This is based on the opinions of Trini-Moms when reviewing different aspects including academics, extra curricular, well roundedness, location and facilities.
We always recommend you do your own personal research on any school you consider for your child. Note these are recommendations and if you require further contact info, please blog on facebook and we will try to get it for you. Once we have contact info, we will post it as part of our Mommy Yellow Pages.. please refer to that section for detailed listings..This article is not a Directory Listing..
Dunross Preparatory School
Mucurapo Girls RC School
Newtown Girls RC School
Holy Name Preparatory
St. Andrews Preparatory
Holistic Learning Centre
St. Monica’s Preparatory
St. Xavier’s Private School, St. Joseph
Specialist Learning Centre, St. Augustine
St. Peters Private Primary, Pointe a Pierre
Sevilla Private Primary School, Couva
Montrose Government Primary School
Chaguanas Government Primary School
The Early Learning Centre
37 Fitt Street, Woodbrook
Hope Cottage Montessori: Trudy Armstrong
Upper St. Ann’s (after Bishop’s, before Cascadia)
Holistic Learning Centre
49 Cedar Avenue
Leaps and Bounds
“I think you should check London Montessori. I was very impressed by the visit I had there. But one thing is for sure, shop around cause remember everyone's experience would be different and only you would know what's best for your child”
“I haven't had to experience any of these yet but I have been told by parents and primary school teachers that they are very satisfied with both Cathy Thompson and Christine Acryil. I have only heard 1 'negative' about Cathy really which was that school times (opening and closing) are very strict and I know this is difficult for some moms who have to be in office for 8 - but I can't confirm this and I know it's not relevant for some moms anyway.
My daughter is registered with Christine Acryil”
“Hi. My son is in Cathy Thompson’s school, so if you have specific questions I'd be happy to answer them. He's 3 now. He started last Sept, so has been there for one year so far.
There are pros and cons to each pre school. You have to find the one that is best for you. Location is important (traffic woes for you and your child). Pick up time is important (fitting your routine), but finding the school that best fits your child is most important”
“I am not a mother but my niece goes to Nicole Horsham and she is very good. My niece thoroughly enjoys going to that School. Cathy Thompson also is supposed to be quite good as she is in the business a long time.”
“Nicole is excellent for play school! Skye went there and thoroughly enjoyed it! She is starting by Cathy Thompson in September. Chose Cathy as it's close to home and she taught me as well as all my siblings.”
“As for a playgroup, the best I've seen is Bright Beginnings in Alyce Glen. Nicole Horsham-deFreitas is the owner and head teacher. My son went there before joining Dunross and I have to say, Nicole has a fantastic program. She teaches kids how to prepare for "big school" by having scheduled snack times (she provides the food and a full menu for the month when you join) work time and play times. She is a trained Montessori teacher and former teacher of Dunross. She's got enough help to handle the group efficiently and she is a mom too. She is genuinely one of the nicest people you could hope to meet and is great at her job because she loves kids! If you want to join her group, you need to call and book your spot as far in advance as you can because word is out that she's good. Call her on 747-2591. You won't be disappointed!”
“My son went on to Christine Sankar's school, Fun Times Montessori in Petit Valley after Bright Beginnings and again, a great school with just enough structure to get your child ready for "big"school but not so much that it's a boot camp. She's got her mom on staff and the kids love her, as well as one more helper. so again, enough hands to handle the load. I highly recommend both schools to get your kids ready for primary school days. Call Christine on 632-7548.”
“Cathy Thompson, Valsco Montessori, Glencoe... great pre-school. My 2-1/2 yr daughter started there in January this year and LOVES it. Cathy has been in this field for over 30 years now, she knows her stuff. She comes home from school and rattles off everything she learnt, their teaching techniques must be fantastic for my toddler who is able to identify all the letters of the alphabet, spell her name, and some other three letter words, do simple addition on her fingers and can count to 50, days of the week, months of the year already. Her craft is excellent as she colours and paints very well inside the lines. The school is big on current events and celebrating local holidays. My child knows the Coat of Arms, the National Birds, the national Anthem and the colours of the National Flag. Every week, we get a package of stuff that the kids did for the week. They are big on themes and the kids learn about new things every week, from "conserving water" to "dinosaurs", to "Poui Season"! I see a huge diifference in my child, she LOVES songs and rattles off all the songs from school...ofcourse I teach her alot at home, everyweek I teach her something new via our little class where I do storytimes, crafts and academics including Spanish with her, so ofcourse as Cathy encourages, to mould the kids from home and they will love to learn and have great attitudes about it at school, don't expect the schools to do ALL the work!
Cathy has two classes, a toddler class and a junior class, different teachers for different classes. Hours are from 8am-12noon. Yes a little shorter hours than other pre-schools, but great academics! I strongly recommend Valsco Montessori as the stepping stone for Primary School!”
For building social skills my daughter attended Nicole Horsham(Bright Beginnings)and she is the best PLAYschool in the West! My daughter went there from 18months and then at 2yrs a spot became available at Cathy so she moved right on up to PRE-School.”
Happy Days in Glencoe is a European - style nursery school ( based on the Montessori system) with a Caribbean flavour and two successful terms under its belt !
First come - First Served.
Happy Days Montessori school welcomes children aged around 2 1/ 2- 5 years. Spaces are limited to a max of 15 students which ensures that each child gets great one to one time with the teachers.
Why choose Happy Days ?
If you are looking for a friendly school which lets children explore the world around them, encourages learning through play, as well as acquiring academic skills in a structured environment, then this is the right place.
About the Founder:
Malin Bynoe is a qualified Montessori teacher (London Montessori Centre, U.K.) ( of Swedish origin) with 10 yrs experience in childcare, having taught in a wide a cross section of schools in Sweden, England, Barbados and Trinidad.
For more info please contact :
Malin Bynoe - 620-8219
8:30 - 11:30 or till 1:30 pm
Rosalino Street, Woodbrook
“My second daughter went to Wee-Kare and I honestly wasn't too happy. I think it's too strict for children of that age. The little kids have to sit still in desks and it's very much like a primary level class routine which I think is too stressful for that developmental stage when the emphasis should be learning through play.
Also, their method of learning letters in the First Primer is different from what St. Bernadette's eventually taught, so she was very confused when she entered primary school and had to learn the alphabet a different way.
I heard complaints from other parents too so I wouldn't recommend it.
But maybe I'm out of touch because that was four years ago. Hopefully things have gotten better.”
Little Cherries Kindergarten
“I found out about two Pre-Schools in South. Rochelles in Palmiste and Trinidad Renaissance in Vistabella.
I have heard very good reviews on the latter one. It is supposed to be leaning more on teaching at an international level. Also they teach Spanish and I think French. They go till the ago of 11 and the cost includes a breakfast, lunch and snacks which are all vegetarian.”
“Well I asked, and heard of Rochelle's as well, and also of another place called Precious Gems”
“You can ask each pre-school that you visit for the names of other pre-schools, and if they are away of any play groups, which perhaps some of the current children may have attended before entering pre-school”
“I have found a very good Pre-School in Palmiste. It's called Happy Days Pre-School on Kathleen Crescent. It cost $600 a term. I have been there for a visit and I found it to be alot better than most schools and I have visited a few..”
“For those of you who are considering a school called either My Precious Jewels or Maureen's Pre-school which is in Gulf View on Seaview Parkway think twice. My son attended there for a very short time. It is over crowded and under staffed and not to mention the teachers are not qualified. I found out about that fact in a Parent teacher meeting. Also if anyone has to raise their for at my child and prefer it to me. With said I recommend Happy Days and Rochelles.”
“I have heard of a pre-school in Padmore Street, have to get more details. I was told that they really prepare your child for primary school and there's also the ASJA pre-school but as I said I have to pay a visit and get more info.”
“The school on Padmore Street is good from what I have heard, but there is an excellent kindergarten at Charles Street South, Little Cherries Kindergarten. Qualified and expert teachers, loving and caring environment. The environs are very spacious with playground and an outdoor picnic/recreation area for outdoor activities.The cost is $600. a term.Every child gets individual attention and is not just part of the crowd.Check it out....”
“My daughter went to Rochelle's for a term and enjoyed the time she spent there. The address is 5 Woodscent Drive, Palmiste and the number is 652-8669.”
“Granted you have not made a choice yet, I recommend that you check out the Trinidad Renaissance Pre School. My son attends the school and I am very satisfied with their teaching methods.
They have a very holisitc approach to education and are continually seeking new information to aid in the advancement of their students.
Don’t take my word for it though. Call the school and make an appointment to visit. Telephone 653 5875; Ms. Uklyn Ferguson - Directoress will be happy to give you the details.”
“Thank you all for the info. I have been to Renaissance and was well pleased. I live in Palmiste and the drive to Vistabella was a bit much so I have decided on Rochelles. He starts in January. Let you all know how it goes...”
Kids Incorporated: Luana Gabriel & Von Camacho
UWI Pre School
Aunty Wendy’s Pre School
Ruth’s Daycare and Nursery
12 Igneri Road
Little Feet Kindergarten
Located off Warren St, Opp. St. Augustine Senior Comp.
A Childs World,Hillview Terrace, Off Gordon Street Curepe.
“Among the top pre-schools in the east are UWI and Little Feet both in St. Augustine.“
“I used UWI preschool but you should really apply extremely early.”
“Little Feet and UWI Pre School are quite different to each other.
“Both my daughters attended the UWI Pre School in St. Augustine, I never had any regrets. I will recommend it to anyone but it is hard to get into. My girls were registered from birth.”
“My older son went to Kids Incorporated, and honestly, I am yet to see a school as good as that one. But it really depends on what you are looking for...”
“I'm not sure what I'm looking for. I have no idea what these schools do and I am getting worried (because of some snippits of info. I got) that there will be a lot of emphasis on academics.
I thought though that I could go check out some of the schools during working hours and see what goes on. What do you think?”
“You definitely need to check out the schools in person so that you can get a feel for what the school is about, and if the environment seems to be one that your child would be comfortable in.
If you give me your email address, I'll send you a list of questions that you can ask when you visit the schools, and things you can specifically look for.
I'll get those numbers for you and post them here.”
“I'm going to check out Little Feet Kindergarten. They are located on Private Rd. #1 which is one of the little dead-end side streets off of Warren St. (so therefore opposite St. Augustine Senior Comp. campus).
This new location (used to be on Smart Street) left a better impression on me but I have not yet gone in and chatted with them.”
“My daughter is 3. She was on the waitlist for UWI preschool but did not get in. She had been on the waitlist for a year and a half but I think you have to get them on shortly after birth to have a chance! :) I have registered her for Little Feet. My sis in laws kids go there and she is happy with it but the amount of homework has been kind of stressful (for kids and mom!). I met with the Director though and she seems great....To be honest, I am kind of worried about starting my daughter anywhere. She is pretty is sensitive and kind of shy (she takes a long time to warm up to new people and situations). I had heard Kids Inc had half day which I thought might be more manageable for her to start. Its just kind of far from me as its already a stretch to get Matthew to UWI every morning (we live in D'Abadie). Just to add, I am very happy to have found this group and want to thank those who started it!!!! :) I am from the US (my husband is a Trini) so its nice to find a support network!!”
“For any school, go during the day (unannounced if possible) and observe the children during play time, and class-time. Also speak to the teachers who will actually be teaching the children (not just the Director). That will give you a true feel for the school.
You will know what environment is right for your child when you see it. My 2nd son was also very shy, so I understand your dilemma with choosing the right environment for your daughter. It's very important!”
“There is a small school off Gordon St. in St Augustine that you might want too look at. It is a Catholic school and the religious aspect was a bit more that I was comfortable with, but if you are OK with that, they seem to have a very dedicated teacher, a nice play ground, a roomy school area and a lot manipulatives.”
“There is a school off Gordon Street called "Eternal Life Vocational School"...it has a strong Catholic backing....not sure if it's the same school mentioned by Carol above or not.
The Head Teachers name is Deborah De Rosia and the number is 662-7616.”
“My son is 3 and also did not get in at UWI prep. We live two houses away from Aunty Wendy's in Maracas, St. Joseph but as mentioned earlier she is no longer operational. She suggested "A Child's World" in Hillview Terrace, Gordon Street, St. Augustine and the principal "Luana" is very understanding and supportive. She actually allowed me to phase in my son for two weeks (I stayed in with my son). She gave him a lot of individual attention and he really liked her. He was fine for a month and half and then he refused to go. (several reasons - it's compulsory to wear uniforms, the playground is more dust than grass, the kids are a little bit rough so he was not inclined to mingle and socialise with the kids so he was only interacting with Luana). I have started him in this fantastic place called "Bright Ideas" in El Dorado (not far from Hillview College). It's not advertised and the principal only works by referrrals. On his very first day he was mingling with the kids. He did not cry once. The place is VERY CLEAN, SPACIOUS and the principal is like a mother figure because in our interview we were interrupted several times by varying kids who approached her for praise, help or a hug. It seemed unreal but it's true. It's the only pre-school that has a male teacher amonsgt the women teachers - so it's great for balance. I could go on and on but u need to check it out yourself.”
“Hi I'm a dad. I hope everyone does not mind me joining this group but there isn't such a group for dads. My son has been going to Bright Ideas for the past week and half. While the school is all that you say, I have a few issues with the school. Firstly, while your child is at the school it is very difficult to find out what is going on with he or she. The teachers would usually just say he is o.k. and not crying. It is only if you have very specific questions will you earn what is going on with your child while at school. You can't drop in to see how your child is at school either, because you have to call first before they open the gate and also they drop the child at the gate for you. Ms. Lianti Singh said that my prescence would distract the other children. However, at this age I can't imagine what they should be concentrating on so intensely.
She is hard and fast about reaching to school on time and would turn your child away if you reach a bit late. I have a hard enough time getting my son out of the house in the morning.
There are also quite a bit of fees to pay ( 700/month + 250 + 50 potty/month+ 50 water/month) and fundraisers etc.”
“Restrictions on visiting during the day should not apply to the parents or legal guardians - it is not at all desirable that YOU, the parent cannot see your child at any time, within reason, and especially to assess how they are interacting with teachers and other students. YOU KNOW YOUR CHILD BEST, and you are really the best qualified to know whether or not they are OK. "Not crying" is not the only or sometimes even the most reliable clue to their well-being.
The other thing is, when so many teachers, and the society in general complain that parents are not interested in their children at school, it is really a very unfortunate attitude to insist on this radical separation, and worse, it sends the wrong signal to your child - that school and home are too entirely different parts of their life, unconnected with each other, and perhaps even (dare I say it) adversaries, not partners in his education!
Certainly, do not let your questions be brushed off or dismissed - be polite, but firm and insistent - your son's happiness is your primary concern, and it should be the first priority of the school as well.”
“I live in Chaguanas...I plan to send my two kids to Enaith's on Gaston Street. Another option would be a preschool located near the Montrose Government School on La Clave Street.
Enaith's take in preschoolers who are at least 3 years and potty trained...if your kid meets these criteria there should be no registration problems. It might be useful to visit the school to ensure enrolment.”