The Ultimate Guide to Preschools & Kindergartens in Shanghai 2020

By Urban Family, January 13, 2020

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This article originally appeared on our sister website, Urban Family Shanghai.


It can be tough and overwhelming to find the right school for your children, especially if you are new to a country or changing their education journey. So, we are here to help with our comprehensive list of preschools and kindergartens in Shanghai to assist you in making the perfect choice.

Apple Montessori

Apple Montessori Shanghai

Apple Montessori ShanghaiSupported by the American Montessori Society (AMS), Apple Montessori believes that all children learn best within a social environment that recognizes and encourages each child’s unique interests and strengths. Their programs are designed to ensure that all children not only thrive academically, but also enjoy learning and develop leadership, interpersonal skills and discipline. This unique and tailored program is aimed to ensure a smooth transition to Grade 1.

Location: Pudong
Age of students: 18 months to 6 years
School levels: Preschool / Kindergarten
Established: 2017 Languages taught: English / Mandarin
Extracurricular: 11, includes dance, craft, English, Lego and football

Apple Montessori Shanghai

See listing for Apple Montessori. Visit official website.


The Child Academy

The Child Academy

The Child Academy is a preschool and kindergarten that connects children in an international environment. They have built a reputation as a progressive international school that inspires and educates both foreign and local children. The Child Academy use a combination of play- and literacy-based activities to help foster growth in students. Each campus is specially designed and custom built using exclusively green materials.

Location: Pudong
Established: 2007
Age of students: 1-6
Nationalities: 20+
School levels: Preschool / Kindergarten
Languages taught: English / Mandarin
Extracurricular: 10, including ballet, piano lessons, football, accelerated reading and cooking

The Child Academy

See listings for The Child Academy (German Centre Campus, Jinqiao Campus, Hongfeng Campus). Visit official website.


Fortune Kindergarten

Fortune Kindergarten

Fortune Kindergarten provides quality international education that prepares young children for the future and makes them proud representatives of their own cultures. Fortune supplies an active, relaxed and homey learning environment through a bilingual and multicultural approach for both local and foreign families. They emphasize personal development in addition to educational experience.

Locations: Pudong & Minhang
Age of students: 2-6
School levels: Kindergarten / Preschool
Languages taught: English / Mandarin
Extracurricular: 11, including dance, crafts, Chinese painting, football and logical reasoning

Fortune Kindergarten

See listing for Fortune Kindergarten (11 campuses). Visit official website.


Huili Nursery Shanghai

Huili Nursery Shanghai

Huili Nursery ShanghaiHuili Nursery Shanghai has been carefully designed and planned to meet the needs of pupils aged 2-6 years, with a focus on the use of spaces, enhancements and provocations to promote learning and development across various areas. Located in the New Bund area in Pudong, Huili Nursery Shanghai represent a marriage of traditional values and evidence-based practice from the UK and China. Using a bilingual curriculum designed to deliver education through purposeful play, promoting recognised areas of learning and development, they offer each child their own, personalised learning journey. The nursery has been designed to use indoor and outdoor learning spaces to promote recognised areas of learning and development in the unique child. The nursery team are a like-minded group of professional practitioners with a shared vision.

Location: Pudong
Established: August 2018
Age of students: 2-6
No. of students: around 280 as of March 2019
Nationalities: Chinese and international
School level: EY1 (2-3 years old); EY2 (3-4 years old); EY3 (4-5 years old); EY4 (5-6 years old)
Curriculum: A bespoke framework to promote hands-on, brain-active learning creative, project-themed curricula
Languages taught: Bilingual immersion with a 50/50 exposure to Chinese and English

Huili Nursery Shanghai

See listing for Huili Nursery Shanghai. Visit official website.


Little Scholar Academy

Little Scholar Academy

Little Scholar AcademyThe Little Scholar Academy is an international bilingual kindergarten that follows an arts-based approach to teaching. Each class is taught by one foreign and one Chinese teacher in addition to two teaching assistants, to provide a bilingual experience. Their mission is to teach children to make productive choices by following their hearts while using their minds. Their academic curriculum is tailored to international standards to meet the needs of their learners.

Location: Pudong
Age of students: 2-6
No. of students: 160
School levels: Preschool / Kindergarten
Established: 2012 Languages taught: English / Mandarin
Extracurricular: 10, including soccer, art, cooking, piano, skill builder activity club and LEGO

Little Scholar Academy

See listing for Little Scholar Academy. Visit official website.


Little Urban Center Preschool

Little Urban Center Preschool

Little Urban Center PreschoolAs an accredited COBIS (Council of British International Schools) preschool, Little Urban Center’s mission is to provide children with high-quality educational experiences in an environment of imagination, inquiry, care and respect. Children are grouped by age, and all classes are taught by both foreign and Chinese teachers to facilitate a bilingual environment.

Location: Pudong
Age of students: 2-6
No. of students: 280
School level: Preschool
Teacher-student ratio: 1:6
Languages taught: English / Mandarin
Extracurricular: 6, including Taekwondo, cross-fit, arts and crafts, English ESL and Chinese language

Little Urban Center Preschool

See listing for Little Urban Center Preschool. Visit official website.


Magnolia Kindergarten

Magnolia Kindergarten

Magnolia KindergartenMagnolia Kindergarten is an official licensed kindergarten located in a 100-year- old manor in People’s Square. The certified and experienced team offer extensive education in a nurturing and creative environment. Magnolia Kindergarten’s mission is to contribute to the development of internationally-minded, curious and enthusiastic children. It is a center for engaging, high-quality education and discovery. At Magnolia Kindergarten, the positive development of the children is at the heart of every moment of the day.

Location: Huangpu 
Established: 2014
Age of students: 2-6
Nationalities: 18
No. of students: 120
School levels: Preschool / Kindergarten
Teacher-student ratio: 1:4
Curriculum: English/Mandarin: British National Curriculum and Chinese Curriculum; French/Mandarin: French National Curriculum and Chinese Curriculum
Languages taught: English / French / Mandarin
Extracurricular: Includes gymnasium activities and language support programs

Magnolia Kindergarten

See listing for Magnolia Kindergarten. Visit official website.


Montessori School of Shanghai

Montessori School of Shanghai

Montessori School of ShanghaiThe Montessori School of Shanghai (MSS) offers an engaging bilingual Montessori curriculum that nurtures children to become inquisitive global citizens. Teachers create beautifully designed classrooms to encourage exploratory learning and discovery for curious minds. The Montessori School of Shanghai (MSS) is the only Montessori school in Shanghai accredited by the American Montessori Society (AMS) and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA-CESS). MSS leads the way in quality and standards in China.

Location: Minhang / Xuhui / West Hongqiao / Jiading Campus
Established: 2004
Age of students: 6 months to 6 years
No. of students: 800+
Nationalities: 25 countries on four continents
Levels: Preschool / Kindergarten Curriculum: Authentic Montessori Education
Languages taught: Simultaneous English and Chinese instruction
Extracurricular activities: Check with Campus Admission
Popular compounds: Minhang / Xuhui / Qingpu / Jiading District

Montessori School of Shanghai

See listings for Montessori School of Shanghai (West Hongqiao Campus, Jiading Campus, Xuhui Campus, Minhang Campus). Visit official website.


Morgan Rothschild Academy

Morgan Rothschild Academy

Morgan RothschildWith a prestigious early childhood education program, the Morgan Rothschild Academy accepts children from 18 months to six years, teaching about 30% of its curriculum in Chinese and the remaining 70% in English. The teaching staff consists of certified pre-kindergarten-to-kindergarten educators from the US, UK, Belgium and China. The school provides a curriculum developed by early childhood education experts from Harvard and Stanford universities. The academy’s English curriculum was modeled after the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation in the US, and the Chinese portion of the curriculum was created with input from the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission.

Location: Qingpu
Established: 2005
Age of students: 1.5 year-olds to 5-year-olds
No. of students: 135 Nationalities: Chinese
School levels: Nursery through kindegarten
Curriculum: High scope curriculam and Shanghai education curriculum
Languages taught: English / Chinese
Extracurricular activities: Soccer, logic, art, modern dance

See listing for Morgan Rothschild Academy. Visit official website.


Shanghai Wunan Kindergarten

Shanghai Wunan Kindergarten

Shanghai Wunan KindergartenWunan Kindergarten is a Shanghai Public Model School founded in 1949. Currently, Wunan Kindergarten has grown to three locations on Huaihai Lu and Wulumuqi Lu and is located close to many foreign consulates. There are 12 classes for domestic students and 10 for international students. This represents more than 500 Chinese and international students, studying and playing together.

Locations: Huangpu
Established: 1949
Age of students: 3-6
No. of students: 500+
Nationalities: 30
School levels: Early Childhood Education
Curriculum: Chinese and English bilingual ECE
Languages taught: English / Mandarin

Shanghai Wunan Kindergarten

See listing for Shanghai Wunan Kindergarten. Visit official website.


Star Play Academy

Star Play Academy

Star Play Academy’s mission is to ensure that every child grows up in a happy and healthy environment. They believe in the importance of caring and sharing and incorporate this by mixing students of different age groups during selected activities, so children can learn from one another. They also instill Dr. Glenn Dorman’s ‘flashcard method’ into learning activities to help students process information with ease.

Location: Xuhui
Age of students: 15 months to 7 years
School level: Kindergarten
Languages taught: English / Mandarin
Extracurricular: Includes parenting training courses and ‘mommy and me’ classes

See listing for Star Play Academy. Visit official website.


Bright Start Academy

Bright Start Academy

Bright Start AcademyBright Start Academy (BSA) is an American school using an English immersion teaching method and targeting children aged from 2-6. BSA has three programs — kindergarten, after-school and weekend classes — to meet the needs of families and give children the best early childhood educations in Shanghai. They are not only learning English, they are learning in English.

Location: Minhang
Established: 2009
Age of students: 2-6
Nationalities: Chinese, American, Japanese
No. of students: 150+
School levels: Nursery to Kindergarten
Curriculum: English immersion environment and theme-oriented teaching method
Languages taught: English / Mandarin
Extracurricular: Phonics, arts & crafts, maths, world culture, Lego, reading, chess, go, Spanish, clay, roller skating etc.
Popular compounds: Mandarin City

Bright Start Academy

See listing for Bright Star Academy. Visit official website.


Julia Gabriel Centre

Julia Gabriel Centre Shanghai

Julia Gabriel Centre ShanghaiAs a leading early childhood institution, Julia Gabriel Centre offer a series of programs for children aged 6 months to 6 years, including English or Mandarin adult accompanied programs, speech and drama and bilingual preschool program. Their unique EduDrama® methodology helps children build strong self-expression, confidence, creativity, compassion, courage and cognitive skills. Their first China campus opened in Xuhui in 2007, and they now have three campuses across Shanghai.

Location: Xuhui & Pudong
Established: 2007
Age of students: 6 months to 6 years
No. of students: 130-200 (differs by campuses)
Nationalities: 20+
School levels: Adult accompanied programs (PlayNest & PlayClub); preschool (N1-K2); Speech and drama (N1-K2)
Languages taught: English / Mandarin
Curriculum: Adult Accompanied Programmes / Pre-school Programmes / Speech & Drama
Extracurricular: Speech and drama, holiday camp, etc.
Popular compounds: Lakeville, The Summit, Central Residence, Jin Yuan, Shimao Rivera Garden, Yanlord Garden; Parkview, Grand Summit, Star River, Tomson Riviera, Arch Residence

Julia Gabriel Centre

See listings for Julia Gabriel Centre (Qiantan Campus, Lujiazui Campus, Xuhui Campus).


My Little Sunshine Academy

My Little Sunshine Academy

My Little Sunshine (MLS) features the ‘High Scope curriculum,’ an effective and proven system from the US which focuses on cognitive-development through participation and communication in a fun and nurturing environment. The MLS classrooms are well designed, safe and clean. MLS has a playroom with special padded walls, climbable furniture and a ball pit. For safety, they have air purifiers and video surveillance in each room.

Location: Changning
Age of students: 1-6
School levels: Preschool / Kindergarten
Teacher-student ratio: 1:5
Languages taught: English / Mandarin
Extracurricular activities: Includes LASY Engineering Workshop, Ravensburger EQ Enhancement Program and language studies

See listing for My Little Sunshine Academy. Visit official website.

Cover image via Pexels


Shanghai School Directory

The newly redesigned Urban Family website offers a school, healthcare and property directory, which allows users to browse through the city’s top schools, hospitals and real estate.

Check out more Shanghai schools here.


201907/explore-china-book-2019.jpegFor Even More Shanghai Guides...

We all want the best for our children when it comes to education, home life and healthcare. But a bustling, buzzing city like Shanghai offers what can seem like a dizzying amount of options. That’s where the Urban Family Home & School Guide comes in.

Whether you are new to the city, moving neighborhoods, have a child transferring to a different school or working out the healthcare option that best suits you and your family, we have taken the myriad of options and laid them out in an easy-to-digest format.

Get your FREE copy of the Urban Family Home & School Guide here.


This article was originally published by our sister magazine Urban Family Shanghai. For more articles like this, visit the Urban Family website, or follow the Urban Family WeChat account (ID: urbanfamilyshanghai).

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