In 2002, Rusli Sutanto, a banker from Bandung, together with his wife, Susan, started Kinderland Preschool in Bandung after taking up the Kinderland preschool franchise.
The partnership, now into its fifteenth year, started out of concern about quality education for their children. The Sutantos have always been passionate about providing a good education for their children. In particular, they wanted their children to be exposed to two or more languages in their early years.
In 2002, while still living in Singapore because of Rusli’s work, the Sutantos were faced with the question of where to send their three-year old daughter, Alyssa, for her preschool education. Thankfully, someone suggested they check out Kinderland @ Yio Chu Kang, which they did.
They found out that Kinderland was a leading provider of bi-lingual preschool education in Singapore and the region with a unique curriculum incorporating best practices from the East and the West, keyboard music, and computer-aided learning. Impressed with what Kinderland had to offer, they enrolled Alyssa at the school.
Alyssa was happy and learning well at the preschool. But only for a short while as Rusli was relocated back to Bandung. It was then that the Sutantos decided that since Alyssa could not continue her Kinderland education in Singapore, they would bring Kinderland to Bandung. That way, not only Alyssa, but also their two younger sons and other children in Bandung, could benefit from a Kinderland education. And that’s what they did when they took up the Kinderland franchise.
“The beginning was the most challenging,” Rusli said. “I am thankful Kinderland headquarters based in Singapore provided us with a team of professionals to help set up our centre. We also received teacher training and curriculum consultancy support throughout our journey. ”
The community in Bandung quickly accepted the Kinderland system. Before the first year is up, the school was already filled to capacity. The Sutantos are proud that the preschoolers from the first batch are now in college, quite a few of them pursuing their studies overseas, including Alyssa, who is in a US university.
To provide Kinderland graduates with a seamless learning path, the Sutantos had established a primary and a secondary school in Bandung. What they are planning to do next is to work out strategies to meet the changing trends in early childhood education and the needs of Gen-Y parents.
“For example, robotics is the buzzword today,” Rusli said. “We’ve heard that robots are taking over our jobs and the jobs our children will be engaged in have yet to be created. We need to keep the young informed and equipped them to face this reality. So we need to train our teachers to do that and to communicate effectively with the preschoolers’ Gen-Y parents too who have never experienced life before the internet”.
With their passion and determination, there is no doubt that the Sutantos will achieve what they set out to do.