If you are an expatriate and have lived in Budapest more than just a few months, chances are that you have heard of Happy Kids International Kindergarten and Nursery. More than likely, you know somebody with a child attending their firmly established English-language early childhood program.
Happy Kids is a hugely popular and well-known Kindergarten that has been at the heart of Buda- pest’s international education scene for nearly 20 years, giving it a strong claim to being Budapest’s longest-standing English language international kindergarten. Set in the clean, fresh air of Buda- pest’s 12th district and yet easily accessible by car or public transport, it generally hosts around 100 of Budapest’s youngest English-speakers busily living up to the name of the service they are enjoy- ing. Happy Kids proudly sports a large and inviting playground to complement it’s freshly renovated and accommodating building.
Australian Peter Jones and his Hungarian wife and qualified Kindergarten Teacher Suzy are the inspira- tion behind all of this success, combining their talents and know-how in education and business to identify and meet the need that was apparent to them back in the late 1990s, when English-language services for young children in Budapest were few and far between. Happy Kids has grown from a small dream to an impressive reality and continues to be one of the first options that families new to Budapest look to in order to secure their young child’s schooling needs.
18 months to 7 years, from all over the world.
Happy Kids welcomes children as young as 18 months and up to the age of 7 years, with language or cultural background no barrier at all. The kinder- garten is a deeply ‘international’ setting with children and staff from all corners of the globe. Their learning community represents more than 20 nationalities, and their multicultural staffing policy includes a high proportion of native-English speakers. Happy Kids provide 3 teachers per class, whilst also maintaining small class sizes.
This internationalism is by now something totally nat- ural to life at Happy Kids, and the program operates to meet the needs of all cultures and educational approaches. As their website states, they aim ‘…to synthesize the best practices from a range of nation- al educational systems, balanced by its own unique multicultural experience to create a day care and learning environment of excellence…’
Communication is key… keeping parents informed
Any early childhood professional knows that an essential step towards the effective care and education of young children is establishing a solid sense of teamwork, trust, and communication with the parents. The major part of such commu- nications necessarily happen face-to-face with direct parent-teacher conversation, but Happy Kids also works hard to ensure strong parental awareness of the wonderful events, activities and programs that their child is enjoying. The Happy Kids website boasts regular newsletters, blog posts, photograph galleries, videos and more that can be enjoyed by all – from anywhere in the world – keeping Grandma and Grandpa well informed too!
Forming and Maintaining Community… Special Events
Happy Kids is more than ‘just a kindergarten’ – it’s a community with a flourishing internation- al vibe. This sense of community doesn’t just happen, it is actively created by the leadership, who arrange regular special events for fami- lies to meet and enjoy themselves, together.
Sunday Brunches at a special hotel, family days with bouncy castles and more, even ski trips and birthday parties help make everyone feel welcome and involved.
So much on offer!
As if a fun-packed day of busy activity and learn- ing wasn’t enough, Happy Kids provides a wide range of extra, optional afternoon activities for the older children. Programs available include Art Club, Ballet, Chess, Dance, Football, Music and more. No wonder those kids are happy!
Fun in the Sun for EVERYONE: Happy Kids Summer Camps
Every summer Happy Kids throw their doors open wide to welcome children back for yet more fun in their annual summer camps. These camps are open to all and provide a great chance to meet new friends and/or to invite friends that attend oth- ersettings.Withloadsofsummer-relatedfun, it’s a great way to enjoy the freer months of the year. ○