Living in Monaco has many perks. The year-round sunshine, beautiful homes, the multitude of shiny happy things in the shops and perhaps more equivocally, the abundance of restaurants serving truffle linguine. Getting your child a place in a nursery school, however, is not one of them.
In spite of Monaco’s excellent social system for working mothers, the competition for places can be intense, with many schools oversubscribed. This is something I found for myself earlier in the year when trying to enrol my son at the Croix Rouge Nursery in Fontvieille only to find that despite assurances to the contrary, the nursery wasn’t taking on new students. However, hindsight isn’t always wistful and this turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The good news is that Monaco is finally getting a stunning new nursery; the Montessori La Petite Ecole, which from September will relocate to Port Hercules’ Quai Antoine from its previous location in Cap D’Ail.
The Montessori School Monaco – The Good Bit
The school’s bilingual curriculum, in both English and French, is one of the reasons for its popularity with many of Monaco’s international families. With the Montessori system children will enjoy a less prescribed approach to early education with an emphasis on each child’s individual development and independence.
The extracurriculars are also not to be sniffed at, offering something for everyone, whether it’s mastering yoga asanas or learning Old Macdonald on the piano. Then there are the swimming classes in the pool of the 5-star 1890s landmark; the Cap Estel Hotel in Eze. And if you still haven’t got the picture, the food is completely organic and every inch of the new space has been painstakingly designed. In short, the nursery promises to be one of a kind.
La Petite Ecole Monaco – the Facilities
The school, designed by Monegasque architect Christian Curau, will be one of the best-equipped nurseries in Monaco. As well as extensive facilities for children including large classrooms, a library, an outdoor sports area and a natural garden. There is also a little something for the parents; a parent-teacher lounge to retreat to for a coffee whilst the little ones get on with their individualised learning.
The founders Stephanie Ayre and Aviv Pode have gone one step further and created a Scandi-inspired sanctuary to inquisitive minds. Gone are the garish rainbow plastics of your youth and furniture covered in stickers and pen marks. Monaco’s La Petite Ecole is an eco-friendly temple to sustainability and zen.
However, this top class education comes at a price. Fees start at €24,000 a year for the youngest pupils, increasing slightly for the older children. This cost is inclusive of meals, extracurriculars and a yearly birthday party for each child. However, even at this price, the principality is buzzing with rumours that the nursery is now full and that there’s a waitlist for places. Whatever the case may be, if there’s one place where this high-end educational concept will succeed – it’s Monaco.
Hanushka Toni is a freelance writer and luxury blogger.