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  • 1 Post By Hurtmesome
  • 1 Post By penguinsix

Moving to HK Island with 5 year old

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    8

    Moving to HK Island with 5 year old

    Hi

    I will be moving to HK in April with a 5 year old and would love to hear any tips/advice from other families.

    I am looking at Kennedy Town for apartments, particularly The Merton. Does anyone have any personal experiences with the area and the Merton? Belchers looks out of my price range, as does Lexington Hill, Manhattan Heights and Cadogan. I would like a comfortable 2-3 br apt (I know it will be small compared to UK), though I don't expect any high luxury standards as budget is HKD20-25k. (Gym / pool would be a bonus but would be happy to look at other properties if there is a decent gym nearby.) From what I hear, Kennedy Town is an up and coming area, lots of great new restaurants and new MTR which sounds good. But is it family friendly?

    Sai Ying Pun would be a great location for work/school but I can't see much outside of a studio/1 bedroom apts. I also quite like the idea of an 'open view' / 'sea view' depending on the apt at The Merton.

    Mid levels looks out of price range too unless we live in a 1 br! Any local tips on this area welcome as this appears family friendly but unsure if this is affordable for us..

    It's likely we'll apply to Woodland pre-school (probably Caine Road) while waiting for space in an ESF school. Does anyone have any particular recommendations / tips / advice regarding schools?

    What's the best way to find a domestic helper? Are there particular reliable websites?

    Thanks!


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    662

    Check Geobaby for school advise.
    Get ur child into school first, worry about where to live later.
    Hurry with schools applications. It will become a nightmare if u don't (might still if u do, but then atleast uve tried)
    good luck

    Cho-man likes this.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Midlevels / USA (MD) / London
    Posts
    2,218

    You could write a book on the school situation. It's a conundrum and a space in an ESF can be a considerable wait.

    You can look at the companion website GeoSchools for more information on school. Links on the right.

    There is also a FB group called https://www.facebook.com/groups/hkschools/ that also has some insights.

    Generally speaking, schools first, then housing. If you have your heart set on a specific ESF you can "try" to wait out a spot (though that might take a year if at all) or you can relocate to a place where the ESF has slightly more availability. Or you can go local schools or private international schools. I don't know how the commute would be to Caine Road Woodlands from Kennedy Town. You might have a situation where most of your child's classmates (i.e. future playdates and schoolmates) are living in a different area from you and more difficult to meet up / attend school with later on.

    As for housing, I've found that places with a 'playroom' or dedicated kids area to be extremely helpful for making friends and having a more 'friendly' environment. Our building has one and I think it's saved our lives as we are able to send the kids down to play with friends and get a few moments of relatively quiet time in the house now and then. The helpers also like it as they can socialize with other helpers while watching the kids.

    The best way to find a helper, I've found, is through recommendations. Find a colleague or friend and ask them about their helper. Are they the right fit for you, then ask that helper to "ask around" to find someone with a similar level of experience / personality. Much easier than going to the 'casting call' of the agency offices where you interview dozens of people rapid fire.

    EDIT: P.S. You really need to be on the phone with the schools ASAP as some acceptances are already going out. The application period is closed but you want to get your name in as soon as possible should their be a wait list.

    Last edited by penguinsix; 14-02-2015 at 08:13 AM.
    Cho-man likes this.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    662
    Quote Originally Posted by Hurtmesome:
    Check Geobaby for school advise.
    Get ur child into school first, worry about where to live later.
    Hurry with schools applications. It will become a nightmare if u don't (might still if u do, but then atleast uve tried)
    good luck
    Sorry, what pinguins said: geoschools