8 Things to Take Note of When Choosing a Preschool

Preschool students engaged in learning activities.

Among countless options for accredited preschools in Singapore, which one suits our kids best? How do we determine the true “best preschool” in town?

Now that your lovely kid has grown up and is ready to experience formal education, you may want to enrol them into the best preschool in town. While there are countless options for accredited preschools in Singapore, we still have to decide which school is the most suitable for our little sweetheart’s education.

This is especially true because there are a number of preschool programmes with different approaches to learning, such as Montessori, Reggio Emilia, play-based, and theory of multiple intelligences, to name just a few. We want our kids to have access to the best education tailored to their learning needs and preferences, so it’s crucial to pick the right preschool based on these aspects.

Aside from children’s learning styles, there are also a number of other considerations that you should take into account. We have listed eight things on the lookout to narrow down your preschool options in the following section.

1. School location

Amid the busy schedule and loads of paperwork, working parents surely won’t want to miss out on their kids’ learning development. This becomes one of many reasons for parents to choose the nearest preschool or childcare centre location from their workplace or home.

By choosing a nearby school, busy parents can check on their kids quite easily during lunch breaks or whenever they have pockets of time at work. It will also make dropping your kids off and picking them up a hassle-free routine.

Some preschools like Carpe Diem and EtonHouse International Pre-School have multiple campuses across Singapore, so you can simply check out their website to find the nearest centre to your workplace or house.


2. Fees

While preschool can be costly, you can save more money by setting a budget for your precious one. Preschool fees in Singapore vary from around SGD700 per month to over SGD2,000 per month. Some schools also offer annual, semesterly, weekly, and even daily payment schemes, so try looking for a school whose fee is within your budget range, while offering the most comfortable payment scheme.

You also have to keep in mind that the programmes you choose may affect the fees to be paid. You can enjoy subsidies offered by some schools for full-day and half-day programmes. On top of that, our government gives financial help with fees and other school expenses for eligible Singapore citizens, so you may check out these subsidy schemes as well.

Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse is one of the licensed childcare centres in Singapore available for government subsidies for childcare and infant care. Refer to their website for the details of the subsidies that you qualify for.

3. School Accreditation

Enroll your kids on a preschool accredited under the Singapore Preschool Accreditation Framework (SPARK) mark to ensure that they study at a quality, supervised preschool in Singapore. For the past 30 years, Shaws Preschool have offered premium early childhood education that observes SPARK guidelines and is premised on learning through play and adventure, so try to check out their preschool programs.

4. Values

Aside from the school accreditation, it’s important to pick a preschool that best reflects your family values. Enquire from the school about the core values and how they promote things like empathy, politeness, discipline, good conflict management, and so on.

If you want to instill certain religious values in your little ones, opt for a school with religious affiliation, such as Little Shepherds’ Schoolhouse which is associated with the Catholic Church.

5. Teaching methods and preschool curriculum

Upon your research on finding the best preschool in Singapore, you may be confused with some pedagogical terms like the Reggio-Emilia approach, inquiry-based learning, play-based learning, and so on. It is important to understand what these methods truly cater to your children. Here are some popular teaching methods implemented by preschools in Singapore.

  • Inquiry-based learning: An active learning process that engages students in problem-solving and experiential learning by posing questions, problems or scenarios.
  • The Reggio-Emilia approach: A student-centred and constructivist self-guided curriculum that promotes experiential learning which also involves parents and the community as essential components to their learning process.
  • Play-based learning or learning through play: An approach where a child can learn to make sense of the world around them through play.
  • Montessori: A teaching method based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play.

6. School environment

At the end of the day, it’s the child who is going to school, not the parents. Make sure your kid tags along when you’re visiting the preschool and see how he responds upon looking around and interacting with the educators, as well as the overall school environment.

While checking out the classrooms, playthings, and overall facilities is crucial, you and your kid may also want to watch how the learning process takes place. Don’t forget to talk with your little one and ask their opinions on what they’ve seen so far.

7. Duration and schedule

Schools in Singapore offer a few options when it comes to learning duration and schedules such as half or full-day services. Determine which type of schedule that works best for your child at the moment. You may want to choose a half-day option to familiarize your child with a new classroom setting or take the full-day programs for bigger kids with no separation issues.

Parents can also go with another flexible time frame option offered by some schools. For instance, Invictus International Preschool has flexible 2,3, or 5 days a week program to choose from.

8. Student-teacher ratio

It’s better to have a smaller class size to promote interactions between students and teachers, so you can stick to The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) requirements when it comes to determining the best student-teacher ratio.

According to the ECDA, it’s advised to have 25 children to 1 teacher for Kindergarten 2 classes, and 20 children to 1 teacher for Kindergarten 1 classes. Some schools like XCL World Academy even go smaller by limiting the number of students in each class to only 14 in the Nursery and 16 in Kindergarten.

Even after considering some of these essential aspects, you may still find difficulties in whittling down your options. Thus, you can check out GoCompare.sg for the lists of preschools in Singapore, complete with the school pricing, strong points, and contact information for a hassle-free experience in deciding on the best education provider for your precious child.