Starting a pre-school is a big milestone for little ones and their parents. Parents are excited to see the transition of a toddler into a preschooler and for the little ones, they are kind of amused, kind of scared to enter THE SCHOOL!
When it comes to choosing a preschool, there are whole lot of choices available in Singapore. There is an excellent system where preschools are made available at all convenient locations. You step out of your home and you will have at least a few of them located within walking distance.
I found this link that makes it so easy to see the kindergartens around your area. Many of them offer preschool facilities as well – http://app.msf.gov.sg/dfcs/kindergarten/default.aspx. Child care centers also do offer preschool facilities.
Well, there is a slight difference between preschool and kindergarten. Preschool can be started once the kid is 18-months old whereas kindergarten they enter around 5-years of age.
So many terms and so many options – it can be a daunting task for parents to decide exactly where to send their precious gems to get started with their first school.
For my elder daughter, it was simpler to decide. She was in child care and child care had the pre-school facility. So she completed her pre-nursery and nursery there. Only when it was time to enter K1, I enrolled her into a kindergarten.
But for my younger boy I was a bit in two minds…we never sent him to a child care since there was a full time help at home. I could have sent him to the preschool once he became 18 months old but he was too young in my opinion that time and it was not okay to push him.
Once he turned 2 years, I took admission in one of the playgroups. The primary reason – it was just downstairs my home! I had seen my neighboring kids going there, I had met the teacher too and found her quite experienced. Fees were reasonable and teacher-kids ratio was around 1:10 so all looked fine and My boy – “S” started going there.
I will say it was a good experience though not great for him. He learnt a few things in the playgroup but he could have learnt more. Also, the playgroup space was too small just 1 room. The toys and other plays were limited too.
So after one year, I decided to put him in a bigger, better preschool.
- My daughter attended Sparkletots when she was in K1 and K2 and loved it! She has some very fond memories of this place. She still remembers the teachers and vice-versa. Her teachers brought some things about her to my notice that I also didn’t know. She learnt quite well there. In fact,
- One of the leaders in preschool education, PCF started its first childcare in 1991 and since 2012 decided to centralize the operations of childcare and kindergartens to establish consistent quality standards and improve educational outcomes for the children under its care.
- Sparkletots offers many options for working parents. Though we chose Kindergarten programme, we had option of choosing childcare too. –
Infant Care: For infants aged between 2 months and 18 months
Childcare: For children aged between 18 months and 6 years old
Student Care: For children aged between 7 and 14 years old
Nursery 1*: For children aged 30 months old
Nursery 2: For children aged 4 years old
Kindergarten 1: For children aged 5 years old
Kindergarten 2: For children aged 6 years old
- PCF is a charitable organisation founded by the PAP, committed to nurturing a multi-racial, fair, just and inclusive society by providing educational, welfare and community services. For me, as a parent, it is important to know the people who are running the preschool. As a parent, I need to believe in their vision and trust them for my kid’s education.
- Fees are quite reasonable.
- Sparkletots provide nutritious food at the preschool. Unless your kid has special dietary requirements, you can just let him / her eat at the school itself. My boy loves to eat school food and enjoys eating it along with his friends. The menu keeps on changing every week so as to provide variety to kids.
- There are regular field trips, parent teacher meetings and other activities like concerts happening all over the year. Whole year’s timetable, school terms, holidays all are handed up to the parents at the beginning of the year itself. Wow! I also like the fact that Sparkletots devote proper time for teachers’ professional development. Ultimately, this is going to benefit our kids.
- PCF Sparkletots’ curriculum consists of focus on the vital areas like Aesthetics & Creative Expression, Discovery of the World, Self & Social Awareness, Language & Literacy, Numeracy and Motor Skills Development
- The space of the preschool is quite big. Kids have puzzles, legos and lot of other educational toys to play. I also found the worksheets quite creative.
- So far, “S” and we are happy with his preschool. He has completed his Nursery 1 and currently in Nursery 2. Hope to continue and enhance the experience in K1 and K2 also.
My two cents for parents looking for suitable preschool for your kid –
- Look for different options according to your preference – Location, Fees and so on
- Personally meet, inquire with the Principal and teachers to zero down your choice.
- Don’t forget to check the curriculum and value it will add to your kid’s formative years.
- Get pointers from the teachers how the typical day in a school looks like.
- Also, have a look at the outdoor and other edutainment activities the preschool offers.
- Read the testimonials of other parents.
- Get answers for other factors like time slot, fees payment schedule, food choices, first aid and other medical facilities etc.
- Once admission is done, make your kid familiarize with the school area before he / she actually joins.
- Keep monitoring all small little details even after the kid settles in the preschool.
This article is exclusively written by me for The Parents Guide To Preschool.