In Singapore, nursery is also referred to as childcare services or preschool education, where children are enrolled in full-day, half-day or flexi-care programmes.
Presently, there are over 1,360 child care centres which take in children from 18 months to six years old. Children attending nursery school in Singapore are typically three years old, and nursery programmes usually start from Nursery 1, Nursery 2 before progressing to Kindergarten.
Parents can choose to home-school their children, or send them to nursery where experienced educators and a curriculum are in place to develop children in a multitude of ways. Enrolment for nursery in Singapore sits at over 102,000 now, with an increasing number of families exposing their children to early childhood education over the last few years. Why exactly are parents sending their children to nursery?
How attending nursery in Singapore benefits children and parents
“The nursery years are a crucial stage for your child, as beginning from Nursery 1, what your child has learnt in playgroup will gain momentum as he/she acquires further development of language, communication and vocabulary. At this level, children will be immersed in an environment that cultivates learning through exploration, sensory and tangible stimulations.
During the nursery years, your child will be introduced to numbers, sounds and letters of the alphabet, as well as books and reading,”
explains MindChamps PreSchool Curriculum team.
Beyond education and more than just babysitting, children pick up a whole suite of life lessons through their nursery school settings too.
1. Understand structure and routines
Each nursery has a programme and curriculum in place, along with learning objectives and lesson plans. Children are known to thrive when it comes to predictable settings and a routine in place. Each activity is planned to aid in familiarisation, so children are able to anticipate the order of things. That also means the “Good morning”, “Thank you for our food” and “Goodbye” songs are more than just singing time, but also opportunities for them to understand about the structure and routines even in preschool. This translates to the community and society too, where rules come into place, and children will be exposed and learn to see them in various perspectives.
2. Opportunity to observe and interact with peers and adults in a social setting
Social interaction allows young children to learn about communication, develop values such as respect, manners and empathy, while sharpening up their thought processes and actions as they interact with others. Over time, they gain independence and confidence with the companionship of friends in school, where they discover more about themselves and their emotional development is enhanced too. These skills help them to grow as an individual and shapes their character too.
3. Learn through play to develop holistically
At three years old, it’s not about serious classroom work or rote learning. Experts establish that young children learn best through play, and the nursery programmes in Singapore are crafted to enhance their physical, cognitive, language, social, emotional and aesthetic development. MindChamps PreSchool Curriculum team believes in tapping onto a child’s Narrative Intelligence which relates to storytelling and language. Learning through storytelling sharpens the ability to see connections between elements, sequences, cause and effect and recurring patterns through information and different environments. As your child makes sense of their relationships, he tells his own story which unknowingly motivates his learning too.
4. Appreciate Alone Time
This may sound strange – wouldn’t children be with their friends and teacher throughout the day? Besides the social interaction and engagement in play with friends, the nursery programme in Singapore schools would establish pockets of ‘alone’ time for your child to work on tasks independently. That way, they get to cultivate self-awareness, enhance mindfulness and nurture their critical thinking and problem-solving skills through independent work.
5. Engage in Physical Activities for Physical and Cognitive Development
Besides a play-based curriculum, preschoolers require physical activities to stay healthy and get moving, which are known to contribute to brain development too. MindChamps Preschool is equipped with a child-friendly gym for daily exercise to build their immunity and motor skills. With its NeuroMooves™ programme, children in school enjoy multiple benefits such as better physical strength, heightened memory skills and cognitive stimulation that they need during that age. What better way to stay fit and active!
6. Nurture the love for learning
Learning is a lifelong journey, and when children enjoy the process, they learn so much more. Coupled with the enthusiasm to seek knowledge and opportunities to learn life skills, a preschool presents a safe environment where young children can enjoy the process of learning through nursery-appropriate learning methods. MindChamps PreSchool Curriculum is developed with scientific research to help seed this positive love for learning through language and reading strategies. With the right values inculcated in our young learners, they take them through their schooling years, as well as fuel their tenacity to learn even as adults.
7. Offers experience for growth and development
During their daily programme at nursery, young children are provided with opportunities to explore, discover and experience. Preschoolers learn more about themselves, and how their actions and speech can affect others. When it comes to group dynamics, they understand more about cause-and-effect, and appreciate the value of teamwork when working on activities with their friends. Friends and teachers may come and go too, and children learn to adapt to changes, a vital skill to have. As they gain independence in the everyday such as potty training, going to the toilet on their own or learning to shower, these experiences add on to their daily banks of growth as they develop in various ways.
8. Parents are more assured
Parents are also heartened to know that their children are in a safe environment with their needs taken care of by experienced and qualified educators. Children get to spend their day in meaningfully, enriched with opportunities for them to develop and thrive. As they return home sharing about the things they did at nursery school, these exciting stories offer the family with plenty of laughter and conversation at the end of the day.
Raising children takes a village, and with options such as nursery schools in Singapore, it gives parents peace of mind when they are at work or away from their children.
Speak with us to find out how our scientifically developed curriculum and the comprehensive programme can support your child’s holistic growth.