How do I select a good preschool for my child? What should I look out for and are there any tips for choosing the right childcare centre?
Put simply, the preschool’s philosophy and practice should be in line with what you want for your child and the values you uphold as a family.
Always visit the preschool before making a decision. It is important to know what you are signing up for. It is also a good opportunity to see the place and hear the Principal or person-in-charge talk about the preschool. This is your perfect opportunity to be curious and ask questions such as the adult:child ratio; the curriculum – what is it about, what is the approach to teaching and learning; parent involvement expectations and opportunities; the centre’s philosophy; schedule for the day – how much time do they get to play, do they get to spend time outside, how much time is spend on academics…
During the visit, observe. Are the children happily engaged? Is the environment well maintained? Are there sufficient/interesting materials for the children to play with? Are the interactions between teacher and children warm and respectful? What is the adult:child ratio? How many children are there in the class? These are some of the basic things to look out for.
At the heart of it, you need to feel comfortable in the preschool. If you don’t feel comfortable with the place, your child will also not feel comfortable. Children are very attuned to how their parents respond to the other significant adults in their lives and are able to pick up the subtle cues. You need to feel confident of what the place has to offer and how it can support you as a parent. When you are comfortable and confident of the place, your child will too.
To find out more about My First Skool's curriculum, click HERE.
Head of Professional Practices and Development
Angela Chng is the Head of Professional Practices and Development at NTUC First Campus. She is an early childhood teacher and a Birth to 8 specialist with over 16 years experience working with young children and families both in Singapore and Australia. Angela is also an editor and author for early childhood publications on pedagogy and practice.