Mom sending child to childcare centre in Singapore

Finding the right childcare centre in Singapore is one of the major decisions you’ll make as it has a big impact on your child's development. You may consider the selection of a programme that provides holistic development. You may also look into the development of your relationship with the centre. But what you want to focus on is a strong partnership that puts the education and well-being of your child as the priority1.

You’ll need to look at several factors before you decide on a child care centre in Singapore. Therefore, it’s best to look into different institutions early on and determine your needs. Some questions to consider are:

  • Will you need part-time or full-time care?

  • What kind of educational programmes do you want for your child?

  • What level of involvement would you like to have in your child’s education?

Schedule of Childcare Centre in Singapore

Do you work full-time? Is there someone who will care for your child while you’re at work? It’s important to determine who will be with your child when you are unavailable. Choose a child care centre in Singapore based on your schedule. Typically, the schedule of a child care centre is such:

Full-time child care centre:

Weekdays: 7 AM - 7 PM

Weekends: 7:30 AM - 2 PM

Meanwhile, part-time child care institutions will have varying schedules—you can make an enquiry to find one that works for you.

There are also workplace child care centres that follow your respective working hours. Check your organisation to confirm if you have one. This will be easier if you do not have a babysitter that you can leave your child with at home1.

Suitability of Childcare Centre in Singapore

Age and Personality

First of all, the type of childcare centre in Singapore you will choose should match the age and personality of your child. Children three years old and below are better with centres that offer one-on-one interactions, whereas older children up to seven will need more opportunities for social interactions2. Group care centres will provide older children with a chance to interact with their peers socially.

Programmes

Second, perhaps one of the most important aspects of a childcare centre in Singapore that you need to look at is the programme they offer. Should you choose to enroll your child in a centre, they should offer educational programmes that prepare children for school—similar to programmes offered by kindergarten institutions1.

Singapore’s pre-school system can be classified as either early development child care centres or kindergarten schools. Here are the differences between the two:

Early Development Child Care Centres

  • Age group: 2-6 year olds

  • Offer child care services and educational programmes

Kindergarten Schools

  • Age group: 4-6 year olds

  • Exclusive education institution

Since the government does not require pre-school education before starting formal education, you have the choice of entering your child into an early development centre or a kindergarten3. Hence, it will help to check if they are certified by the Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework (SPARK)4.

Facilities and Resources

Third, children of different ages will have varying needs, so you should look into the resources a childcare centre in Singapore can offer. Some of the resources that are included in the fees are:

  • toiletries

  • stationery

  • activity sheets and readers

  • meals

  • infectious control (especially during the COVID-19 pandemic)

Meanwhile, other items such as milk, diapers and special toiletries for your child’s unique needs can be negotiated between you and the centre. Nevertheless, you would want to make sure the child has everything he/she needs to be comfortable at the centre.

Furthermore, here is the additional list of items that you may need to consider when you have enrolled your child into a childcare centre in Singapore:

  • mattress

  • mattress covers

  • sleeping cots

  • uniforms

  • optional insurance coverage

Finally, do your research and inquire about the institutions that you have shortlisted. As mentioned earlier, check for SPARK certification to help make your decision. If you know someone's child who is enrolled at the childcare centre in Singapore that you’re looking into, consult with the parent as well. They can provide you with useful information about the institution.

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Expert Resource:
Dr. Raymond Choy Wai Mun
(MCR 18097A)
MBChB (UK), Aviation Medicine (Singapore)


REFERENCES:

1. Guide for Parents with Children in Child Care Centres (2013). Retrieved August 14, 2020 from:
https://unicefeaproecdtoolkit.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/guide-for-parents-with-children-in-childcare.pdf

2. Choose a Child Care Centre (Information updated January 2019). Retrieved August 14, 2020 from:
https://www.ecda.gov.sg/Parents/Pages/ParentsChooseCCC.aspx

3. Enhancing the quality of kindergarten education in Singapore: policies and strategies in the 21st century (2017). Retrieved August 14, 2020 from:
https://ijccep.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40723-017-0033-y

4. Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework—Early Childhood Development Agency (Last updated March 2020). Retrieved August 14, 2020 from:
https://www.ecda.gov.sg/sparkinfo/Pages/AboutSPARK.aspx