If you live in Prague, (or plan to) and have preschool age children, (or plan to), You will more than likely find yourself seeking out full or part time daycare. The first thing you should know is that the Czech Republic has had a bit of a baby boom over the last decade. There is some debate as to whether it counts as an actual "boom" but what ever it was, it resulted in a high demand for early child care and made good spaces scarce. On the positive side, with the high demand also came an increased demand for premium quality child care. Daycare is a solid business now and the daycares in Prague make every effort to meet the high standards expected by parents here.
Materska Skola Bambino in Prague has done an excellent job of creating the ideal child care environment for this high demand, high quality market. Bambino started in 2009 with their Dejvicka location, expanded in 2012 with a second day care in Prague four and again in 2013 when they opened their newest location in Vinohrady. The Vinohrady location is in an area of Prague ten that consists almost entirely of villas built in the 20's and 30's. The Bambino daycare operates on a quiet tree lined street from one of these villas.
Before Bambino acquired the space it had been converted from villa to office space so they spent considerable time and effort to transform the space back to a more homey feel. It's many levels and rooms are designated for specific purposes. A room full of beds for nap time, a room with a kitchen and tiny table for meals, a large, brightly lit music room, an art room, a large fenced in play area in the back, they have gardening and animals, (the Dejvicka location even has goats). The walls are covered with artwork from and photos of all the kids who've been with them over the years. The children move about in a care free manner, obviously at home in this relaxed atmosphere.
There's no question Bambino has engineered a pleasant and enjoyable environment for the children. I hardly had to get past the first floor of the converted villa to see that. It's difficult to imagine a better space for young children but when seeking out child care, there are a few other things you will likely need to consider.
The best daycares in Prague will fully prepare your child for the transition to elementary school. Bambino belongs to the Czech School register, which means they meet all the requirements and regulations of the state and private schools. Bambino has both Czech and English programs, (with the addition of French at the Dejvicka location). The children going into Czech school will obviously take the Czech program and the ones going to private, English schools would go through the English program. I find most parents, whether Czech or long term foreign residents, would like their children to be bilingual and it is possible to have the children spend some time in both programs. I'm guessing, based on my experience with my own young children, that even when a child is spending all his or her time in one language program, they will tend to pick up some of the other language just from the interaction with the other kids.
Aside from language and other more academic aspects of preparing them for first grade, Bambino tries to ensure they are mature enough and emotionally ready for the big step. Children, of course, mature at different rates and some kids need a lot more support and development than others. Bambino has a policy of no more than ten children to a teacher so they have time to focus on the kids that need a little more time and energy.
Bambino schedules a yearly meeting with every parent to discuss the child's development through the year but the teachers write a monthly evaluation of each student and these evaluations are available upon request.
As a parent of preschool age children, all I want is for them to be in a comfortable space with a good staff and a solid program of learning and development. As I've described, Bambino has all of that. They also have a door to door bus service, summer programs, flexible schedules. they even do birthday parties on weekends.
It's a new era for early child care in Prague and Bambino gets it.
|BAMBÍNO Nursery and Kindergarten |
Šrobárova 14, 110 00 Prague 10 – Vinohrady
TEL.: +420 702 024 934
BAMBÍNO Nursery and Kindergarten
Ceské družiny 1671/9, 160 00 Prague 6 – Dejvice
TEL.: +420 777 142 359