Bogota - Post Report Question and Answers

Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

Preschools/daycare are exceptional. With the terrible traffic, my recommendation is to wait until you have housing, and then pick one that’s walking distance. Everyone, including us, seems thrilled with their quality of care. It doesn’t seem like you can go wrong. Make the most of it and soak up the special experiences for your littles. - May 2024

Lots of 2-4 year olds attend Jardins like Sesamo and Clap clap. - Feb 2021

Yes, many pre-schools. - Feb 2020

Preschools are widely available. Some are more competitive and are geared at preparing kids for admission to the bilingual schools. Others are more play-based. Some are full-time, others part time. Colombian kids start school at age four, so not all preschools go to age five. We considered a variety of preschools and chose one that was within walking distance, and that was more play-based and less curriculum-focused. - Nov 2018

No experience, but they are plentiful and I believe relatively inexpensive (as opposed to in the US). Many families seem very happy with them. - Sep 2018

Yes, in expat areas they tend to be more expensive, but traffic makes it prohibitive to drive a little farther for a less expensive option. We pay about $350 USD/month for my toddler to go to jardin (daycare/preschool) for 4 mornings a week. Obviously much cheaper than the US, but I have non-embassy friends who live in other areas that can pay a lot less.

I love our jardin. My toddler started going at 18 months and before that when she was home with me, Colombians thought it was very strange that she wasn't already in a jardin. It's just a cultural thing to send very very young children to school as soon as possible and it's not just the upper class that does this. - Aug 2018

Many, many high quality preschools are available. The cost vary greatly but you can expect to pay between 1,000,000-1,500,000 pesos per month (for half day preschool) plus an annual matriculation fee and a supply fee. There is a Gymboree nearby with both Mommy and me type classes and drop off classes for older toddlers/children. - Apr 2016

Yes. Plenty. Our toddler attends one that costs about US$500/month. It is expensive but, with the devalued peso, not so bad at the moment. Colombians send their children to preschool when they are as young as 18 months. - Aug 2015

Preschools are in every neighborhood. Many have small vans that provide transportation for the children although none are in car seats. The cost of an experienced nanny for babies is reasonable and average around US$400-$600/month for an expat. Colombians often employ a day nanny and a night nurse for children although night nurses are rare in the embassy community. Colombians love children and they are welcome in most restaurants and shopping areas. There are many parks although it might be a bit of a walk or drive to get to bigger ones. Playground equipment varies. The rain can make getting out of the apartment difficult. - Jun 2014

Widely available, often close to apartments and affordable. - May 2013

No personal experience here, but I hear wonderful stories of amazing preschool options. - Jul 2012

No experience. - Dec 2011

There are lots of 'jardins' all over the city. Very high quality and less expensive than the in the States, but not cheap. All in spanish. Most have staff that speak English if your child doesn't speak Spanish. - Jul 2011

Lots, but having preschool kids in Bogota is a bad idea; it is so expensive, They go just from 8 to 12 and you pay about 450 USD per month, and every year you pay about 1100 USD for inscription, The kids in preschool don't have any sports, so you have to pay extra. I know someone who has twins in preschool, and their economy is really bad now. The embassy doesn't help you at all with kids under 5. - Nov 2010

There are several quite good preschools, but they are very exspensive. Most people here prefer to have nannies. - Sep 2010

Most people have cheap nannies. - Aug 2010

We have a nanny and we adore her. The hardest part about leaving will be leaving her. We pay her about $400/mo, ten hours a day, five days a week, and she also does nights and weekends when we ask her to, for a bit extra. - Aug 2010

There are lots of preschools and daycare programs available, and many families hire full-time nannies to help care for their children. - Aug 2010

Lots, but people who live in el Chico use Babidibu, Past Partou and Abaco, and they are expensive. We have 2 toddlers, and paying for preschool is really expensive for us, but you have no choice. - Jun 2010

Lots available. I recommend Platero y Yo - there are two locations. There is also Montessori, Waldorf, etc. - Jan 2010

Many choices and generally good. There are about 4-5 that are most popular (usually due to proximity to housing) among the embassy community. - Dec 2008

YES! Lots of options but they are impossible to get into, especially the ones that have a good reputation. - Dec 2008

LOVE the preschools. No complaints here. They are all Spanish speaking which means your 3 year old will speak more Spanish than you will but that will make your heart sing watching him interact with his friends and teachers. In the area the embassy community is forced to live (basically the Beverly Hills of Colombia), all of the preschools are really expensive (compared to the rest of the country) but they are great! - May 2008

There are wonderful preschools on every corner to accomodate your needs. Although, most people have nannies that care for young children before and after school. - Apr 2008

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