The light of your life is finally starting to walk, talk, and maybe even recognise words in books.
It will soon be time for them to enrol in pre-school and embark on their academic journey.
As parents, you want to ensure that your children start learning as soon and as much as possible.
They must have a firm grasp on learning when they enter primary school, secondary school, university and so on.
Malaysia is a melting pot of education styles so you have nothing to worry about as it offers a vast array of pre-school curriculums for your choosing.
However, which pre-school curriculum is best for the educational foundation of your child?
Here’s a look at some of the popular pre-school curricula available in the country:
1. Malaysian curriculum
Malaysia has its own pre-school curriculum. As long as the pre-school is registered with the education ministry, parents need not worry.
The Standard National Pre-school Curriculum (KSPK) is an ongoing initiative by the Malaysian Education Ministry to standardise and streamline the quality of public and private pre-schools and their curriculum across the country.
For many parents, these preschools present a more affordable and locally infused option for their children compared to their international counterparts.
The KSPK guideline is holistic with a focus on science and technology, communication, spirituality, attitude and values, humanities, grooming and physical development and aesthetics.
Examples of such pre-schools are Tabika KEMAS (government pre-school) and Smart Reader (private pre-school).
2. British curriculum
British education is known to instil self-discipline in students, and British pre-schools are no exception.
Besides this, the British education and teaching style has evolved over the years, and now focuses on seven areas of learning – communication and language, physical development, personal, social and emotional development, literacy, mathematics, understanding the world, and expressive arts and design.
Examples of British pre-schools are Sunnyvale pre-school under St John’s International School and The British International School Kuala Lumpur.
3. Montessori curriculum
The Montessori education views children as naturally eager to learn and capable of learning independently in a supportive and thoughtfully prepared learning environment.
It aims to develop children physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively. As such, classes are run with children of mixed ages to encourage them to learn from one another.
Teachers are trained to observe individual children’s characteristics, tendencies, innate talents and abilities.
Children are also given freedom within limits, such as choosing activities of their choice from a list of available activities and learning through self-discovery by working with materials rather than through instruction from the teachers.
Examples of Montessori pre-schools are The Children’s House and The Montessori Place.
4. Waldorf/Steiner curriculum
Formed in 1919 by Rudolf Steiner, the Waldorf curriculum (also known as the Steiner curriculum) emphasises on the appreciation of nature, art and imagination to help children engage with their head, heart and hands – or thinking, feeling and doing.
This pre-school curriculum follows the philosophy of Anthroposophy, which is based on the belief that humanity has the wisdom to transform itself and the world, through spiritual development.
The Waldorf pedagogy and teaching methods are designed to nurture the potential of every child in helping to shape humanity through creative development and character education rather than purely academic skills.
Example of Waldorf/Steiner pre-schools are Kuala Lumpur Steiner Education and Waldorf Kelip Kelip Pre-school.
5. Religious curriculum
Malaysia is home to people of different cultures and religions, thus it is common to find a faith-based pre-school in your neighbourhood.
Depending on the demographic in your housing area, you should be able to find Islamic, Christian, Buddhist and Hindu pre-schools.
Religious preschools do not necessarily have a standard curriculum, and may use Malaysian, British or even the Montessori curriculums with the addition of religious classes and common values.
Hence, parents can rest assured that their child will receive a proper quality education while also being taught well in their faith.
For example, Brainy Bunch is an Islamic International Montessori pre-school while some church-affiliated pre-schools use the Malaysian-based Fungates curriculum.
Safety and quality care are priority
Regardless of the pre-school curriculum and the wonderful educational benefits offered to your child, it is important to note that not all pre-schools are registered with the Education Ministry and may not adhere to the country’s guidelines for pre-school administration.
Pre-school children are quick learners, but they are also in need of adequate love and encouragement in a safe environment when it comes to learning new things.
Therefore, it is your responsibility to ensure the pre-school you choose for your child is safe and up to the standard of the national guidelines.
School Advisor provides information on private and international schools, extra-curricular activities as well as other education-related topics in Malaysia.