With the emergence of premium childcare centres in Singapore, parents may wonder how the quality of the education differs from centres that charge lower fees. In our nation’s competitive childcare centre landscape, is it true that you get what you pay for?
Specifically, how well do premium childcare centres prepare students for primary school?
Before feeling skeptical about the perks offered at premium childcare centres and assuming that they drive up costs unnecessarily, let us consider the main factors that set them apart from average childcare centres in Singapore.
Curriculum and enrichment Programmes of Premium Childcare Centres in Singapore
There are many types of preschools in Singapore, including play-based learning preschools and multi-discipline-based learning preschools. Most premium preschools offer a special methodology (i.e. Montessori and Reggio Emilia). Whole brain learning preschool programmes like those in MindChamps, where the curriculum is based on research and development in Neuroscience, Psychology, and Theatre, have led to impressive results whilst preparing students for the transition to P1.
Be it through excursions to primary schools, engaging in reading and writing programmes, or practising money concepts (to prepare for buying their own food from the canteen), many premium preschools go to great lengths to get their preschoolers ready for the primary school environment. In fact, K2 students at MindChamps PreSchool experience the theme, “Here I Come, P1!” in their final two terms.
Early childcare programmes have been reported to have a profound, lifelong impact on a child’s development. As such, some preschools in Singapore offer enrichment programmes outside of the core curriculum, which may include music, gym, creative thinking, theatre, and cooking. These enrichment classes aim to nurture all aspects of preschoolers, cultivating a love of learning that extends to primary school and beyond.
Difference in class sizes in childcare centres in Singapore
The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) has put in place a guideline for teacher-student ration for classes of all levels in childcare centres in Singapore. For example, the teacher-student ratio is set at 1:20 for K1 and 1:25 for K2. Parents who want their children to receive more individual attention in class may choose a premium childcare centre instead, where there is usually a lower teacher-student ratio for ample supervision.
The higher fees in premium childcare centres allow for highly qualified and experienced educators and smaller class sizes. The best preschools have attentive teachers who keenly observe every individual, and who is in tune with each student’s strengths and shortcomings to better advise parents on how they can help at home in bringing out the child’s full potential whilst ensuring primary school readiness. This is more achievable in an intimate class setting and size.
Teacher qualification in a premium childcare centre
The basic teaching qualification is a Certificate in Early Childhood Care and Education, according to the ECDA. But when entrusting your child’s education to someone else, wouldn’t you want the teacher to meet more than the basic requirement?
When choosing the best childcare centre in Singapore for your child, consider how often they train their teachers to keep them up-to-date with the teaching techniques.
At premium preschools such as MindChamps, every teacher undergoes up to 200 hours of compulsory training and accreditation. This ensures that the students’ minds are nurtured by a superbly qualified and dedicated staff. Educators impart the mentality of “Explore, Experience, Experiment and Enjoy” to ensure primary school readiness.