As parents, we want nothing but the best for our children, especially when it comes to their education. And when it comes to pre-school, you want one that will teach your child the right social skills and get him ready for “big school.” And yet nursery schools can be notoriously expensive—while some charge P30-38,000 a year, the more established ones often have tuition fees of over P100,000. Here’s a roundup of schools with the steepest fees in the metro.
Greatstart International School – Manila
Originally based in New Jersey, Greatstart teaches its students using methods aligned with US national early learning standards. While its GR.A.C.E (Greatstart Academic Curriculum for Excellence) program adopts some practices from Montessori schools, it is a “predominantly formal and structured curriculum” designed to help children transition into elementary school. For more information, visit the Greatstart website.
Toddlers (1 year, 6 months to 2 years old)
Nursery I (3 years old)
Nursery II (4 years old)
Pre-K (5 years old)
Location: 187 Doña Soledad Ave. Extension, Better Living Subdivision, Parañaque City
Annual Fees: P64,610 for 3 days a week; P108,620 for 5 days a week
As its name suggests, this school emphasizes the importance of play-based learning. They practice mixed-age grouping to help children develop social skills, and follow the British Early Years Foundation Stage and US High Scope Approach. Teachers regularly assess their students using Key Development Indicators, and share them with parents via an online portal called Learning Window.
If you’re the sort of parent who wants to know what your child is up to 24/7, you’ll love getting daily updates on their progress complete with anecdotes, photos, and videos, along with notifications of their temperature and when they enter and leave the school. For more information, visit the Playschool International website.
Mixed Age Group (1 year, 6 months to 5 years old)
Location: Kensington Place Condominium, 29th St. cor. 1st Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Annual Fees: P103,055 for 3 days a week; P132,000 for 4 days a week; P147,222 for 5 days a week
Positive Thinker Learning Center
Want your kid to study at the happiest place on earth? Short of moving to the US, Positive Thinker Learning Center is the closest you’ll get to sending your kid to the Disney Children's Center, a preschool exclusive to children of Disneyland employees. Since directress Ina Tulio once taught there she was able to import the same curriculum and materials, which place an emphasis on fun, individualized, and age-appropriate learning. Visit Positive Thinker's website for more information.
Nursery 1 (2 to 2 years, 7 months old)
Nursery 2 (2 years, 8 months to 3 years, 7 months old)
Location: 32 Riverview Drive, Blue Ridge B, Quezon City
Annual Fees: P78,027.81 for 2-3 days a week; P112,350 for 5 days a week
9th Avenue School
This school firmly believes in the importance of individualized learning through play. The founders of 9th Avenue School claim to be the “first in the field to use Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP) 20 years ago.” The DAP approach involves incorporating research on early child development into teaching strategies. To learn more, see 9th Avenue School's official website.
Avenue 2’s (2 years old)
Avenue 3’s (3 years old)
Avenue 4’s (4 years old0
Avenue 5’s (5 years old)
Location: M/F Active Fun Bldg., 9th Ave. cor. 28th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Annual Fees: starts at P120,000
The Philippine Montessori Center
As its name suggests, this school employs the increasingly popular Montessori method of education, which nurtures children’s innate passion for learning through self-directed activity and collaborative play. PMC focuses on helping its preschool students develop coordination of movement, literacy, and social confidence. Visit the Philippine Montessori website.
Young Children’s Community (1 to 3 years old)
Location: 27 Queensville cor. Joeylane St., White Plains Subdivision, Quezon City
Annual Fees: P140,000
This school prides itself on following the tradition and research-based standards of Bank Street College in New York City. In particular, it advocates a Developmental-Interaction approach, which involves “commitment to developing a child’s competence in all areas of development and an abiding respect for the individual child’s uniqueness.” To learn more, check out the Explorations website.
1s (1 year, 3 months to 1 year, 11 months old by June 1)
2s (2 years to 2 years, 11 months old by June 1)
3s (3 years to 3 years, 11 months old by June 1)
4s (4 years to 4 years, 11 months old by June 1)
Location: 928 Luna Mencias cor. Socorro Fernandez St., Addition Hills, Mandaluyong
Annual Fees: Starts at P160,000
The Beacon School
Founded in 2000 by parents who wanted to give their children the best of both local and international schools, The Beacon School aims to produce students who are “international but rooted in Philippine culture.” It also holds the distinction of being the first Filipino school to be accredited by the International Baccalaureate program. See The Beacon School's site for more information.
Pre-K (4 years old by August)
Location: PCPD Building, 2332 Chino Roces Avenue Ext., Taguig
Annual Fees: P$550 plus P200,200 (Total of P227,884)
International Center for Beginning Beginners
In a nutshell, the ICBB’s philosophy is all about achieving “the perfect harmony of the Mind, the Body, and the Heart.” This is done through hands-on activities, calisthenics, and both guided and unguided socialization. As the school explains, “The three most important elements that make up our day here at ICBB are discovery learning, concept teaching, and self-care routines.” For more information, visit the ICBB's website.
Infant Stimulation (6 months to 1 year, 2 months old)
The Yellow Room (1 year, 2 months to 2 years old)
The Aqua Room (2 years, 1 month to 3 years old)
The Peach Room (3 years, 1 month to 3 years, 11 months old)
The Green Room (4 to 5 years old)
Location: NGA Clubhouse Johnson Park, North Greenhills
Annual Fees: Around P230,000
Creative Play Corner
This school harnesses children’s innate curiosity through play-based learning. It also offers special classes such as math and science camp, reading class, and dance theatre arts. To learn more, visit Creative Play Corner.
Nursery (1 year, 5 months to 2 years, 2 months old by June)
Locations: (McKinley West branch) Upper Ground Floor, Telus Bldg., Lombard St., cor. McWest Blvd. McKinley West, Taguig; (Bonifacio Global City branch) 2nd Floor, Forbes Town Center, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Annual Fees: P250,000-P300,000
Chinese International School Manila
Apart from incorporating subjects like Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies, CISM offers Music, Art, Computer Studies, and P.E. classes, which are taught by specialist teachers. Of course, they have a Mandarin Language program too. For more information, visit the CIS Manila website.
Nursery (3 years old by August 31)
Pre-K (4 years old by August 31)
Location: Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
Annual Fees: P260,000 for Nursery; P280,000 for Pre-K and Kindergarten
Brent International School
Brent’s Early Learning Center aims to help its students develop “a high standard of academic excellence, a strong character founded on Christian values, and an international or global perspective.” For more information, visit Brent International School's website.
Nursery (3 years old by December 31)
Pre-Kindergarten (4 years old by December 31)
Location: Brentville Subdivision, Barangay Mamplasan, Biñan, Laguna
Annual Fees: $3,376 plus P154,664 (Total P324,657) for Nursery; $4,336 plus P198,900 for Pre-Kindergarten (Total P417,250)
British School Manila
This school’s Early Years Foundation Stage framework focuses on 7 key areas: communication and language; physical development; personal, social, and emotional development; literacy and mathematics; understanding of the world; and expressive arts and design. To learn more, check out British School Manila's website.
Nursery (3 to 4 years old)
Location: 36th Street, University Park, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Annual Fees: GBP2,295 plus P218,100 (Total P373,957)
Casa Montessori Internationale
While many other institutions employ the Montessori method, Casa sets itself apart by being a fully compliant Montessori school. This means the school invests in sending all of their teachers to the US to receive training and certification, instead of having a few certified instructors pass what they’ve learned to the rest of the faculty. Casa Montessori prides itself on producing confident, disciplined, and independent children who are ready for big school. For more information, schedule a school visit by calling (632) 810 9722.
Toddler (1 year, 6 months to 2 years, 2 months old)
Primary (2 to 4 years old)
Location: 43 McKinley Road, Forbes Park South, Makati
Annual Fees: P530,000
International School Manila
Starting with the belief that children enter nursery school as “capable and competent beings,” International School’s Early Childhood curriculum helps its students see connections between what they already know and what they learn in the classroom. Their teaching methods “emphasize meaning-making rather than the acquisition of discrete skills.” Find out more by visiting the ISM website.
Preschool 3 (3 years old)
Preschool 4 (4 years old)
Location: University Parkway, Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Annual Fees: $7,310 plus P236,080 (Total P604,099)
Note: These tuition fees are estimated base fees, and do not include uniforms, application fees, and other miscellaneous fees.