Finding the best preschool in Singapore is instrumental in ensuring your child’s future. After all, before your child can get into a reputable college or university in the country, he or she should have a solid elementary and high school education first. So, by starting things right, you can expect your child to have a positive attitude toward learning.
Popular Preschools – Does it Matter?
You are probably thinking – should you splurge your money and consider enrolling your child to a renowned preschool in Singapore instead of settling with cheaper ones? There is nothing wrong with opting with popular schools in the country. However, the main thing is that you make sure the quality of education meets your standards, so you will have no regrets afterwards.
Research Ahead of Time
Finding the right school takes ample time and preparation. If you are particularly interested in sending your child to a popular school in the country such as the International School and others that are in this same level, then you need to have enough lead time to secure a spot at a renowned school.
In some cases, you may have to belong to a waiting list before your child can get in the school. At this point, be sure to gather all documents required, prepare your child for any entrance test or interview, and just have enough lead time such as 2 years or less, depending on the school’s recommendations.
Patience and Preparation Pay Off
There are instances when planning for your child’s education even before he or she is born is a practical thing to do. In fact, most parents in Singapore have their children’s education all planned out even when they are still in their mother’s womb. Registering early may seem rather absurd for others, but considering the tough competition existing among preschools, this can save you from the stress of finding a good school. The waiting list tends to change from one month to another. In addition, there may be lists with more than 300 parents, specifically at busy areas such as Serangoon.
As for the rates of schools, international schools charge about $13,000 to a little over $23,000 per year. The price, however, still depends on the location of the school and the age of the the child. For those who prefer a cheaper rate, schools operated by the PAP community foundation is a practical option. Some schools run by this foundation cost at least $1,200 a year for Singaporeans.
Full Day Vs Half Day
If you are thinking about sending your child to a school that provides full-day or half-day child care, then you should keep a few important things in mind. This is very important among parents who are working and have no helpers or nannies at home. What they need is a school that can provide time and care for their children while they are at work, so they have the assurance when it comes to their precious ones’ safety.
In case you cannot decide whether your little one needs full or half day of childcare, then the following pieces of information can help you determine the best option suitable to your needs.
1. Consider your work schedule.
For single parents or married parents who both work and have no nannies for their children, a full-day school program is an appropriate choice. This allows them to have peace of mind while they are working since the child is in good hands at all times. However, if you have decided to hire a nanny, then you can always opt for a half-day program. By doing so, your child can already come home once school has finished since there is someone left at home to look after your child.
2. Think about your child’s age and situation.
Younger children may be better off with a half-day program as this takes the stress out in being in a different environment. Furthermore, this should be enough time for your toddler to socialize with children and learn the basics expected for his or her age. Since children are still not used to being out of the house at a younger age, then it will be a win-win situation when you choose a half-day program for your preschooler. With this option, your child can learn and avoid any stress of being in a center setting for long hours.
3. Know the class program offered by the school.
As a parent, you have the right to learn more about the routines and schedules followed by students when they are in school. Thus, be sure to check the timetable and routines of students, which should include lunch, nap, and some academics including counting and reciting the alphabet. This way, you will have a better understanding of what the school is providing your child on a regular basis.
4. Determine the cost of a full-day or half-day program.
A huge percentage of kindergartens in Singapore offer slight differences between the cost of full-day and half-day program. The reason for this is that most schools encourage parents to have their children signed up to the full-day program that provides students more time to utilize the different facilities offered to them. In case the fee is too expensive for you, you may check your eligibility for any government childcare subsidies to lower the rates you need to pay.
5. Check for any extended programs offered by the school.
Aside from full-day and half-day, there are schools that provide extended programs, which start from 7 am and end at 3 pm. The main objective of this program is to give students a chance to undergo more hours of developmental program that is more than the half-day schedule.
There are also flexicare programs available for preschoolers, depending on parents’ needs. These programs include:
- Flexicare 1 at a minimum of 12 and maximum of 24 hours weekly
- Flexicare 2 with more than 24 hours but not over 36 hours a week
- Flexicare 3 at 36 hours with a maximum of 48 hours a week
- Flexicare 4 more than 48 hours weekly
It is only a matter of taking into consideration your current needs and what is best for your child, so you can determine the right flexicare program that is ideal for your particular situation.