We have consolidated a list of most popular preschools in Singapore for mamas and papas!
Choosing a quality preschool or childcare centre for your child is an important decision as early childhood education plays a significant role in setting a child’s foundation for learning in his or her early years. Parents are investing much time and care into selecting the top childcare centres in Singapore so as to ensure that their children are being entrusted to educators who will provide the care and educational experiences that will give their children the best start in life.
The Importance of Early Childhood Education
The early years of a child are crucial to his or her long-term development. This is the critical period where the brain structures are developing and are primed to learn a wide variety of skills. The effects of quality early childhood education are wide-ranging and far-reaching. A child who has benefited from a stimulating and caring environment in his or her earliest years can enter school with as much as a two-year advantage compared to a peer who did not have access to such a rich environment. Research has also shown that the quality of a child’s care and educational experiences in his or her early years not only affects his or her lifelong educational and career outcomes, relationships, but also mental and physical health!
Types of Preschools in Singapore
The process of finding a suitable preschool option for your child can be mind-boggling. Here are the options in a nutshelf:
While “kindergarten” is often used interchangeably with “preschool” to broadly refer to any early years setting, a kinder programme typically refers to an educational programme for children in their two years (Kindergarten 1 and Kindergarten 2) before beginning primary school, although many kindergartens also admit kids from 3 years old nowadays. Unlike childcare centres, kindergartens only operate afew hours a day, skipping lunchtimes and naptimes inorder to condense learning hours. There are a variety of kindergartens available, including the state-run MOE Kindergartens, anchor operators such as NTUC’s My First Skool and PAP Community Foundation’s Sparkletots, and private kindergartens offering programmes based on their own or Montessori, Reggio Emilia and Waldorf pedagogies, all regulated by the Ministry of Education in Singapore.
2. Child Care Centres
Child care centres, on the other hand, are regulated by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) and can serve a wider age range of young children. Most centres cater to children from 18 months and above. Child care centres are required to be open all day, from 7am to 7pm. Some may even be open on Saturdays. Child care centres are required to provide two meals a day, hence this option often serve working parents well.
3. Infant Care Centres
Many child care centres run specialized programmes for infants and young toddlers between 2 and 18 months of age; most infant care providers accept infants as young as 4 months old. Infant care centres also typically feature a lower educator-to-child ratio, and government subsidies are available for all families of children in infant care who are Singapore citizens.
Playgroups tend to be short 1.5 hours to 2 hours programmes offering young children the opportunity to develop social skills through play in group settings and explore niche activities offered by specific playgroups. Examples include musical play, social interaction over food, field trips and art. Playgroups usually cater to infants and toddlers, but some programmes are also designed for preschool-age children too.
Top Child Care Centres in Singapore
1. Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse
BibiNogs is a specialist bilingual and Chinese language preschool offering children rich language experiences through immersion in bilingual and pure Mandarin classrooms. They have 3 branches in Bukit Timah and East Coast and offer programmes for infants, toddlers and preschool-age children.
Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse offers an inquiry-based pedagogy that aims to balance play and school-readiness. It has 9 outlets across the island and offers both infant care and child care programmes.
What makes Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse unique
Kiddiwinkie has a unique curriculum based on the principles of constructivism, ecological systems theory and neuroscience. Their inquiry-based approach allows children to learn through immersive discovery experiences that involve hands-on participation and follows children’s curiosity. They believe that these stimulating and meaningful experiences, conducted in a warm and nurturing environment, are key to the development of children. Believing that learning goes beyond the classroom, Kiddiwinkie provides opportunities for outdoor play and exploration too, as most of their centres feature an outdoor play area.
Phone Number: 6463 3465
2. Chiltern House Preschool
Chiltern House Preschool was established in response to parents’ demand for a quality preschool with similar values to Julia Gabriel Centre. Today, there are four branches in Singapore: Chiltern House Mountbatten, East Coast, Thomson and Turf Club Road. Believing strongly in offering a personalised education, this childcare centre operates a small educator-to-student ratio, just one aspect of their approach that helps to develop children holistically, preparing them for both school and life.
What makes Chiltern House Preschool unique
Over two decades, Chiltern House Preschool has applied an in-house enquiry-based teaching and learning philosophy called EduDrama®. EduDrama helps develop the whole child by combining drama and play within a positive and nurturing environment. This approach enhances children’s wellbeing, supports their creativity and curiosity, builds strong communication skills and enhances self-confidence.
Phone Number: 6346 6130
3. Chengzhu Mandarin Kindergarten
Besides a variety of Mandarin enrichment programmes for children (6 months to 12 years), Chengzhu also runs Chengzhu Mandarin Kindergarten. This is the perfect preschool choice for parents keen to ensure their children experience optimum Mandarin immersion throughout the week, in the most enjoyable and positive ways. The school’s four-hour programme runs five days a week, with students in K1 and K2 receiving one hour of dedicated English tuition each day. The broad curriculum incorporates drama, music, movement, literature, role play, art, maths and science, providing children with meaningful opportunities to develop and hone their language and numeracy skills, scientific thinking and social and emotional experiences.
What makes Chengzhu Mandarin Kindergarten unique
Chengzhu Mandarin Kindergarten immerses children fully within a rich Chinese cultural experience from the moment they walk through the doors. Teachers conduct every activity in Mandarin from N1 and above (with the exception of a one hour English class for K1 and K2 students). Using every aspect of the environment as an inspirational learning opportunity - from the Chinese-inspired interiors to the extensive collection of quality literature in their unique children’s library, the StoryHouse - children excel at Chengzhu Mandarin Kindergarten.
Phone Number: 6737 5348
Kinderland is a leading early childcare and education provider in the region – Singapore, China, Malaysia, Indoneasia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Cambodia. With 15 branches across Singapore, Kinderland provides care and education programmes for infants and toddlers, and preschool-age children. Backed by more than four decades of research, Kinderland’s unique curriculum develops every child to be Curious, Creative, Capable, Confident, Caring and Communicative.
What makes Kinderland unique
Kinderland’s curriculum has a unique emphasis on music-infused curriculum to promote literacy and cognitive development and nurture confidence in young children. Professional and certified music teachers support children in learning to play the keyboard and percussion instruments and provide training in solfege singing and rhythm. Besides its Children Music Programme, Kinderland also offers a holistic curriculum including KinderFit, Literacy Through I.T, S.T.R.E.A.M, Coding, Character Development and more to develop the foundation and mindset of global citizens with a heart.
Phone Number: 6881 8818
What makes BibiNogs unique
BibiNogs’ BE curriculum, which aims to provide holistic learning for children in the various domains of cognitive development, language skills, motor skills, social-emotional skills, and creativity and the arts within a bilingual environment. The curriculum aims to groom children to be confident and expressive, kind and considerate, and with the ability to appreciate global cultures so that they are ready for a globalized, 21st century world.
Phone Number: 6466 4167/8800 7711 (BibiNogs Kids Academy); 6466 5357/8800 6633
(BibiNogs Preschool King Albert); 6957 6900/8915 5630 (BibNogs@Tides)
6. Lorna Whiston Preschool
Lorna Whiston Preschools’ focus is to provide a positive early learning experiences that encourage children to explore and discover, question and create, and that instil in them a lifelong love of learning. Our curriculum offering remains unique, with Lorna Whiston Preschools being highly regarded for our signature Bilingual Immersion Programme, Individual Reading Programme, and afternoon Enrichment Programmes.
What makes Lorna Whiston Preschools unique
At Lorna Whiston Preschools, we offer a stimulating, positive and nurturing learning environment which we know is the key to creating happy, motivated children who are eager to learning. By providing an interactive learning environment, children develop the confidence to explore and discover, question and create. This positive hands-on approach to learning is crucial in the formative years, when children’s first experiences at school can shape their whole future attitude towards learning.
Phone Number: 6871 8844