Preschool sets the foundation of your little one’s early childhood education. However, the tricky part is choosing one. Need help in choosing the best chidcare in Singapore? Here are some tips for the anxious parents!
Finding the right preschool for your child is definitely not a walk in the park. Choosing a preschool, with the wide array of options in Singapore can be a daunting chore for parents. We have listed 7 most important factors to consider when choosing a childcare centre:
Guide to Choosing a Preschool in Singapore
1. Distance from Home or Office
The no. 1 most important factor to consider is the distance to school! Are you planning to send and fetch your child from home or office daily? Choosing a preschool close to your home or office can certainly provide some relief and convenience in your daily commute as it would give you the convenience of dropping off your child easily before and after work. You and your child can also save time on travelling!
2. Optimal teacher child ratio
There is a guideline set by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) on the teacher-child ratio for all levels in childcare centres. While this is the minimum requirement that all childcare centres are expected to adhere to, there are many childcare centres and preschools that offer lower teacher-child ratios to ensure that children get all the care and attention that they need from the teachers.
3. School Environment and Cleanliness
Is the school overall look and feel to your liking? Does the school look clean? Do you like the environment? As the school is where your little one will be almost everyday, hygiene is extremely important as it ensures that the well-being of your little ones are taken care of. Protocols such as sanitising of toys and common surfaces should be in place to remove bacterias that can make your little one sick.
4. Passionate and Dedicated Teachers
Teachers interact with your child almost everyday hence they are a big influence on him or her! You would want your child to be under the care of patient and dedicated teachers! Get to know the school culture and who are the teachers. Get a feel of whether the teachers are nurturing or enthusiastic.
Ask questions about the experience of the teachers and see how they interact with the children in your shotlisted school. All these observations and questions would be helpful to make a better decision about the kind of preschool you want to enrol your precious one in.
5. Suitable Curriculum for Your Child
Are you looking for a more academic driven preschool? Or are you looking for specific programs such as Reggio Emilia or Montessori? Every preschool adopts a different pedagogy. You might have certain preferences as to which pedagogy is suitable for your child. As different preschools have different ways of executing the planned curriculum, finding out more from its website or social media would help in gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the pedagogy as well as curriculum. Finally ,remember to check with the principal the school’s program focus!
6. Snacks and Meals
Children between the ages of two and 12 grow fast and need to be fed right, especially when they spend long hours in childcare. During these growing years, foods that supply the essential nutrients are critical to their growth and development of their mental and motor skills. Do find out what kind of snacks and meals the school serves. Check their daily menu. It is important that the school offers a well-balanced, nutritious meal.
7. Outdoor or Indoor
Do you prefer preschools with outdoor facilities or you would like your child to stay indoors most of the time to avoid mosquito and heat issues? Some kids have eczema concerns and staying in an air-conditioned environment is a better arrangement for them in order to avoid perspiration.
However, with covid threats, the spread of viruses can be fast and furious, especially in preschools. Given a child’s developing immunity, it might be better for fresh air to be circulated in the preschool environment hence you might also want to consider one with outdoor or open air spaces.
So…how do you find out the answers to the 7 factors we have gone through just now? You can only do so with a school visit of course!
To make a more informed selection, it is advisable to visit the school in person and enquire about the teacher-child ratio, the school's environment and cleanliness, the teachers, as well as the snacks and meals provided by the school.
You can also read up on school reviews, search from an extensive directory of childcare, infantcare and enrichment centres in Singapore, and even school open houses on Serious About Preschool before you make an appointment to visit the school! Nothing beats exploring the school and asking all the questions in person! School search isn’t so daunting afterall with trusted help!
Article brought to you by Serious About Preschool