Looking for a quality preschool that provides a well-rounded education for your little one?
Preschool open houses are a good opportunity to give you a peek into what goes on inside the school beyond reading about it from their website or brochure.
At preschool open houses, you will hear first-hand about the curriculum from the educators and find out what sets them apart from other childcare centres in Singapore. What’s more, you get to view the learning environment and experience what a day in the preschool looks like.
To get the most out of your visit, here are five things that need to be on your checklist for your next preschool open house visit.
A Must-Have Checklist for Preschool Open Houses in Singapore
1. Ask about the preschool’s education approach
While there are many schools of thought on what is best, it’s important that the childcare centre’s philosophy and values are aligned to what you have in mind for your child. Don’t hesitate to ask the educators how they can bring out the potential in your child.
If you opt for a less academic approach, preschools that encourage learning through play with more hands-on exploration will be an ideal choice.
Bilingual childcare centres in Singapore are quickly gaining popularity for families where English is predominately spoken at home. If you want your child to speak and read confidently in his Mother Tongue, the bilingual approach is an option to consider.
2. Learn what a typical day in the childcare centre looks like
Children thrive best when there are set routines for them to follow. By getting a rundown on what a typical day looks like, you will be able to imagine how your child will be engaged on a day-to-day basis.
For preschoolers, learning and play should be balanced for well-rounded development. It’s important that kids have a fun and memorable childhood even when they are learning.
3. Find out if the school offers enrichment programmes
Enrichment programmes provide a more holistic learning experience that goes beyond the classroom. Many preschools in Singapore offer enrichment programmes as an extension of the curriculum, giving children the opportunity to pick up new skills or develop new interests. As these programmes may be outsourced to external vendors, parents would need to top up for additional fees.
However, there are some preschools in Singapore that offer enrichment programmes as part of their curriculum, such as MindChamps PreSchool. Children at all our centres will get to enjoy programmes such as Creativity and Theatrical Strategies™, Music for the Mind™, NeuroMooves™ and Gourmet Moments ™, which are included in the curriculum at no additional cost.
4. Check the childcare centre’s surroundings
Pay attention to the preschool’s surrounding when you tour the centre. Is it brightly lit and spacious? Does the environment look conducive to stimulate a child’s interest and learning? Are there purposeful spaces that encourage hands-on exploration? Do you see reading corners with age-appropriate titles that pique children’s curious minds?
Having a well-organised learning space gives your child plenty of opportunities to be engaged socially, physically, intellectually and emotionally.
5. Understand the teacher’s qualifications
Ask about the teacher’s experience and find out how long they have been with the school. This will give you an indication of the turnover rate of the preschool and how passionate the teachers are about educating young minds.
At the same time, enquire about the teacher-child ratio. The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) stipulates the following ratios for childcare centres in Singapore: 1:6 for Playgroup, 1:12 for Nursery 1, 1:15 for Nursery 2; 1:20 for K1 and 1:25 for K2. With a lower teacher-child ratio, your child gets more one-on-one attention which allows teachers to keep track their progress more closely to bring out the best in them.
No matter which preschool you choose, it’s important that parents play an integral part in enriching your child’s learning journey. Support your child wherever possible and find out how you can be involved in your child’s school activities like excursions or school concerts for them to have a memorable learning journey.
Written by Susan Koh