Reading, Writing, ‘Rithmetic for youngsters
It may barely be spring, but if you are thinking of having your child start preschool in the fall; it’s time to start exploring your options. Many schools have already hosted open houses, and depending if you are looking for a private school or hoping for your child to go to your local one, some research needs to be done. Below is information on a variety of private preschools, spilt up by Prague district. If you’d like your child to go to your local school it’s best to consult with your district. Each district has differing rules about who is eligible to attend preschool. In brief, if your child is 5-years-old and will be starting first grade the following year; the school must find a place for them. Preschool here (Mateřská škola) is for 3-5-year-olds. If your child is younger than 3, your options are limited to a private preschool or a public crèche (Jesle.) Many districts have a shortage of preschool spaces, so it’s best to start the process early and educate yourself as much as possible if you do prefer your child to go to your local school. The cost of preschool also varies from district to district; your status as a foreigner; if your child attends full or half day; cost of lunch, extracurricular activities, etc.
Prague 2/3: The Panda Learning Center (Fibichova 2, www.pandacenter.eu) offers morning, afternoon, and full-day programs for children 2-8-years-old. Baby Bee International Preschool (Soběslavská 66, www.babybee.cz) is a good option for parents looking for a place for their littlest ones. They have programs for babies as young as 6-months; all the way up to 6-years. Open hours are Monday-Friday 8am-5pm. Happy Child Preschool (Jana Masaryka 31, www.happychild.cz) has hours from 7am-7pm, and offers art, yoga and music classes for children from 2.5-7-years-old.
Prague 4: NestLingue (V Parku 2308/8, www.nestlingue.cz) has programs for children 1.5-years to 6-years-old. Children can attend in the mornings, all day; or all day, all week or all day, on selected days. The International Montessori School of Prague (Hrudičkova 2107 www.montessori.cz) has programs for children as young as 1.5-years, all the way up to 12-years-old, as well as a before and after-school program. Another Montessori preschool in Prague 4 is Montessori House (Severní II 8, www.montessorihouse.info.) This is a home-based preschool and they also offer a summer program.
Prague 5: Nessie Preschool (Nad Bertramkou 10, www.nessie.cz) has programs for child 2-6-years-old. They offer both a morning curriculum and after-school program. Flowergarten (Pod Spravedlností 1361, www.flowergarten.cz) children are kept busy with a full day of learning plus other fun activities like field trips throughout the year and seasonal events. They also offer an afternoon English daycare program. Abacus Adventures (Romana Blahníka 804, www.abacusadventures.cz) offers classes for children from 3-6-years-old. In July, they have a special half-day program which includes field trips. Little Bear (Fingerova 2186, www.littlebear.cz) has classes for children aged 3-7 and only accepts a maximum of 20 children.
Prague 6: For those who know their children will never grow up, Neverland Preschool (Nad Habrovkou 3, www.neverland.cz) offers an arts-based curriculum for children 1-6-years-old; as well as English, French and Czech classes. Babylon Preschool (Tomanova 44, www.babylon-preschool.com) has classes in both English and French and offers programs for children 2-6-years-old. It’s a home-based school, so may be good for children who need a more familiar environment. Tetty (Preschool at Na Pískách 88/Nursery school at Komornická 12, www.tetty.cz) takes children from 18 months-6-years and offers extras like yoga and flute lessons. Global Concepts (V Šáreckém údolí 41, www.globalconcepts.cz) offers programs for children aged 1-6-years. They utilize a Montessori structure of learning and have a 4:1 student-teacher ratio. Riverside School (Roztocká 9, www.riversideschool.cz) takes children as young as 3, and also provides a primary and high school curriculum so may be a good choice if you’re looking for a long-term schooling option.
While the Prague districts of 3, 4, 5 and 6, seem to offer the highest concentration of preschools; private schools can be found all over the city. Happy Hippos (Břečťanová 6, www.happyhippos.cz) is in Prague 10. They have half-day and full-day programs for children 2.5-7-years-old and a babysitting service everyday from 6-8pm. In Prague 8 is Sunny Garden (Pomořanská 489, www.sunnygarden.cz.) They are open from 7:30am-6:30pm, offer programs for children 2-7-years of age and welcome parental participation. If you’d like to find other English language preschools in your area, you can do an internet search for anglická mateřská škola. If your child has health problems or other special needs, you may want to investigate the Children Integration Centre (Hurbanova 1285, www.dic-saop.cz.) They offer educational, health and social support to children with health problems. The children are integrated into the classroom with healthy children.
If you are looking for other activities, check out the International School of Music and Fine Arts (Příběnická 16, www.musicschoolprague.com) which offers a variety of music and drama classes for children as young as 2-years-old. The International Choir of Prague (Na Zatlance 11, www.praguechoir.cz) has a developmental choir for kids aged 6-8.
Whether exploring a public or private preschool, be sure to ask a lot of questions. For example: What’s the student-teacher ratio; are the classes mixed-age, or same-age; how is English (or other language) used in the classroom; what are the admission criteria; what are the educational backgrounds of the teachers and director and how long have they been employed there. Also find out if you and your child can visit for a portion of a typical school day to see if it’s a good fit for you both.