Admissions Overview: Kindergarten

We have five ESF International Kindergartens: Abacus, Hillside, Tsing Yi, Tung Chung and Wu Kai Sha. Children start K1 at the age of 3 and will attend for two years.

Currently, children graduating from our kindergartens will enjoy priority PLUS an interview-free process when applying for Year 1 at an ESF school.

Starting from 2022/23, ESF kindergarten children joining K1 from August 2020, who can benefit from a mainstream, English medium curriculum, will be guaranteed a Year 1 place at an ESF school.

Read more below:

Selecting a Kindergarten

You may only apply to one ESF International Kindergarten. There is no geographical zoning of the kindergartens, however, the following guidelines can be followed in identifying a suitable kindergarten.
Families living on Hong Kong island should apply to Hillside kindergarten.

  • Families living in the Clearwater Bay, Tseung Kwan O, Hang Hau and Sai Kung area should apply to Abacus kindergarten.
  • Families living in Ma On Shan, Tai Po and Shatin should apply to to Wu Kai Sha kindergarten.
  • Families living in Sai Kung may apply to Abacus or Wu Kai Sha kindergartens.
  • Families living in Kowloon should apply to Tsing Yi kindergarten.
  • Families living in Lantau, including Discovery Bay, should apply to Tung Chung kindergarten.
  • Families living elsewhere in the New Territories may apply to Tsing Yi, Tung Chung or Wu Kai Sha kindergarten.

Note: The kindergartens may offer a visit at another kindergarten to which the application was made to manage the overall volume of applications.

Admission Criteria

Children admitted to the kindergarten should be able to engage with an English medium, inquiry-based curriculum. Foreign passport holders will receive priority over local passport holders.

Priority will be based on the following ranked criteria:

  • Children of full-time staff or staff at ESF or ESF Educational Services Ltd. who have been employed by ESF for over a year;
  • Siblings of students already attending an ESF school, siblings of students already attending an ESF International Kindergarten, or siblings of former ESF International Kindergarten students who attended for at least a year;
  • Children who are Nominees under the ESF Kindergarten Class A Debenture Scheme;
  • Children of former students who have attended an ESF school for a minimum of three years or are former ESF students returning from a period overseas;
  • Other applicants who can benefit from an English-medium education.

Allocating a Place

All K1 applications received during September will be processed and sorted by computer generated random number and priority.

Applications will be allocated either a morning or an afternoon session. Care will be taken to ensure that twins and siblings of attending children are allocated the same session. The kindergartens will take account of the needs of the overall kindergarten community when making offers.

The process for making offers for K1 will start in December. Working through the list, parents and children are invited for a visit where the staff will meet and observe the children and talk with the parents. Parents can hear about the curriculum, view the premises and decide whether they wish to proceed with the application. Children may be invited back for a second visit. The purpose of the visit is to determine whether the kindergarten is an appropriate setting for the child.

Offers of places will be made after the visits and will continue to be made until all places are filled. Some parents and children may not be invited for a kindergarten visit in the event that places have been filled.
If a place becomes available at a later date, parents and children on the waiting list may be invited to visit the kindergarten.

Successful applicants will be issued with a contract after the visit. The session, either morning or afternoon, will be advised in the contract. To take up the place, parents are required to sign the contract, purchase a debenture and pay the first month’s fee in advance.

Unallocated applications will remain in their designated place on the waiting list.

K1 applications received outside of the September application period, after the deadline of 30 September, will be allocated a place on the waiting list in accordance with their priority and by date of application.

Moving on to ESF Primary

Currently, children graduating from our kindergartens will enjoy priority PLUS an interview-free process when applying for Year 1 at an ESF school.

Starting from 2022/23, ESF kindergarten children joining K1 from August 2020, who can benefit from a mainstream, English medium curriculum, will be guaranteed a Year 1 place at an ESF school.

To enable your child to enjoy the full benefit of their pre-primary education, you are advised to keep him or her enrolled in kindergarten for the full two years of the programme. Within ESF, the PYP curriculum extends from kindergarten into primary and students planning to continue their education in ESF will have the advantage of continuity in their learning as they transition from kindergarten, preparing them socially and educationally for life in Year 1 in an ESF primary school.

Kindergarten Class A Debenture - Gain Interview Priority

The ESF Kindergarten Class A Debenture guarantees interview priority for K1 admissions.

Learn more here.

Immigration Status

An offer of a place cannot be made to a child who is not a resident of Hong Kong, unless the child is permitted by the Director of Immigration to reside in Hong Kong. If a child, whose travel document/passport bears the endorsement “Visitor” over the immigration stamp and would like to attend a school in Hong Kong, clearance must be obtained from the Director of Immigration. Parents of non-local children are advised to seek the approval of the Director of Immigration (www.immd.gov.hk) for entry to Hong Kong of the child in question, for the purpose of study.

Join our Information Seminars and School Tours

Joining our parent seminars and school tours is the best way to understand more about our schools –our philosophy, curriculum, and how we help students to be the best that they can be!

Our staff will be present to answer all your questions in person. Click here for coming seminars: www.esf.edu.hk/parent-seminars/

APPLY NOW

Click here to read the Application Procedures

Click here to go to the Kindergarten Online Application System

Admissions Enquiries

Questions? Feel free to see the list of frequently asked questions here.

Or, contact us at:

 

Updated on: 30 August 2019