4 Factors affecting Childcare Options

preschool singapore expert

In Singapore, most families will have to rely on external help for child care as both spouses are usually working. 

From sending your child to an infant care/ childcare centre to employing a domestic helper, let us look at how they stack up against one another using 4 important factors.

1. Convenience

Photo Courtesy of My First Skool

Convenience is definitely one important factor to consider when deciding on childcare options as most families will always feel that they do not have enough time due to the need to juggle between work, children and family.
A domestic helper is at home 24/7 thus you will not need to spend any time ferrying your child to and fro. This saves you time and energy. However, some families prefer not to have a domestic helper as it means a loss of privacy to have a stranger living with you. 
There are other options such as grandparents and babysitter. However, this depends on where the grandparents and babysitters are staying, and it may be quite a long journey to bring your child to their houses if they are not staying near you.
Childcare centres however can be a good option to consider. For preschools such as
NTUC First Campus’ My First Skool, their extensive network of 145 centres all over Singapore gives you the convenience and accessibility you need. With centres in North (Woodlands, Ang Mo Kio, Bishan), South (Telok Blangah & Bukit Merah), East (Tampines, Pasir Ris), West (Jurong, Clementi), North-East (Sengkang, Punggol) and even North-West (Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Panjang), there is definitely a centre that is near you. By cutting down on travelling time, you get to spend more time on other activities that you wish to pursue. 
2. Trained Educators and Care Givers

Photo Courtesy of My First Skool
As part of ECDA regulation, all teachers in childcare centre are trained and will need to have a Certificate in Infant or Diploma in Early Childhood Care. Thus, you can be assured that your child is being taken care by trained professionals. Besides taking care of your children, early childhood professionals are also trained to nurture and develop your child holistically. For some preschools such as My First Skool, their teachers have been
awarded numerous accolades such as ECDA Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Development, and MOE Awards such as Outstanding Pre-School Chinese Teacher Award (Outstanding Award) etc.
On the other hand, domestic helpers or babysitters might not be trained professionally and may not possess the right expertise to take care of your child. 

3. Curriculum and Learning Environment

Photo Courtesy of My First Skool

Grandparents are great when it comes to taking care of their own grandchildren, however, they provide more custodial care and may not be able to stimulate the child’s learning much. Likewise, it’s the same for domestic helpers and babysitters.
If you wish to kick start your child’s learning journey early, then sending them to a preschool would be ideal. For My First Skool, their
relationships-based curriculum (0-3 years old) is proven to improve focus and engagement of children by building strong and nurturing relationships between teacher and child. For young children, it is important for them to feel secured and attached to the teacher before learning can take place. For older children, their Skool-Ready© programme helps to prepare them for primary school and beyond. Both the 0-3 and 4-6 years old programmes are developed in accordance to ECDA’s Early Years Development Framework and Singapore Ministry of Education’s Nurturing Early Learners’ framework.  

Photo Courtesy of My First Skool

Besides academics, a preschool can provide an ideal environment for children to pick up important life skills such as independence and social skills. This environment may be harder to replicate for other care options. For instance, a domestic helper tends to do much of the routine activities for the children like helping them to keep their cutleries after meal. At My First Skool, ample opportunities are provided for children to develop independence. Their children learn to keep their own utensils away after every meal and older children are encouraged to serve food for younger children. 
In addition, their
learning environment is also set up in a conducive manner where children can feel free to explore safely and move around independently to complete certain tasks by themselves. The cubby holes are set up at the children’s height, so that they can keep their own bags. 

4. Cost

Photo Courtesy of My First Skool
Lastly, cost is an important consideration for the various childcare options. If you have parental support, grandparent is definitely the cheapest childcare option. For a babysitter, the options are limited, and they can range from $600 to $1,500 per month. 
With the Covid-19 situation, there are fewer domestic helpers in the market and the costs to bring them in has increased due to having to take the Covid-19 swab test upon arrival and after their 7-14 days Stay Home Notice which costs up to $500 (
For more details, visit MOM’s website here).
The fees of a childcare centre varies from $720 to $2,200 a month (before subsidies). At My First Skool, their
fees are capped at $720 a month and you’ll only need to pay $420 (after working mother’s subsidy and before GST). Additional subsidies will also kick in depending on the family’s household income. You can read more here
There are pros and cons for each of the childcare options listed above and we hope that the above factors are beneficial to help you on deciding the ideal childcare option that best suits your needs. 

Enquire or Register with NTUC First Campus' My First Skool now!
The above article is brought to you by
NTUC First Campus' My First Skool.

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