7 Types of Preschools in Singapore

June 23, 2017

Choosing a preschool in Singapore for your child can be an extremely daunting task, as it is a decision that carries far more weight than, say, deciding between diaper and jumper brands. Singapore’s preschool education is not compulsory and neither is it subsidised by the government, yet parents go to great lengths to suss out the best preschool in Singapore for their children. Choosing the right fit is often the first consequential decision that parents have to make for their young dependant.

The universal recognition of preschool education’s importance can be attributed to its usefulness as a preparation and an introduction to the school system, regardless of whether the next phase for the child is elementary or primary school. Establishments where learning is encouraged through play, the preschools in Singapore are in such abundance that young parents these days exercise full discretion when choosing from among them.

The Best PreSchool For Your Child

Does a preschool in Singapore expose its students to several approaches of learning? Beyond factors like location and fees, parents these days are very discerning with whether and how preschools execute a holistic curriculum. However, even the cream of the crop are separated by their methodologies.

Here are seven types of preschools in Singapore, from which you can identify the best suited for your preschooler-to-be:

1. Spontaneous Learning Preschools

Approaches like the Montessori programme encourage learning through free play in an environment that has been tweaked to be optimally conducive for education. In Singapore and around the world, this fun and indirect form of learning has found success with a plethora of preschooler personality types, where the educator’s main role is to supervise and step in when a child is developing an incorrect habit. Originally developed by Italian Maria Montessori in the late 1800’s, the spontaneous learning school of thought is suitable for children of all characters and needs, which dynamically yet gently encourages them toward growth and adaptation.


2. Relationship-Based Learning Preschools

The learning processes of programmes like Reggio Emilia are centred on the development of interpersonal skills. Depending on the interests of each child, relationship-based learning seeks to develop a child by helping him or her understand their relationships with adults, with one another and with the environment. This form of learning is based on experiences and the idea that our world is made up of relationships, and teaches children the many right and wrong ways of expressing themselves. Through this programme, not only does the preschooler learn to listen to the adult, but the parent too gains a deeper grasp of how to understand his or her child.


3. Play-Based Learning Preschools

Revered experts Lev Vygotsky and Jean Piaget opined that children stand to learn the most when encouraged to interact with their environments. The idea of play-based learning revolves around educators continually observing a child and thereby tweaking a programme to encourage maximal development. The principle of play-based learning is that stimulating playtime will in turn stimulate a child’s love for proactive learning.


4. Multi-Discipline-Based Learning Preschools

The “theory of multiple intelligences” comprises of several methods of education exercised cyclically. Different types of music is introduced to the preschooler to let him or her understand sounds, rhythms and tones better, while the child is also exposed to the outdoors, so that he or she can also learn about nature and the environment. Activity is a major part of the theory of multiple intelligences, which promotes the development of motor skills, control, reflexes and rhythm, while intra- and interpersonal development are also emphasised, along with spatial, linguistic, logical and mathematical learning.


5. Sensorial Learning Preschools

Practical learning is the crux of methods like Waldorf Steiner. Sensorial learning preschools discourage prolonged exposure to the television, computers and mobile device entertainment. Creativity, imagination, independence and self-motivation are instead sparked within the child by the encouragement and cycling of teachers.


6. Interactive Learning Preschools

Teachers and preschoolers are encouraged to plan their itinerary together in establishments that encourage interactive learning. Though their programmes are set afterward, their young participants are free to move around play-learning clusters. Strongly promoting both independence and organisation, methods like High Scope might separate preschoolers into small fixed groups but afterward recalls all students together for a review of what they have learned, thereby also multiplying the amount of learning.


7. Whole Brain Learning Preschools

One of the most popular styles of preschool among parents in Singapore, whole brain learning preschools emphasise to their students from a young age, that the process of learning no less valuable than reaching its goals. This holistic process acknowledges that play is the vocation of children. Left to explore their surroundings, children are guided by teachers who help them makes sense of both the ends and the means of tasks.

Whole brain learning preschool courses like those offered by MindChamps have reaped impressive results thanks to the mentality of “Explore, Experience, Experiment and Enjoy” that educators impart to children.

While how long a preschool has been operating, its fees and its curriculum are important deciding factors, no doubt, sometimes the most crucial element of a preschool is its teacher-child ratio. The very best preschool comprises attentive teachers who observe each and every child, then fine-tune a syllabus for each individual preschooler, as well as advise parents on how they can bring the best out of their child beyond the preschool gates. Supervisor and facilitator, a teacher who is a keen and knowledgeable observer can be consulted by parents on how they can play to a child’s strengths while identifying and addressing his or her shortcomings.

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