As parents, education is perhaps the most precious and meaningful gift to your little one. At a young age, your child starts embarking on their learning journey. They are exposed to the world around them and exploring what it has to offer. When your child has reached the age for early education, it is essential to send them to a good preschool. However, this may be challenging considering the myriad of preschools available in Singapore. Doing sufficient research can help you to determine which preschool best suits your child’s learning pace and preference. The question is, how should you start? To ease your concerns, we have curated a guide to help you choose a preschool:
1. Cost and location
These two aspects are interrelated and among the most important components to consider when selecting a preschool in Singapore. It is recommended to opt for one that is close to your house, office, or your parents or in-laws’ places to minimise travel expenses and time. The close proximity makes timely pick-up and drop-off easier and more convenient. It also allows you to reach the preschool quickly in case of emergencies. The Schoolhouse by Busy Bees operates 17 centres with 5 infant care services in Singapore. These centres are located islandwide, remaining accessible no matter where you are.
On the other hand, it is also important to select a preschool within your budget. The cost is usually determined by the facilities, curriculum, and other benefits that a preschool offers. Think about whether your daily expenses and budget can cover the lessons regularly. Better still, you may apply for some subsidies and grants to save some expensive education costs. Check out some of the options below:
- Child Development Account (CDA)
CDA is a special co-savings scheme for children. The government matches dollar-for dollar all savings made by parents into their child’s account, up to a certain cap based on the child’s birth order. Savings in the CDA may be used to pay for educational and healthcare expenses of your children at Baby Bonus Approved Institutions (AIs), including childcare centres, kindergartens and special education schools.
- Additional subsidies for childcare and infant care
Eligible lower-income families may apply for additional subsidies, on a means-tested basis. The subsidies can be used to pay for preschool fees. The maximum additional subsidy is fixed at $710 for infant care and $467 for childcare.
2. Your childcare needs
When it comes to selecting a preschool, you should also take your child’s personality into account. Is your child playful and sociable? Or is she/he a detailed person? This gives you a better understanding of how well they can acclimatise into certain learning environments. The best way is to consult the teachers. Inquire about their teaching style, the preschool’s philosophies and values, as well as disciplinary principles. Today, the educational approach of “problem-solving through play” has been rising in popularity. At The Schoolhouse by Busy Bees, children can learn, solve problems and enjoy their play time all at once. Through real-world explorations, we engage your children’s perception to understand and connect with the world around them. In addition, we foster curiosity in children, encouraging them to ask, wonder, and form meaningful questions to promote their critical thinking at a young age.
3. Awards and recognition
Nothing matters more than sending your child to a reputable and trusted preschool. A preschool that has been honoured with awards and eligible accreditations is indicative of its quality. The Schoolhouse by Busy Bees remains to be the best preschool in Singapore, with 34 years of experience, complemented by four infant care services and 17 preschools in Singapore. It has also won Young Parents Readers’ Choice Awards – Bilingual Immersion Programme, Young Parents Readers’ Choice Awards – Reading and Writing Programme and other awards.
Meanwhile, the Singapore Pre-School Accreditation Framework (SPARK) Award and the ECDA Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Development are some distinguished accreditations used to verify a preschool’s quality.
- Singapore Pre-School Accreditation Framework (SPARK)
SPARK is a voluntary quality assurance framework to raise the quality of pre-schools in Singapore. The SPARK certification assesses pre-school education programmes catering to four to six year old children in kindergartens and child care centres, in terms of leadership, planning and administration, resources, staff management, curriculum and pedagogy.
- ECDA Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Development
The ECDA Awards for Excellence in Early Childhood Development honour the contributions and achievements of outstanding leaders, infant educators and teachers, as well as centres that have excelled in teaching and learning; and the innovative practices of early childhood professionals.
The curriculum and programmes offered by a preschool can affect your children’s learning process. Some preschools that value an academic curriculum may prioritise completion of worksheets, while a play-based curriculum believes children learn best through play, which is what we offer at The Schoolhouse by Busy Bees. Do also assess whether the programmes are able to help your children gain valuable insights and encourage your child to join extensive enrichment programmes. Evaluate the following curriculum-related questions to help with your decision making:
- Is the preschool’s education holistic?
- Is outdoor play a part of the curriculum?
- Are the learning materials purchased commercially or handmade?
Enrolling your child in preschool is a major decision. Preschool registration marks a once-in-a-lifetime milestone. It is best to do your research about the preschools available before deciding which best complements your child. If possible, engage your child in the selection process. The goal is to select a preschool that will help your children excel.
The Schoolhouse by Busy Bees always remains at the forefront of early childhood education in Singapore. With over 35 years of experience in the industry, we are committed to inspire every child to be global minded citizens in the 21st Century. Call us today to help your children realise their full potential!