Answers to frequently asked questions

gems education girl smiling in playground

What hours are you open? Do you offer extended care?

Little GEMS pre-schools are open for students from 09.00 – 13.00, Monday to Friday (these are summer hours; in colder areas, schools may start and end slightly later, e.g. 09.30 - 13.30).

Yes, we offer extended care for busy working parents; our After School Programme is available at all our Little GEMS locations and typically runs between around 13.00 to 18.00. Children enrolled on pre-school programmes are eligible to stay for the after-school programme. All other children in the local catchment area who are unable to enrol on our pre-school programmes for the current academic year are also able to join the after-school programme. 

We offer a set of daily after-school learning modules as part of our extended care provision. These age-appropriate modules have been developed specifically for Little GEMS and reflect our specialist understanding of early years child development. These include art and craft; music and movement; storytelling and drama and Little Chef cookery classes.

What sets Little GEMS apart?

Our competitors do not have bespoke programmes like ours. They often operate in crèche-like conditions, offering a service that is closer to that of a child-minder. The average pre-school has smaller classrooms than ours with more children and higher student-teacher ratios. They are unlikely to use interactive whiteboards or iPads in the classroom as we do which means the children in their care do not share the same opportunities to develop independence, initiative and fine motor skills - through exploring carefully selected software, for instance - as Little GEMS students.

Our teachers are carefully selected using a multilevel recruitment process which rates their understanding of the age group, their communication skills and their knowledge of current best practices. They must hold an NTT diploma to be considered. The GEMS induction training in curriculum and pedagogy is very thorough and builds on teachers’ strengths. Monitoring by regional and central teams as well as centre heads is ongoing.

Our larger buildings and play areas also help to set us apart; it is unlikely that any progressive curriculum can be transacted in the cramped conditions prevalent in other schools. Our teachers do not just lecture and our students are not expected to sit passively at their desks; if children are to thrive, they need space to grow, play and learn. Little GEMS offers thoughtfully designed learning spaces, in addition to classrooms, for pretend and sensorial play as well as dedicated reading lofts. Touchboards encourage children to interact with superior quality learning materials instead of being passive observers and this helps to reinforce concepts in an engaging way.

What is the difference between Little GEMS International schools (LGI) and Little GEMS Pre-schools (LGP)?

Both Little GEMS International schools and Little GEMS Pre-schools offer superior quality learning environments with lots of space for children to grow and develop. Both cater for the same age group: 1.5 to 5.5 years. Both offer RFID child security, CCTV and wi-fi enabled campuses, school management software and parent-class-teacher interfaces.

Little GEMS International schools are our premium rate pre-schools. They offer slightly lower student-teacher ratios (9:1 compared to 11:1), larger play areas and greater access to technology.

Where is my nearest Little GEMS?

You can find your nearest Little GEMS by using our school finder.

Do you offer a transport service?

Yes, an optional outsourced transport service is available for the use of all students.

Are there any other advantages to my child attending a Little GEMS school?

Little GEMS students are offered direct admission to their local GEMS K-12 school (or any other GEMS school in the country).