Modern daycare arrives in southern metro, in spades

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Ho Chi Minh City can be a hard place to find a babysitter.

With both parents working, it's difficult for many families to find a safe and engaging place for their kids.

Last year, while studying business in San Francisco, Bao Chau, 26, noticed an abundance of safe playgrounds and after-school programs.

She called her sister and urged her to open such a place back home.

A year later, Chau finds herself managing Kidsyard, HCMC's first modern child-care business.

"Unlike normal park playgrounds, children are dazzled by our bright décor and imported plastic equipment and surfaces," says Chau. "Kidsyard is the first place in the city that provides such a wide range of activities to meet parent demands."

On a recent visit to the 400- square-meter branch in Tan Binh District's Superbowl Mall, some 50 children could be seen frolicking through the multi-colored play world.

Toddlers under four tromped through a sea of plastic balls. Others crawled through a tree-house structure and sailed down a triple-lane rainbow slide.

Older kids were busy reading comic books, painting ceramic statutes, and scaling a rubber climbing wall. Others were working on creating their own toys and puzzles in the Lego room.

A small photo studio had been set up in one area, where creative children were busy experimenting photo-shooting. Their parents can have the photos printed on a glass or created as a calendar as a lovely keepsake.

Chau said that Kidsyard not only provides a great outlet for physical exercise, it also helps children develop healthy social skills.

Ngoc Tuan, 36, who often brings his three-year-old son to Kidsyard, said that he was so relieved to discover such a wonderful place for his son.

"It's hard to find such a good and safe playground for your kids in the city," Tuan said. "I trust the staff here to keep a close eye on him and for only VND50,000 he gets to play all day."

In addition to the play areas, the house also provides nutritious snacks to visiting children.

After just a few months in business, Kidsyard has already made a name for itself among parents and urban schools.

Chau says that the playhouse has welcomed children from local orphanages supported by non-governmental organizations.

Besides the Superbowl location, Kidsyard has two locations, one in Metrobooks Bookstore and another in Thien Son Plaza in District 7.

Kidsyard locations:

1. Saigon Superbowl: A43 Truong Son Street, Ward 2, Tan Binh District

2. Metrobooks Bookstore: 129 Au Co Street, Ward 14, Tan Binh District

3. Thien Son Plaza: 800 Nguyen Van Linh Avenue, District 7

Tel: (08) 3 848 7779

Website: www.kidsyard.com.vn

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