With so many preschools offering different programmes in Singapore, how do you go about choosing the best one for your child? We compiled a simple checklist to help you along the way.
It’s time for bub to start preschool! This is the beginning of your child’s educational journey and you’re probably just as excited as they are. But prior to that, there’s one thing you’ll need to settle on – which Singapore preschool to send your child to?
The great thing about Singapore is that aside from there being great preschools conveniently located in almost every neighbourhood, there’s also a variety of teaching methodologies and curriculum for parents to choose from. However, if this is your first time picking a preschool for your kid, having so many choices can be overwhelming.
So, if you’re unsure on how to go about picking the best preschool for your kid, we’ve prepared a simple checklist to help you along the way. Good luck!
THE COMPLETE SINGAPORE PRESCHOOL CHECKLIST
1. Duration of childcare service
One of the first things you need to consider is whether you require full-day or half-day childcare service for your child. Not all preschools offer full-day services, so choosing one that suits your childcare needs is important for your preschool search.
2. Your budget for school fees
When it comes to picking a preschool in Singapore, having a budget in mind can help narrow down your search considerably. While we all want the best for our child, you should choose one that fits your budget. Your child will be spending at least three to four years in preschool and it might be disruptive to their learning experience if you have to switch schools due to financial constraints.
3. The preferred location
Depending on your childcare and work arrangements, you may want to choose a preschool that’s close to home, your parents or in-laws’, or even near your workplace. Ideally, you should choose a preschool at a location that’s convenient for you to drop off and pick up your child on weekdays. While most parents opt for a preschool that’s near home, you may need one that’s nearer to your workplace for peace of mind, or one that’s near to your parents if they are the ones who will be picking your child up after school.
4. The learning experience you want for your child
Now here comes the part where you’ll need to do some intense research. You’ll need to decide on the type of learning journey you want your child to experience. You’ll want to choose a preschool with the most suitable learning approach, teaching methodology, and curriculum that best suits your child and their individual personality.
Some examples are:
- If you prefer your child to be able to learn at their own pace and feel empowered to express themselves during classes, you can consider looking for a school that follows the Reggio Emilia approach or is inspired by it.
- If you think your child will learn better through fun activities, you may want to check out preschools that offer play-based learning.
5. Availability of bilingual programmes and the languages offered
If you’re keen to let your child learn more than one language, then definitely look for a preschool that offers bilingual programmes. You should also check on the types of languages offered. Most preschools have an English-Mandarin bilingual programme, but there are also those that offer French, Japanese, Tamil and more.
6. The learning environment
Since preschool is a place where your child spends a considerable amount of time, you want to make sure it has a conducive learning environment. If you prefer a school with a good balance of indoor and outdoor learning, see if they have comfortable classrooms and safe outdoor spaces. If you would like your child to spend more time experiencing outdoor learning, check that the school has the appropriate facilities.
7. Speak to the teachers
Teachers are definitely the most important figures in your child’s learning journey. Visit the school or attend their virtual open days to speak to the teachers to find out more about their teaching styles and how they interact with their students.
8. Types of support services offered
Everyone needs a little help sometimes – it could be for your child, or for you! Ideally, you should find a preschool that provides support services that suit your family’s needs, such as speech therapy and early intervention programmes. If there aren’t any specific or specialist needs, it’s still good to find a school that offers some form of support system, like having qualified counselors and even parent support groups.
Every school is unique – so choose one that suits your child best!
Every preschool is unique and has its own educational philosophies, all of which have different strengths and benefits. When it comes to choosing a preschool, remember that it’s not about choosing a school with the best facilities or programme, but one that suits your child’s needs best.
What you can expect from Singapore American School’s Early Learning Centre
The Singapore American School’s (SAS) Early Learning Centre follows a Reggio-inspired philosophy that understands and respects young children as unique, capable, and curious learners. When visiting the school, you can expect to see a learning environment that’s intentional, flexible, and reflective. Teachers at SAS act as a support and resource for children, always observing and listening to them, asking questions to discover their ideas, and encouraging them to express their thoughts in as many ways as possible.
Check out this video to see what a day at SAS is like:
SAS has an upcoming virtual session on January 25, 2022 for interested parents to learn more about the programme offered at their Early Learning Centre. You’ll also get the chance to speak to the principal and Admissions Team to find out everything from fees, school facilities, and teaching style as well!
Sign up for their virtual session here.
This post is in partnership with Singapore American School