Elle Kwan first took her daughter Reia to a playgroup in Tin Hau when she was nine months old. 'Where we lived, she wasn't interacting with younger kids,' Kwan says. 'I also think there is this pressure in Hong Kong to do lots of stuff with your children because of the whole school system here.' Kwan also believes that attending two playgroups a week helped her daughter ease into pre-school, which she now attends five half-days a week at Baby Buddies. 'I wouldn't say she's a lot more developed for her age than someone who hasn't been to preschool, but she's become used to the convention of going to school, getting used to how school works,' Kwan says. However, Kwan adds Reia, who is now 21/2 years old, has learned more at the playgroup than she would have at home. 'Reia learned letters and numbers from the teachers because it wasn't particularly something I would tackle at home.' For Su Rajanayagam, opportunities for her son Ethan to interact with his younger brother and youngsters in the local community made her decide to wait. She sent Ethan, now aged six, to kindergarten when he was four. 'I didn't put him in playgroup because there are so many children his age where we live, in the clubhouse and the playground,' Rajanayagam says. 'The other reason was because I wanted him to bond with the family, and spend time with his younger brother Matthew.' Looking back at Ethan's early years, Rajanayagam adds: 'Family was our first priority, and [creating] a good foundation. I felt that if some kids go to school too early - they will go to school for the rest of their lives.'