It is estimated that there are over 1,800 preschool programmes in Singapore. There are different options for the parents to choose from, ranging from day care centres to the kindergartens. When looking at the issue of preschool in Singapore, it is important to understand a number of basic things that revolve around this sensitive area on the development of a child.
Interesting facts of preschools in Singapore
Due to the busy schedules of the parents in Singapore, more than 99% of all the children who enrol for primary one, at 6 years, usually have attended preschool. By mid-2016, there were 495 kindergartens and 1,303 child care centres in Singapore. This means that there are approximately 1,800 preschools in Singapore. In 2017, statistics show that 50% of the children aged 18 months to 6 years will be taken to a child care centre. The average fee for a full-day preschool in Singapore is about $1,000.
Type of Preschool Programmes
It is one thing to make a decision that you want your child to attend preschool, but another thing to choose the specific programme. Singapore is known for its diversity in child care programmes that will accommodate the needs of different parents. The main types of child care programmes in Singapore include:
I. Infant Care: This is basic and offers care for children ranging from 6 weeks to 18 months. You should not assume that all preschool centres have this option. At this age, the baby is quite delicate and highly dependent. You will need to find an efficient infant care for the baby.
II. Playgroup: Just as the name implies, this is a centre that brings groups of children together to play. While these may not be among the structured preschool programmes, it is a great way to open up a child to the social world.
III. Child Care Centres: For most parents, this is the definition of preschool in Singapore. These centres are all-round and will handle babies from 18 months to 6 years old. The curriculum is a combination of work and play, and they offer key services like baths and providing meals for the kids.
IV. Kindergarten: This is for the older children, between 4 and 6 years and the curriculum is inclined towards academics. This is a formal preschool in Singapore that will prepare the child for the formal education.
Choosing a preschool in Singapore for your child can be overwhelming and exciting, at the same time. As a parent, it is your responsibility to carry out due diligence so as to find the right preschool programme for your child. You can consult other parents and people who have experience with preschools.