Ready to enroll your child in preschool?
After deciding on the best preschool in Singapore for your child, you might consider whether a full-day or half-day programme suits your child’s and your family’s needs.
To help you with your decision, here are factors to consider when opting for half-day or full-day childcare in Singapore.
Full-Day vs Half-day Childcare in Singapore
Half-day programmes typically end around noon. For stay-at-home parents, this may be a suitable arrangement as it frees you up during the first part of the day when your child is immersed in an educational and social setting.
Some stay-at-home parents appreciate that their children are getting a balance of classroom time and after-school activities.
Work-at-home parents might benefit from the flexibility that half-day childcare offers too, but it really depends on their workload. By designating the first half of the day to effectively power through your work projects, you can focus solely on your child when he or she comes home. (Talk about great motivation.)
However, during the busier periods when you have a lot on your plate, you might find it difficult to meet all your deadlines in half a day.
If you and your spouse are both working full-time, half-day childcare in Singapore might not be as convenient unless there is a reliable, trustworthy, and capable caretaker or grandparent to watch your children after school.
Your child’s personality and individual needs
Napping needs matter too, because some children get irritable if they don’t get sufficient mid-day rest.
Children who attend half-day childcare do not take naps at school, which could be a good arrangement if your child naps best at home.
Conversely, some kids actually nap better at school when they see their peers sleeping.
Half-day curriculum and fees
Enquire about the curriculum and daily lessons for half-day childcare in Singapore. Do the more instructive activities and academic lessons occur during the first half of the day?
If your half-day child is missing out on those, and you end up paying for out-of-school enrichment classes anyway, does that make sense financially?
Depending on your parenting philosophy though, perhaps at their young age, you place more priority on free play or one-on-one time than enrichment classes.
So rather than feeling like your child is missing out, you might feel that a half-day programme fits your child’s needs exactly.
Full-day Childcare in Singapore
Whether you are a stay-at-home parent, work-from-home parent, or working parent, if your workload (household chores included) demands your attention for more than half a day, full-day childcare could be optimal.
Whether you plan to watch your child yourself, or entrust your child to your parents/in-laws while you are tied up, the key factor to consider is which option provides your child with the best educational advantage.
Perhaps one-on-one time with a loving caregiver who is your child’s own flesh and blood is what you feel would benefit your child most. Other parents might feel that a structured, formal learning environment with a research-backed curriculum would best prepare their children for primary school later on.
Your child’s personality and individual needs
As mentioned above, children’s personalities and preferences vary greatly. Your child can benefit from a full-day childcare by socialising with their peers for a longer duration, during which they are given more frequent learning opportunities in teamwork and sharing.
On the other hand, a drawback is that the long hours in school, even with naptime, could cause crankiness in some kids, and this crankiness could affect their learning attitude as the school day progresses.
Much of this boils down to adaptability.
For children who take longer to adjust, a full-day programme could either be more difficult (at least initially) or it could actually help them adjust sooner. A full-day programme might allow your child to get “used to” school on a deeper level faster, especially as he or she develops trust and attachment to the teacher.
Full-day curriculum and fees
With more time for enrichment and themed activities in full-day programmes, kids can explore certain topics in depth.
Some parents find that paying for full-day childcare in Singapore is more “worth it” than a half-day programme. Yet for others, half-day childcare is the best fit financially and personally.
When it comes to choosing half-day or full-day childcare in Singapore, there is no universal right or wrong. You know your child more than anyone, and ultimately, it comes down to what you believe is in the best interest of your little one.