Come summer's end in Beirut, when it's cooling off enough to venture outdoors again, the same questions crop up in every playground, every summer colonie, and every parents WhatsApp group: 'Which daycare do you send your kids to?' 'What are some good and affordable daycares in X area?' 'What is a reasonable price for a daycare if I am leaving my son 8 to 5?'
No need to panic. Jaleesa already provides Beirut's first trusted child care on demand. Using our website, parents can find, vet, and book a trained babysitter child carer in just three steps (click here to search for sitters in your area). Now we've put together the internet's best roundup of Beirut daycares, including interviews with parents who've already been through it.
Don't see your daycare listed here? We'd love to chat about your experience, and add to our list so that others in our community can benefit. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll be in touch soon.
Happy back to school!
Location: SassinePrice: Around $500 per child per month, including meals. Methodology: More classical, traditional Lebanese conservative way of teaching the kids. It’s all about playing because it’s about a nursery.
Ages: From 4 months to 4 years.
Hours: 8 AM til 2:30 PM, can stay until 4:30 or 5 PM.
Languages: English, French & Arabic.
Contact: 01 216 262
“Very secure, very clean. It’s a little dim, because it’s in a building the corridors are very tight. Sometimes you choose your nursery just because it’s close to you. There’s no perfect school or nursery. I thought the hygiene and the closeness were very important. Other than that the kids were happy. The teachers were really nice, well-educated, they spoke three languages-- English a bit less, but they could speak it if necessary.”
Price: "It used to be $500 per month, including meals."
Hours: 8 AM until 2:30 PM, with possible extension to 4 PM.
Methodology: Early childhood education that is project based, child centric, and trilingual (English, French, and Arabic). A “traditional and standard” way of teaching, says one mom. Another says “it was structured and academic.”
Ages: 2 months - 5 years 11 months divided into six classes
Languages: English, French, and Arabic
Contact: 01 564 198
“I tried one or two others (Cocoun, and then 1 2 3 Soleil). I’m going to be very honest. My experience with Claire Maassab was amazing. I found them really friendly, the atmosphere was great. They like to have contact with the parents. I used to be happy to take my child there. They would have really nice gatherings on special occasions, especially compared to the other daycares I tried. They had a very big and nice outdoor playground for the kids, unlike other nurseries. If I had to be critical, it could be a bit chaotic and messy, but I like things this way instead of super regimented.”
“It’s a very friendly location, in an old but well maintained residential building that was turned into a garderie. The parking in the same area as the garderie is a great advantage. The price seems about the same as other nurseries. I liked how they paid attention to my son and moved him from group to group based on his performance. Attention, love, and care is what every child asks for. Ali is lucky to have found those with Claire Maassab.”
Location: Koreitem & Sodeco
Price: Koreitem fees are $650 until 1 PM and $750 until 3 PM); Sodeco fees are $900
Ages: 1 to 6 years old
Hours: 7:50 AM until 3 PM
Languages: French and Arabic
Contact: 01 792 787
“All parents complain about the building. It’s a very old building, the rooms are old and dark, and they only paint the walls to renovate. The facility in general is not a beautiful place like other daycares. That’s probably why they opened a new branch in Sodeco, in a brand new building.”
Editor's note: Dent de Lait have indeed opened a huge new 'Eco children's center' in Sodeco, a multi-level mixed media nursery + daycare experience that is as beautiful as it is well-designed for educational stimulation.
Location: Bliss, Sanayeh, and Hazmieh
Price: $600 per month
Methodology: Montessori + their own curriculum
Ages: 11 months to 4 years
Hours: 7:30 AM to 3 PM, with the option to extend until 5 PM.
Languages: English, French, and Arabic
Contact: 71 551 190 (Sanayeh); 03 056 976 (Hazmieh); 01 360 026 (Bliss)
“It feels like an industrial scale thing, where a kid gets sent in one end and comes out the other,” says one dad, who ended up sending his son to Jip and Janneke. A mom says she’s generally happy with Innocent Minds, but that the management changes frequently, but not the staff, so “some things need to be repeated.”
Methodology: Based on Montessori
Ages: Walking to 4
Hours: 8:15 AM to 2 PM, possible to extend
Price: nursery around $400 per month
Languages: Arabic & English
Contact: 05 954 584
“For us the benefit is that it’s a very small nursery. It doesn’t have that feeling of conveyor belt-- some nurseries you go to are really nice and expensive, it still feels like an industrial process where the kids come in one end and go out the other. There’s a big range of backgrounds and ethnicities. There’s a garden with real grass and real trees. It’s a hidden gem.”
“Don’t offer that many trips or after school care, which is fine for us because they keep their prices low.”
Location: Monnot, rue Huvelin
Price: $550 (including breakfast and lunch)
Hours: 7:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Ages: 2 months to 5 years old
Languages: French and a little Arabic
Contact: 01 327 402
"They're excellent, very good. There were a few incidents at the beginning, nothing serious. I'm a very demanding mom and I was satisfied. They're super patience and great with kids. Even if there is a child who takes a bit more time to adapt, they adapt to them. They were very open to criticism. Once I arrived at noon and my son's diaper was wet and the teacher hadn't changed it. The manager gave me an explanation and I was satisfied. You'd also be given a notebook with details of the meals and how many times he went to the bathroom etc."
Location: Saifi Village
Price: $2,250 every three months excluding meals (meals additional $1,800 per year)
Methodology: Montessori. “All toys and objects and selected with care. Wooden toys are used over plastic. The educators follow up with kids individually.”
Ages: 1 to 5
Hours: 8 AM to 2 PM, possible extension to 5 PM
Languages: English, French, and Arabic. Each teacher speaks only one language with the goal of the children learning each language equally.
Contact: 01 971 490
A mom whose child goes to Lemonts says “I love that it’s the real Montessori way. The downside is that the outdoor play area isn’t a real garden with grass and plants. There’s also no parking in the area.”
Another mom: “I like it because of how they deal with the kids, they put them all together in the Montessori system. The nursery is really nice and homey, not overdone. I felt there are a lot of stimulating things for the kids to do. No criticisms at all, the teachers are really nice-- I love them so much. My daughter is super happy there. The older kids do experiments and learn about artists and musicians. Every three months you get a very detailed report card.”
Another mom has glowing reviews from kids: "Both my kids went to Lemonts preschool. I had a great experience with both of them, especially when I had some difficulties dealing with my daughter's short temper. I collaborated with the school, and they advised me day by day on how to deal with her while helping her stay true to her personality. What I admire most is their integrity, transparency, and professionalism."