me contact Little Star Pre-school and a school bus came to pick us up to check out the school.
Here is Little Star’s facebook page. The map on their facebook points at CEC Language school. You can arrange a free school bus to pick you up at CEC Language School in Ninman area.
Little Star School was very big and nice. They served ages from pre-school up to Grade 12. I found out that it was actually summer holiday in Thailand until Mid-October and they were doing summer camps. It costs 3000thb per week or 5000 for 2 weeks. The regular class costs 33000 thb per semester (2 semesters a year).
We really liked Little Star Preschool but it was a little far from our hotel.
On the weekend, we went to Bronco Kids Sport Club and picked up a flyer of Kiddee Daycare (Kiddee House). I checked their website and I was excited that they are doing Drop-in Play Time. You can use their toy room, library and playground for 100thb per hour and swimming pool is 30thb per time for a child and 50thb for a parent. They also have a summer camp for 2200thb a week (9:30am to 3:30pm).
So Rae and I decided to pay a visit. When we got there, we were amazed by the nice playground and pool. The daycare felt very private. In Canada, this kind of daycare would be expensive! We went inside and talked with the manager. She didn’t speak much English but we managed arranging a week camp for Rae.
So we did it! Rae went to daycare in Thailand! Of course, we were not sure how it would go. We had zero experience sending our daughter to a foreign daycare. On the first day, I packed my laptop and pretty much stood outside of the daycare wondering how she was handling it. Luckily, they had a video camera system that let parents watch their kids online. It was very comforting to see Rae enjoying herself on the web cam.
When we picked her up, she seemed very happy and she told us that daycare was so much fun and it was better than hanging out with Mom and Dad. Well, at least the daycare experience was successful 🙂
From the week at Kiddee daycare, we observed a few things:
- The program seems flexible. The daycare and preschool may customize their programs according to your needs.
- There are a few bilingual daycare/preschool you can choose from. The fees vary. Kiddee Daycare costs 5500thb per month including lunch and snacks.
- They speak mainly Thai in this bilingual daycare/pre-school. Although they have an English-speaking teacher, most teachers speak Thai. The western teacher teaches a couple of classes each day and plays with the children outside. We discovered that there are a few English immersion schools, but they are way more expensive.
- They focus on indoor activities a lot. Cooking is a big part of their curriculum. Rae brought back snacks and baked goods she made every day. When I was watching them on the webcam, I saw they were sitting and doing stuff in front of the long table quite a lot.
- Teachers and parents seem friendly and the environment is nice and clean. We didn’t find teachers are too strict with kids from our experience. I made a friends with a Mom. She spoke fluent English and were very happy to answer a bunch of questions of mine. She did mention Chiang Mai has the best schools in Thailand.
The sucessful daycare experience made me very excited about Rae’s ‘Hello World’ education on the road. When I was doing Hello World Daycare, we did weekly themes of countries. I always imagine to have a real experience of the foreign countries not just learning with books and crafts. I guess I made it happen for Rae.