Monday, February 14, 2011

Medhaam Preschool and Daycare, Gurgaon

I can't quite believe that I'm already on the lookout for a daycare for my little one! Seems like just yesterday that I was doing this exercise for my son...and now he's all grown up and it's my daughter that I'm worrying about now. Sigh. Well, it is what it is and the good thing is that I'm sure she's going to love wherever I send her because she's super social and loves people and activity...maybe even more than she loves me:-) Naah, not really!

The first place I have looked at is Medhaam, which is in C Block, South City I. (It's somewhere between Unitech Palms and Signature Towers, if you just want a general idea.) In no particular order, here are my impressions:

  • The infrastructure is all very new and very nice. The school is on a proper school plot of land and built like a small school building, instead of a house converted into a school, which means they're not trying to make do with small rooms and awkward places. Their rooms are bright and sunny, especially the ones on the ground floor, and they're filled with a lot of cute furniture and cute toys and play stuff. 
  • They have a decent size outdoor play area which is again very sweet and clean and green. It also includes a nice mid sized, shallow splash pool for kids to splash around in the summer. 
  • As of now they offer a daycare facility, and toddler, pre-nursery, nursery, and kindergarten programs. They don't have a lot of kids enrolled yet since they started only in the middle of last year. This gives the school a slightly bare and unused look. This is neither good nor bad. I'm just mentioning it because I felt it. Unfortunately, I didn't go at a time when the morning school was in progress, so I saw only the daycare kids and not the preschoolers. 
  • The lady who runs the place, Nita Datta, is very pleasant and warm. She was happy to show me around and spend a lot of time talking to me about the school and about my requirements for my daughter. Unfortunately, I didn't see any of the teachers except the daycare one, so I can't comment on their caliber, warmth, manner with children, etc. 
  • I was most interested in their daycare since that's what I need for my little one right now. The good thing is that I have the option of enrolling her for the toddler class, after which she can go up to the daycare and spend the rest of the day there. The thing that's making me doubtful about the place is that I didn't get a clear sense of what my kid would be doing all those hours when she's not in the toddler class and just in the daycare. When I visited, there were a bunch of kids in the daycare room which had a couple of maids, a teacher, and a bunch of toys. But they didn't seem to have any plan or idea of what they were doing or what they were going to do next. I may be expecting too much because they're just little kids but some structure and some idea of what to do with the children rather than just hang around in the lap of one maid or playing with some toys with another maid would have been nicer. 
  • The daycare room seemed a little bare to me. It wasn't as well set up as it could be, considering the kids spend their whole day there. However, they did have another room right next to the daycare room where a bunch of kids were asleep and a maid was watching over them. That looked pretty well set up and comfortable and I even saw some older school children there who go there directly from their schools. 
  • The timing of the daycare is a bit of a problem since it starts at 9:00 am. If you're a working parent, you probably want to be at your office by 9 and so should be able to drop off your kid at least by 8:30 am. While Ms. Datta did say this was an option, it would mean you would have to drop your kid off to a maid instead of a teacher and also sign something saying you're okay with the risks involved with this.
  • Their food is cooked fresh in the school premises and I was very impressed by the menu they offer. The week's menu was up on the notice board and it all sounded very yummy and nutritious. 
All in all, the place is definitely worth a visit if you're looking for a small, cozy and friendly preschool for your toddler. I'm still undecided on the daycare front because of the lack of clarity of what my daughter would be doing there, but more so because of the distance from my house. I'll be sure to post reviews of any other places I visit. 

Here is some information about the Medhaam fee structure:

Toddlers
Age: 1.5 to 2 years
Timings: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
One time fee, annual fee, registration etc:  Rs. 20,500
Monthly fee (tuition + facility fee): Rs. 4500

Pre-nursery, Nursery, and KG
Age: 2 to 5 years
Timings: 9:00 am to 12:30 pm
One time fee, annual fee, registration etc:  Rs. 20,500
Monthly fee (tuition + facility fee): Rs. 5000

Daycare
Age: 1.5 to 8 years
Timings: Full day - 9:00 am to 6:30 pm; Half day - 12:30 pm to 6:30 pm; 4 hours flexi; 2 hours flexi; and per day flexi
One time fee, annual fee, registration etc:  Rs. 5500
Monthly fee: Full day: Rs. 6200, Half day: Rs. 5000, 4 Hours: Rs. 4000, 2 hours: Rs. 3000, and per day: Rs. 350

15 comments:

Vishwanath Natarajan said...

Hi,

I am hoping you are able to provide me with some guidance. I have an option to relocate to Gurgaon from UK in the next 2-3 months. I have heard conflicting messages re how safe the place is for kids. I heard from one person that it's not very safe and that parents follow their kids school vans as they do not trust them !! What is your perspective? Any help would be much appreciated.

Manika said...

Hi Vishwanath,

Honestly, I've never heard of parents following their kids' school vans. Most schools here are very credible and take a lot of steps to ensure safety of their students. Of course, Gurgaon is not really a place where you would let your kids go outside the neighborhood completely alone (depending on what age they are), but as long as you know what they are up to and where they are, I'm thinking they're as safe as they would be in Delhi or Mumbai or any other big city in India. (most neighborhoods in Gurgaon have a lot of play space and constant activities for kids within their walls, so kids are always seen playing by themselves in the evenings without parents.)

Manika

Rush said...

Hi Manika, Your blog has been my find for the day! You have done such a wonderful job with the reviews of daycare facilities. We are relocating to Gurgaon in May this year and I have a 1.5 year old. I am planning to get back to work and have been looking for day cares in the area. Would you know if any of the companies have daycare on campus? I hope to be in touch with you.

a s a said...

hey! found your blog while surfing... looking for schools. I'm sure you've got a lot of that by now!
anyway, if you're still looking for your daughter, you could try Ida dlfIII), next to corporate park .. I for one really like it.

One who banters said...

Manika,

Reading your posts on Daycare and Preschools and finding them extremely useful. We just relocated from UK to Gurgaon, and getting quite contrasting reviews on nanny services. Wanted to know what your take is on the Agency hired nannies? Any suggestions for reliable agencies / nannies? Any help would be much appreciated. I have a 15 month old, and would be looking out for daycares once she is 18-19 months, but atleast for summer months was looking for some reliable nanny to be home.

Keep up the great work!

Cheers Surbhi

Manika said...

Hi Surbhi,

With nannies in general in India - whether through an agency or just word of mouth, the only thing that matters is luck! I know that's probably not what you were hoping to hear, but through my own experience and that of my friends, I don't know any consistently reliable place where you can get nannies. A lot of agencies are run very dishonestly by goons so you have to be very careful in dealing with them. I would suggest you contact an agency only if you have a very strong reference from someone you know and trust. Before going that route, do try to spread the word that you need a maid/nanny to people you know and see if you can get someone that way.
I don't know of any agencies that are good but I recently heard of a new agency called Domestiq which is positioning itself as a very professional place etc. Perhaps you could check that out?

Good luck! And do let me know how it works out.

Manika

One who banters said...

Hey Manika,

Thanks so much for the advice! Will definitely think twice before contacting any agency for now... Have already spread the word around.. so hopefully in some time some angel would turn up :) Trying to find the contacts for Domestiq, but couldnt.. any pointers?

Will surely let you know how it works out.. meanwhile.. keep helping clueless souls like us:)

Cheers
Surbhi

Pachyderm said...

I found the co-ordinates of Domesteq on the web:
DOMESTEQ Service Solutions Pvt Ltd.
26B Sardar Patel Marg
Off Malcha Marg
Chanakyapuri
NEW DELHI 110021
Phone: +91 1146514338
Mobile: +91 9899595958

Email: info@domesteq.com
website: www.domesteq.com

Pachyderm said...

Spoke to Domesteq. They have a Gurgaon outfit now which can be contacted at 9810002431 (person is Raghu)

One who banters said...

Thanks so much Pachyderm!

Will try to get in touch and check their services.

Manika, found a maid but still struggling .. as you said its al luck(:

Any pointers on dependable daycare / preschool on Sohna Road / Gold Course Extn Road? Would appreciate the tips big time!

Cheers

Sonia said...

hi manika, wonderful job you are doing here, totally commendable!! i live in sohna road, please help me figure out a good day care in the vicinity. i checked out fastrackids and few other home day cares, am unable to decide. please help!!!
sonia

Living in Gurgaon said...

Sonia,

Have you looked at iDiscoveri in Park View II? They have a day care too but it starts at 12:30.

Manika

Shiv said...

Hi

I am planning to set up a creche with the following facilities:

1. It will be in the office building Cyber City, Cyber world so that mothers can visit them during lunch time.

2. The staff will be trained/retired nurses.

3. A doctor will come there twice a week

4. Home cooked food will be provided

5. Care taken to make sure it is clean and hygenic

6. CCTVs which can be viewed by the parents on their laptop / mobiles

7. Maintaining a record of child's activities like nap time, what he /she eats, number of times he/she defecates.

Do you think it will work?

Any suggestions in termsof what more should be there are welcome.

Bhavana said...

Hi Shiv,

Have you started the day care in Cyber City?

Thanks,
Bhavana

parent said...

Which is better medhaam in south city or tender years in sector 31 gurgaon for 1.5 yr kid?