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Selecting A Childcare Centre: Factors To Consider

14/03/2016



Choosing the right childcare centre for your kid is a daunting task. You know how crucial your child’s early years are, and you want to give them the best start. The question is, with so many different childcares in Singapore, how do you even begin to choose?

 

Fret not, parents. This will be your handy guide to help you tackle your task and send you well on your way to finding the right place for your child.

 

HERE ARE THE EIGHT THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A CHILDCARE CENTRE

 

LOCATION

Don’t choose a childcare at the other end of the country! Accessibility is important. Decide if you want it near your workplace or near home, but you or your spouse should be able to go down quickly when something happens to your child.  Also, come pick-up time, you don’t want your child always feeling like the last one left.

 

LEARNING APPROACH

What is the centre’s method of teaching children? There are many different educational models (Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia…) for young children. Find out about the different curricula and shortlist centres that provide the type of curriculum you want. On the other hand, many centres take a flexible approach, blending a number of educational philosophies into their curriculum. One thing you can do is take a look at the timetable of the childcare. Remember, play is the work of a child. If the timetable shows very little time for play, look around some more!

 

TEACHERS

When you visit the childcare, pay attention to how the staff interacts with the kids. You will be allowed to sit in the classes, so make the most of this chance to observe the teachers. These are the people who are going to be your child’s caregivers for a huge part of her early days, so you want to know that they will provide the loving, nurturing relationships your child needs.

 

LANGUAGE PROGRAMME

Childcares may offer a full Mandarin-immersion programme, a bilingual programme or an English-language school that includes a Mandarin class in the day. Consider how much second language learning you want for your child and find out about the type of language programme the childcare centre provides.
 



ENVIRONMENT 

As you visit the childcare and observe the environment, think about whether this is a place you want your child spending the most parts of her early days. How do the staff interact with each other? Are the children well attended to? What types of facilities are there? What are the classrooms like? Are there outdoor play spaces? What types of meals and snacks are served to the children? These are all factors you should consider.

 

TEACHER-TO-CHILD RATIO

How many teachers and kids are there in a class? An appropriate teacher-to-child ratio is important for a child’s healthy development and safety, with the benefits of smaller classes widely known. Consider what teacher-to-child ratio you’re satisfied with.

 

ENRICHMENT 

Do ask about the enrichment programmes provided. Typical enrichment offered in childcares would be music, speech and drama, gym, etc. These help to give your child the exposure to a variety of skills, practices and interests so your weekends don’t have to be filled up with enrichment programmes!

 

COST 

Prices vary wildly among child care centres in Singapore. Determine how much you can afford and are willing to pay for a childcare centre. Are you willing to pay more for better enrichment and facilities and the assurance of quality care? Or are you working with a small budget and you just want to ensure your child’s needs are met?

 

Keep this list of considerations close as you begin your search for a childcare centre, and you’re well on your way to finding your child the right one!

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