Finding the Right Preschool

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For mothers like us with preschool-aged children, it can be difficult to decide whether to place our children in a pre-school to prepare them for kindergarten. For working mothers, it seems practical to send their children to preschool during work hours. For stay-at-home mothers, they may have different opinions. Whatever it is, searching and finding the most appropriate preschool can be a daunting task.  

For me, I went through this situation last year, when my son was 2+ years old. I couldn’t decide whether I should send him to preschool when he turns 3. By the time I finally decided to do so, I missed out big time. When I called various preschools around Sept last year, I found out that they were mostly full for year 2010 intake.

 

I couldn’t believe it. It’s only preschool! How could they take so seriously the enrollment of a 2-3 years old toddler? Some of the schools have waiting list, with more than 20 parents on the list. We had no choice but to put ourselves in waiting list and hope for miracle to happen. At the end, we managed to secure a place for our son in one of the preschool that we’ve shortlisted. We’re indeed lucky.

 

Now that it’s over, we’re so relieved that we found the right preschool and our son is doing fine at school. It can be an exhausting and time-consuming process, but at the end of the day, when we see our children loving his school, it’s all worth our hard works and efforts.

 

Today, I would like to share what I learned from my experience, and hopefully this will help you to plan for this process better.

 

1.   Plan early and ahead

You need to start contacting the various preschools of your choice way before you decide whether it’s time for your children to start preschool. Remember – enrollment periods for these preschools are many months in advance. You may end up in the waiting list if you missed the enrollment periods.

 

2.   Define your requirements

What you want your little one to achieve in preschool – learning the ABCs, reading and writing early, or simply to allow him/her to gain more social independence? What type of program or curriculum that you are looking for? Besides the curriculum, you also need to examine the costs, locations and reviews on the preschool by talking to your friends, neighbours or simply checking from the internet or forums.

 

Here are some useful websites that you can use as a reference:

 

MOE Kindergarten Profile – you can check the total enrollment and monthly fees.

 

MumCentre Preschool Locator – you can find preschools near your home or workplace by postal code or keyword.     

 

Directory Listing of Kindergartens in Singapore from KiasuParents.com – you can search by name or address.    

       

3.   Start your search and visit the preschool in person

First of all, call up the preschool to inform them about your visit. If possible, bring your child along during class time (if they allow). See how your child react during the visit and what’s his/her impression of the school. Talk to the teacher or principal to understand the school curriculum. After the visit, ask your child if he/she likes the school, the classroom, the teachers or the children in the school. Their feedback is the most important!

 

4.   Weigh all the options and make your final decision

This is the most critical step. Think about the curriculum, costs, school hours, logistics issues i.e. sending your child to and from school, location, the food provided by the preschool, teacher-to-student ratio, environment issues i.e. whether it is air-conditioned etc.

 

5.   Actual registration

Make your registration with the preschool once you’ve decided. You are required to pay a deposit during the registration. The deposit is refundable (most of the time) but please check on the terms and conditions.

 

Once you have registered your child, you can start to gradually prepare him/her for the first day of school. Finally, be proud and confident with your choice! You certainly deserve a big pat on your back for spending so much effort in this activity. Even if you finally decide that your child is not ready for preschool, be assured that your research and consideration is what led you to the right decision.

 

 

Note: This article is cross-posted from my personal blog at OurLittleSmarties.com.

 

 

 

Directory Listing of Kindergartens in Singapore from KiasuParents.com – you can search by name and address. 

 




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The Prescho0lers at Jalan Tani or Camberley Pre-school at Kovang

Dear all,

 

Kindly give me some comments or advise about the above the preschool. I am intend to sent my gal to childcare centre next year.

 

Thanks,

Sky

x1ujuan | Mon, 01/07/2013 - 8:51am

very helpful

 thanks for sharing.

csa | Thu, 01/03/2012 - 11:55am

Thanks for sharing :)

Thanks for sharing :)

WCW | Thu, 09/06/2011 - 4:21pm

Thanks for sharing !!!

Thanks for sharing ... it is really good infor !

I am in the midst of searching  and not to sure what are the things to look out for ?

Cheyenne | Mon, 13/09/2010 - 9:23am

tks for sharing

tks for sharing

amylqf | Wed, 04/08/2010 - 4:40pm

Very well written

Thanks for sharing this info I am also in midst of finding preschool for my son and this comes as just in time...

LKVM | Tue, 03/08/2010 - 10:21am

Thank you for sharing. DH

Thank you for sharing.

DH and I are convinced (for now) to keep DD at home for as long as we can until kindergarten registration. But many of our friends beg to differ. As DD is just 9 months young, we shall wait and see if we change our minds.

duriz | Mon, 02/08/2010 - 12:28pm