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Childcare and education in Thailand

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From nurseries, daycare centres and playgroups, to au pairs and private babysitters, you can rest assured that there are a plethora of options to keep you young ones safe and entertained when you're not available, if you have moved to Thailand with children. There is no mandatory pre-school system, but some kindergartens are run by public schools for a small administration fee, and there are English-speaking nurseries in most Thai cities that welcome children from the age of one to three years old. These are in particularly high demand in urban areas.

Playgroups are often organised by parents to encourage social interaction, so it's worth looking on expat forums in the city where you are living to find out what's going on. Prices of these playgroups are reasonable, as they are run on a volunteer basis. However, if you live in a larger Thai city and choose to send your child to a nursery or pre-school that is run by an international school, you can expect to pay high fees.

You can also hire the services of a nanny while you're in Thailand as this can be affordable to many expats and can make life as a parent much more convenient. You may be used to childcare givers being certified in your home country, but in Thailand, there are no regulations for nannies. There are, however, many experienced nannies who are looking to be employed by English-speaking families and you can find them by contacting an agency, looking for adverts in the newspaper, checking on expat websites, or simply asking around for recommendations. Many Thai teenagers also wish to improve their English language skills by babysitting, and this could also be an option on an ad hoc basis.

The education system

Education in Thailand is largely a government responsibility provided through the Ministry of Education. Under the National Education Act, Thai citizens are eligible to undertake 12 years of free public schooling. However, only the six years of primary education and three years of lower secondary education are compulsory.

Many foreigners in Thailand choose to enrol their children in either a private school with a bilingual or English programme, or in an international school. Private schools follow the Thai national curriculum, but the majority of classes are taught in English. While international schools follow the curriculum of another national programme, such as the American or British curriculums. Even many upper-class Thai families are now choosing to send their children to international schools rather than private schools, as the teaching methods and facilities tend to be better, and there is better preparation for children to enrol at a university abroad.

If you may return to your home country in the future, then the transition would be easier if you were to choose a school in Thailand that has a corresponding curriculum structure to those back home. However, international schools are more expensive than private schools, and some international schools are strictly primary schools for students up to about the age of 12, while others include secondary schooling for children up to 18 years old.

 Useful links:

Cybo
Acacia Centre
Garden International School
Sabatan
International Schools

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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Member since 01 June 2008
Small earth, Mauritius
1 Comment
akedeya
akedeya
2 years ago

I wish also the info for homeschools was so nicely organized.... My son goes to a homeschool in Phuket and I find it very beneficial. I believe this prepares him for the big school later by growing love to learning, concentration and diligence. There are homeschools out there, just how to find them. Usually is info by mouth...

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