The term ‘kindergarten’ dates back to 19th century Germany, meaning a ‘Garden of Children’. How delightful is that image? In Hong Kong, children attend kindergarten starting from anywhere between 2 years and 8 months to 3 years. There are three years of kindergarten education, also called preschool: K1, K2, and K3. Whether you’re new to Hong Kong, a new parent, or both, we want to help you choose the best kindergarten in Hong Kong to let your child thrive.
Tutor Time — Multiple locations
Tutor Time is a bilingual international kindergarten focused on native English and Mandarin education. The programmes are tailored to the children’s social and academic painpoints based on teacher observation, and the goal is preparing toddler and parents for admission to the most esteemed primary schools in Hong Kong.
Their proprietary LifeSmart curriculum is based on Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory, where activities are based on developing 10 life skills, including setting goals and making plans, visual arts, social studies, math, nature and science, and social-emotional development. Tutor Time has a low teacher to student ratio (1:8) and colourful, modern facilities at four campuses.
ICHK Kindergarten empowers each child to be creative, confident, caring, resilient, and respectful. Their educators believe that play is central to learning; it’s how children explore their creativity as they discover the world around them. The beautiful green location in Tai Po and strong outdoor education programme provides children with regular opportunities to engage with nature.
Their IB-PYP emergent curriculum uses the interests and abilities of children to set learning goals so that they can develop communication, self-management, and research skills. Instruction is in English, but children are also immersed in Mandarin daily, through stories, songs, and games.
All children at ICHK Kindergarten move automatically into ICHK Primary school which is situated on the same site.
Where: No. 3, Twentieth St, Hong Lok Yuen, Tai Po
Contact: +852 3955 3000 or firstname.lastname@example.org
As a leading international kindergarten since 1986, Good Time International Kindergarten adopts an Inquiry Approach to learning based on the EYFS framework of the UK. Their aim is to nurture new generations who can express themselves fluently and confidently in front of cameras and other audiences in both English and Chinese. Language is not taught, it’s used: Tuesdays to Fridays are dedicated to English immersion, while Mondays are solely Putonghua immersion.
As a leading kindergarten in STEM learning, students also learn basic coding as a language for an AI-dominated future. Good Time’s vision is to transform children into leaders who excel in Communication, Creativity, and who Care for their neighbours and the world.
Where: L4, Block C & D, Shatin Plaza, Shatin
Contact: +852 2601 3278, +852 9445 5085 (WhatsApp), or email@example.com
Woodland Pre-Schools — Multiple locations
For over 45 years, Woodland Pre-Schools has been a leading kindergarten in Hong Kong with an EYFS curriculum and a Montessori approach offered in English, Mandarin, and bilingual classes. The Woodland Journey programmes begin from 6 months to 6 years, centralizing on the development of children’s agency, confidence, and relationship-building with play-based learning.
The Mid-Levels campus is Montessori-
The flagship Woodland Montessori Academy campus also offers an Academic Acceleration Programme for families who want to focus on a more academic approach. AAP helps fill the children’s developmental/learning gaps in Phonics, Maths, English, reading, and writing which could have potentially been caused by the pandemic.
Kingston International Kindergarten — Kowloon Tong
Kingston International Kindergarten prides itself as being the first authorized IB-PYP school in Hong Kong. The certification that emphasizes forming students into risk-taking, open-minded, and well-balanced individuals was awarded in 2004. Kingston is a through-train school, offering playgroup to secondary school education.
The kindergarten’s DNA is their innovation within the IB framework, making them a leader amongst international schools. With their English/Chinese bilingual programme delivered through the IB-PYP structure, each class is taught by one native English and one native Putonghua teacher.
Every day, students spend time in full English immersion, full Putonghua immersion, and dual language immersion. The inquiry-based learning approach centers on the child, giving students voice, choice, and ownership over what they’re learning.
Where: 12-14 Cumberland Rd, Kowloon Tong
Contact: +852 2337 9049 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Malvern College Pre-School — West Kowloon & Sai Ying Pun
Malvern College Pre-School Hong Kong (MCPS) is an international pre-school for children from two to
five years old. The school offers an Educationally Harnessed Play Programme based on the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum, engaging children through both structured and free play and emphasizing their inquisitive nature through hands-on activities.
Following the successful launch of the Coronation Circle campus in West Kowloon in August 2017, the school opened a second campus in Sai Ying Pun (Island West) in August 2019. Both campus designs are inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy, making the environment the third teacher. The pre-school is one of Hong Kong’s first to operate a Forest-Beach-School Programme.
Where: G09-12 Coronation Circle, 1 Yau Cheung Rd, West Kowloon & G/F and 1/F Viking Court, 165-166 Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun
Contact: +852 3898 4688 or email@example.com
HKCA Po Leung Kuk School Kindergarten — Tin Hau
Located in the heart of Tin Hau, HKCA Po Leung Kuk School is a unique IB World School that provides students aged 3-12 a high-quality internationally-minded education in Hong Kong. The Kindergarten teaching team takes pride in listening to and learning from each child’s interests and needs, and using them to advance their developmental skills. This provides children with a solid educational foundation.
With the school’s through-train structure, it can cater for your child from kindergarten all the way up till the last year of primary school as all HKCA PLK kindergarten students are guaranteed an offer from the primary section after graduation.
Where: 62 Tin Hau Temple Rd, Tin Hau
Contact: +852 3465 8404 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Nord Anglia International School Hong Kong — Sai Kung
Part of Nord Anglia Education’s global family of 80+ international schools, NAIS Hong Kong is a through-train international school with an Early Years Programme for Nursery to Reception (ages 3 to 5) based on the EYFS framework tailored for an international environment.
At their dedicated Early Years campus in Sai Kung, structured play opportunities using a range of materials allow children to become capable, confident learners at their own unique rates. Students also get exposure to Mandarin from Nursery up, with language acquisition being integral to the curriculum.
NAIS Hong Kong collaborates with world-renowned institutions to develop their programmes, such as the STEAM programme with MIT and Performing Arts programme with Juilliard. Their educators emphasize not just strong academic focus, but holistic wellbeing: emotional, physical, social, occupational, and societal.
Where: Nord Anglia International Pre-school Hong Kong, 285 Hong Kin Rd, Tui Min Hoi, Sai Kung
Contact: +852 3958 1428 or email@example.com
FAQ about kindergartens in Hong Kong
Is kindergarten mandatory in Hong Kong?
No, kindergarten is not mandatory in Hong Kong. Kindergarten is three years long, starting from the age of 2 to 3. Mandatory education starts at the age of 6 and lasts until the age of 15.
How long is kindergarten in Hong Kong?
Kindergarten is three years long in Hong Kong starting anywhere from the age of 2 years and 8 months to 3 years of age. A general guideline is that K1 is for children turning 3, K2 is for children who are 4 turning 5, and K3 is for children who are 5 turning 6.
How can I choose the best kindergarten for my child?
There are so many kindergartens and pre-schools in Hong Kong. When considering which one to place your toddler in, consider the school’s location, facilities, learning values, and quality of their educators. Definitely go for school visits.
Header image credits: Woodland Pre-Schools
This article was done in collaboration with the above-mentioned kindergarten. Reach out if you’d like to be included!