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I have issues with pre-schools in Shah Alam town centre. Are we all out of options here? What is happening to multiracial kindergartens?
First of all, I apologize because today I will most likely to be ranting in English the whole way. Or probably not. Not when suddenly my head becomes senteng and distorted like right now.
The pre-school that Cik Adik and Abang Ngah goes to is closing down. Does not matter so much for Abang Ngah as he is going into primary school already, Cik Adik's school choice would be up as priority as it has to be educational, secure in terms of transport and the school itself and the yadda yadda. Now, what has always been on top of the list was REAL Kids in Section 8.
REAL Kids Section 8, Shah Alam
So during one of the days last week, I stopped by the school on a whim. I wanted to find out the fees structure and all. FYI, all of my kids have attended the school before except Cik Adik because she was too young. We took Abang Ngah out of the school last year because our maid went back to her country and so we had to opt for something daycare for 2 children instead of 1 child on half-day of activity; not that they did't have; only it would cost so much for 2 children.
To continue, for one, the monthly fee structure has suddenly risen to RM450/month. The last I paid for Abang Ngah was RM290-RM320 (maximum amount). Then the payment upon registration from somewhat in the range of RM3,000 and has now become RM3,680.00 upon enrollment (inclusive of January and November monthly fees). This if for Half-Day English Medium ya. And there is the mid-term supplement fee (books and misc) of RM850.00. Monthly fees of February to October totals to RM4,050/year. So the total of 1 child's investment for the whole year is RM8,580.00. I know that you do not have to pay anything else for school trips and activities (Sports Day and school concert). But having to shell out RM8.5k is like sending my child to an elementary private school itself. Ini belum lagi the additional transportation cost.
However, do bear in mind that the kids from REAL Kids are cream of the crop for local primary schools. They fare off very well during the primary school's entrance test. It is just that sometimes, it takes a whole lot more than to have a good education for your child. You can use the money for something else beneficial for the whole entire family, like paying the bills for instance. And Cik Adik after all will remain 4 years old until next November. Not that of a crucial age yet.
Scrutinizing the radius of my allowability for my child to travel back and forth home altogether, the range has become smaller. REAL Kids was the furthest that it could get. Now, there is Brainy Bunch Islamic Montessori (BBIM) in Section 3 that I am finding interest in.
Brainy Bunch Islamic Montessori, Section 3 Shah Alam
BBIM's fee structure is RM1,260 upon enrollment, and RM290/monthly for REGULAR (8:30am-12:30pm), RM540/monthly for STAR (8:30am-3:00pm) and FULL DAY (8:30am-6:30pm). They charge RM50/pair for uniform. In calculation of monthly fees (January to November) totals to RM3,190/year. So if you take 3 pairs of uniform on REGULAR, the total investment is RM4,600.00 for the whole year.
My only disappointment is, the only slot available for 2013 is 1:00pm-4:30pm. Seriously, who in the right mind would want to send their toddler to an afternoon session? Yes to only if you are really desperate, your child cannot wake up on time or you are a SAHM. I do not apply to that... unless if I am really desperate. Which we will find out later on.
And mind you, there are only 1 or 2 places left for the afternoon 1:00pm-4:30pm. So I have to make decisions pronto!
Dzuliman, Section 2 Shah Alam
Then there is one school that came up familiar in a new facility. Dzuliman used to be on the list when I wanted to send Abang Long to school way back in 2007. But the place was a bit far off, transportation problem and the cost for a whole day's stay was way out of my then-budget.
However, in this new facility, I am still feeling a bit judgemental because it is in the same building as the nursery cum pre-school that I sent Abang Ngah to just last year, before they moved onto several places. Even when I called for the fee structure, the person I spoke to kept asking what was it that I wanted to find out. So, maybe it was because she couldn't hear me properly, but still, what is it about asking on the fee structure that you don't understand? Sorry lah if I am being a total biyachi here.
Anyway, going back to the past selection, the school should be okay. Harus bersangka baik di sini. So the fee structure is RM1,140 upon enrollment (RM805 First Term and RM335 Second Term; which you can pay together or divided to follow the terms). For Half Day 8:30am-12:30pm is RM235/monthly and Full Day is 8:30am-5:30pm (I didn't check on the Full Day hour. This is based on assumption only.) is RM405/monthly. So if you take Half Day (January to November), it would total to RM2,585/year. Total investment for the whole year is RM3,725.00. To also note that parents are also required to attend something on parenting. The cost of RM40 is bundled up in the enrollment fees.
Smart Reader, Section 3 Shah Alam
The Smart Reader in Section 3 Shah Alam does not look appealing enough for me. And the last I called, the administrator was very pushy to getting me enroll my kid into the afternoon session; convincing me that someone may pull out in the morning session; to which I don't think any parent in their right mind, would do. Clearly I'm still scarred since that incident happend a few years ago.
Little Caliph, Section 7 Shah Alam
Another selection is Little Caliph Section 7 Shah Alam. It is based in a 2-storey terrace housing area where they occupy 3 houses linked next to each other. From a friend, I found out that monthly fees are RM230 for Half Day; additional hours until 3:00pm is + RM120 and additional hours until 6:00pm is + RM180.00; and the upon enrollment fees is RM1,100.00. That is not too bad. Only that it is a bit too far off from the grid for me. That is perhaps... about RM3,630/year.
I am just doing this so that moms who are in the same spot as I am right now, can get some good out of this info somehow. Having a multi-racial environment would be nice for my child. But they are either placed too far off or, based in a shop lot which I really don't agree for not having open space to run around and breathe freely. And with my sister-in-law's testimony, her child had respitory problems having schooled in that shop lot environment. I seriously don't intend to add up the costs to medical bills plus, I feel that shop lots are not secure enough for a child. It has got hidden spots that you can't see or miss out. Not enough security for me lah!
While other schools look cramped in terrace houses or open to danger with wild bushes yadda yadda. Well, I know; it's not like they are exposed to that kind of thing in their current school pun. But at least mereka berdua. Now it will only be Cik Adik alone to be on her own. And I know her. She gets freaked out a little bit more than her brothers ever were.
Cik Adik has already gotten a new school bag (it was on a discount lah kan, it was so a must-buy!) and no school to go to. So what will we decide on? That, we will find out in due course.