Education is the most important gift you can give to your children, especially at a young age.
At this age, your little one is starting to get to know the world around them and discover what it has to offer. While you can teach them the basic things at home, nothing beats the lessons they can get in schools.
If your child is now at their preschool age, it is important that you research the preschools they can attend to and pick the best one in the bunch. Not all preschools are the same and your child’s learning pace and preference may be affected if you got them into the wrong preschool.
When choosing a preschool for your children, here are the 12 things you need to know about them:
When choosing a preschool, you definitely need to know where they are located.
Ideally, the preschool should be in close proximity to your home or your workplace to make it convenient for you to drop them off and pick them up after their classes.
If they are far from your home or workplace, young children may tire out easily from the journey and it may cost you more money in the long run.
Each preschool will vary in terms of the curriculum they will use to help your children’s development.
Some may use curriculums that focus on helping children learn through their learning styles, while others will focus on letting children explore through hands-on experiments and projects.
Here is a great guide for you to learn different teaching methods.
School philosophy and values
You must also take into account what the school stands for when it comes to the values and philosophy it wants to teach our children.
Does it align to the values and philosophy you want your children to learn and will you be involved in the learning process? Values and life skills are important as they are imparted from a young age like we highlighted here.
Preschools offer two types of sessions for their students: a full-day class or a half-day class.
If you take the full-day session, it will start from 7 am and end at 7pm. If you sign up your child for a half-day class, the class will start from 7 am and end at 1:00 pm.
Knowing the duration of classes they offer will help you get your child used to this new routine, especially if this is their first time entering school. It may be best to enrol your child first in a half-day class rather than a full-day class to prevent separation anxiety and tantrums.
You can also consider kindergarten since they offer 3 hour sessions daily.
Every preschool in Singapore must abide by the teacher-child ratio set by the Early Childhood Development Agency.
Under their protocols, preschools must have a small number of students per one teacher to make sure each student’s needs are attended to by the teacher immediately.
Preschools in Singapore can cost around $300 per month to $2,000 per month depending on the curriculum, facilities and other benefits that they offer.
Consider your daily expenses and budget to see if you can afford these sessions regularly. The government does offer subsidies if you enrol them in government-affiliated or operated schools.
Here are a comprehensive guide to the childcare subsidies in 2020.
You should also check how often your child will be fed during their session, what food will be given to them and if they will offer special menus for those with allergies and health requirements.
You should also make it a point to ask if they will allow party food for your child’s birthday or on events.
Safety & Health Measures
When in school, it is important that your child’s safety and health is protected. Check what safety and health protocols the preschool has to see if they pass your needs.
Do they do stringent checks to see if the one’s fetching your kids are approved? Can they respond to your child’s health needs?
If you want to see these measures up close, schedule a school tour and speak to the right staff members to learn more about them.
You should also make sure that the preschool you are considering for your child is recognised by the government.
Preschools are required to pass the Singapore Preschool Accreditation Framework to show their students and their parents that the level of education they offer is top-notch and approved by the government.
Many parents often prefer active communication with their child’s school to stay up-to-date with their children’s progress.
Take time to ask the preschool you are looking at about how they communicate with parents, especially if your child is having issues in school.
You can check around online review sites and social media to see how other parents interact with the preschool and how quickly they respond to inquiries to get a reference on the school’s communication with parents.
If you want your children to flourish in preschool, the school should feel and look welcoming and inspire them to learn for a long period of time.
Check what kind of facilities they offer and bring your child along to check their interest. It will be a hard sell for your children to go to the school you selected if they do not like the learning environment it offers.
Finally, you should check what the preschool’s policies are when it comes to misbehaving children. Some parents may opt for a stricter approach to stop misbehaviour for their children, while others may want a steady but gentle approach.
Speak to the teachers in the school on how they handle misbehaviour or talk to the parents of current students. It is important to take note that Singapore doesn’t allow or approve the use of physical punishment on young children.
Enrolling your child in preschool is a big step for you and your child because it is a milestone that happens once in their life. With this said, it is crucial that you pick the best one that will help them succeed.
Always do your research about the preschools available before deciding which one is best. You can also get your child involved in your selection process, especially if you visit the schools personally.
Even if the preschool you pick doesn’t tick all the requirements you may have, it is important to remember that the school we pick makes our children happy and learn to their heart’s content.
Planning for your child’s education? Please do check out these articles: