Question:How do I determine the most suitable preschool for my child?
Asked By : Strongmomzzz
Words from the Expert:
Question: How do I determine which is the most suitable preschool for my child? What sets the priority – teachers, environment, curriculum, brand name or fees?Answer:
First, all preschools operate on the basis of providing trained and certified teachers, a curriculum aligned to MOE’s framework, an environment in adherence to child-safety guidelines, and a hygienic and clean school environment.
Next, determine the personality of the child. The environment should encourage their natural personality to flourish. For example, suppose a child is inquisitive. In that case, parents may want to look for a preschool that offers the child opportunities for exploration. Ideally, the preschool would be a less restrictive environment for the child to learn effectively.
Also consider the values that you, as a parent, would want to instil in your child. The preschool should embrace similar values. For instance, some parents value raising compassionate children. During centre visits of potential schools, parents can observe if that value is imparted in the school and seek to understand the types of activities that are conducted which may instil that value.
Take note of any personal preference that the family or child might have. Some children have a particular sleep pattern or behaviour, such as requiring to be coaxed to sleep or needing a safety blanket when sleeping. Consider if the school can accommodate that need.
Getting feedback from other parents. Observe how the other children behave in the school – this is the best approach to know if the teachers treat your child with respect. Schools with positive teachers will generally have positive and confident children, eager to put on smiles and are not afraid of strangers.
Check on the centre’s stability as well. How long has the centre been operating at the location, were there any change of brands previously? If the preschool has been present at the location for a long time, chances are the preschool is stable, and the likelihood of switching operators will be significantly reduced. This gives the family and the child some stability in the child’s early years. At least they will not be surprised by a change in curriculum or school management.
Last but not least, it is important to note whether the school fees are within your budget. Expenses can easily add up, especially if you have multiple children of close ages who are attending preschool during the same time. Fortunately, government subsidies are available, including additional subsidies. Parents can tap on Child Development Account savings for school fees too. Kinderland preschools are ECDA-licensed and government subsidies are available.
Dr Carol Loy
Director of Curriculum and Professional Development
Kinderland Preschool & Infant Care