Differentiating Childcare, Preschools & Enrichment Programs

Looking for that infant/childcare, pre-school or student care with caring teachers or enrichments? Share your findings here.

Differentiating Childcare, Preschools & Enrichment Programs

Postby ganchong » Mon May 26, 2008 1:45 am

Dear all,

I am very stressed up in regards to consider whether to put my son for full day child care or continue to put him in 3 hourly programme till K2.

Anyone can share your valuable experiences with me? I am considering two schools which have good curriculums, 1 is schoolhouse by the bay, which offer flexi hours like 8am to 5pm, and St James Church Kindergarten, which is well known to all who live near harding road.
I like both as both schools expose the child to academic and creative aspects of learnings.

Many said St James Church Kindergarten is very good as it has a lots of programmes for the students but some do not like it as they think it is overrated, eg. 1 or 2 of them think that the teachers do not speak good standard English? Anyone has a view on this? ( I am particular about the teachers' command of the languages so that my son will pick up good fluency in English so as to make up of my own weakness in English :wink: )

Others who have sent children to childcare feel that their children is more independent and they learn more.

Personally I thought I want a full day arrangement for my son so that I can spend more time on my younger one. I also feel that in this way, my son will not get to watch so much TV. (I live with my in-laws who pratically switch on TV for 3/4 of the day. Very BAD :( ) but my husband think that St James will be fine as it is cheaper (one term $630) and ok curriculum and we can bring my son to other enrichments to keep him occuppied throughout the five days. ( Make sense instead of paying mthly of $800 - $900 for good full day programme )


I also have looked at Kinderland@SP which is more academic ( in a way is good to prepare for a child to handle more worksheets in our local primary school system) they do have optional enrichments like gym, music, speech and dramas..etc.

How is MMI? Does anyone have child graduated from MMI? Are they more ready for Pri 1 academically? Does he/she find diificult to fit in a local primary school? I have visited MMI at Claymore dun really like it as I find the Chinese language is not so strong. the lady who attended to me is very keen to "buy over" my son to go their school. ( a bit fake loh )
I would like to go and visit MMI at west coast. I have talked to the supervisor she sounded quite nice.


Would appreciate anyone could give me their valuable views :D

ganchong
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Re: full day childcare or 3 hourly programme for pre-schoole

Postby ChiefKiasu » Mon May 26, 2008 8:57 pm

Yes... choosing a childcare can be stressful especially if you are a full-time working parent.

My wife prefers to send my kid for half-day childcare only, because she thinks there is little activity in the afternoon for the kids and most of the time, the CCC just make them sleep or play or watch TV in the afternoon.

I'm a bit confused as to where you stay because:
Schoolhouse By The Bay - Katong area
St. James Church Kindy - Holland area
MMI Claymore - Orchard area
Kinderland@SP - Singapore Polytechnic
MMI @ West Coast - West Coast

So you must be pretty mobile!

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Postby ganchong » Mon May 26, 2008 10:57 pm

Hee...Hee...I stay around commonwealth area but i have looked at Schoolhouse by the bay 1 year back and I like the school very much as it has well rounded programme in the afternoon. I went back the second time to visit when I think I want a full day arrangement for my son. The only thing is the "logistics" and the ERP charges in the mornings. (Take ERP to Katong has to pass 2 ERP gantries, work out to be at least extra $80 per mth)

If I have made up my mind to send him for full day, my alternatives are Kinderland@SP (confident that they make sure the children readlly "study" and they are not air-con) or MMI at west coast (but yet to visit the place)

Have you heard about Agape little uni at NUS guild house?

Personally, do you think full day programme is more beneficial than just 3 hourly programme? Do you know that whether children go to full day programme are more prepared emotionally and academically to go to Pri 1?

Do you have any feedback about St James Church kindergarten? The only thing I am concerned is that they have quite high teacher student ratio. 1 teacher to 30 students.

ganchong
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Full Day Child Care or 3 hourly preschool

Postby caroline3sg » Tue May 27, 2008 9:16 am

Hi ganchong
Kinderland programme is very good. Not only enrichment programmes like music/movement, speech/drama, they also bring the children to 2 excusions in a quarter. In addition, they have writing to reinforce recognition of chinese characters. The only disadvantage is the food.

Comparing St. James with Kinderland, it loses out. St. James is only good at their concert and their character development where the pastor shares with the children. Academically wise, it is not enough as preparation to P1. The sch gives out a lot of application forms for outside enrichment programmes run by private organisation. The programmes are conducted in the sch compound in the afternoon.

caroline3sg
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Postby chixchix » Tue May 27, 2008 11:10 am

Hii my boys are in k1 and N1. The centre supervisor is really very nice ,,In fact I am one of those parents who regularly give feedbacks on what I am not happy about ..and they always quickly improve on things.

My older son joined MMI West Coast when he was 2 years olde, Initially he was those who just sat in a corner and dint want to play..but his teachers were really good.. he bacame independant and smarter.. now also ..

as for N1 ,the teacher's keep changing. I am not so happy with the current teacher as my younger boy who refuses to join in the activites... the teacher, Ms Kim,,feels that kids like that should be left alone...

its better you go down to the centre and take a look. In fact last year I attended the MMI graduation ceremony ..wow it was very standard and nice.. :D

chixchix
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Re: Full Day Child Care or 3 hourly preschool

Postby ganchong » Tue May 27, 2008 11:24 pm

caroline3sg wrote:Hi ganchong
Kinderland programme is very good. Not only enrichment programmes like music/movement, speech/drama, they also bring the children to 2 excusions in a quarter. In addition, they have writing to reinforce recognition of chinese characters. The only disadvantage is the food.

Comparing St. James with Kinderland, it loses out. St. James is only good at their concert and their character development where the pastor shares with the children. Academically wise, it is not enough as preparation to P1. The sch gives out a lot of application forms for outside enrichment programmes run by private organisation. The programmes are conducted in the sch compound in the afternoon.



Hi,

Thank you for your valuable comments.

Do you send your child to St James?
Most of the graduates' parents think St James is very good however, my galfriend who has a daughter in St James now, told me a few number of parents' there feel that it do not meet up to their expectations eg. "auntie" teacher, academically not strong, chinese standard drop...etc
I guess St James is more value for money as you get "colourful" programmes for the children as compared with other kindergartens. They also do have an impressive school facilities for a church kindergarten.

Or do you send your child to Kinderland?
I knew a boy who graduated from Kinderland, he has no problem handling P1 schoolworks, in fact, he tell his mother that the pace in school is slow as he know most of the things that teachers teach. (BTW, he do not go to a SAP school but standard of the school is not bad)
Though I am more confident the Kinderland's programmes will prepare the child academically but do they also instills a love for learning rather than just "feeding" knowledge?

I feel that a good pre-school programme, beside ensuring adequate academic drillings, it should also evoke curosity and motivation in a child to learn.

For me, I thought I have found the best pre-school for my child and enrolled him in Montessori For Children at newton but after all these months since he joined at the beginnings of the year, he always said no fun at all. This school, no doubt, is very good in discipline but there is no field trips for children attending regular days. I guess my son, being very sociable and adventurous, find it boring just to do the montessori works everyday and routine circle time. My hubby and me can really feel that he do not enjoy it though teachers' feedbacks that he is progressing well in class.

That is why, I am so stressed up as I must be sure about the next school he is going to shall have a good balance of academic and experiential learnings.

Hope you could share more of your experiences. Thank you.

ganchong
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Re: Full Day Child Care or 3 hourly preschool

Postby ChiefKiasu » Tue May 27, 2008 11:38 pm

caroline3sg wrote:Hi ganchong
Kinderland programme is very good. Not only enrichment programmes like music/movement, speech/drama, they also bring the children to 2 excusions in a quarter. In addition, they have writing to reinforce recognition of chinese characters. The only disadvantage is the food.

Comparing St. James with Kinderland, it loses out. St. James is only good at their concert and their character development where the pastor shares with the children. Academically wise, it is not enough as preparation to P1. The sch gives out a lot of application forms for outside enrichment programmes run by private organisation. The programmes are conducted in the sch compound in the afternoon.


Hi caroline3sg, Kinderland's food is bad?? Why do you say so? My daughter is currently in Kinderland Katong. I wasn't aware the food is not good. See here. It says 4 Kinderland centres were awarded the 2007 Healthy Eating award.

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Postby ganchong » Tue May 27, 2008 11:42 pm

chixchix wrote:Hii my boys are in k1 and N1. The centre supervisor is really very nice ,,In fact I am one of those parents who regularly give feedbacks on what I am not happy about ..and they always quickly improve on things.

My older son joined MMI West Coast when he was 2 years olde, Initially he was those who just sat in a corner and dint want to play..but his teachers were really good.. he bacame independant and smarter.. now also ..

as for N1 ,the teacher's keep changing. I am not so happy with the current teacher as my younger boy who refuses to join in the activites... the teacher, Ms Kim,,feels that kids like that should be left alone...

its better you go down to the centre and take a look. In fact last year I attended the MMI graduation ceremony ..wow it was very standard and nice.. :D


Hi, thank you for the info.

Do this centre ensure that the children can communicate in mandarin?
Are the Chinese teachers passionate about teaching Chinese? I feel it is hard to find CCC or pre-school have passionate Chinese teachers. Most of them look "bored" The one at Claymore is like that. When I ask her how she teach the children since most of the children are weak in Chinese and are not interested in Chinese, she looked puzzle and she replied that she will communicate in English.

Are your children in full day programmes, do you find that they learn more as compared to half day programme? Do you send your child to other enrichments too?

ganchong
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Full Day Child Care or 3 hourly preschool

Postby caroline3sg » Wed May 28, 2008 10:23 am

ganchong
My son was in Kinderland Childcare (next to Lot 1 in CCK). CCK has 2 Kinderland, one is kindergarten and one is child care, both at different locations but under same management.

After 2 yrs we withdrew him due to keep falling sick. Then switched to St. James. And that was my comparison between the 2. My boy learnt a lot of things from Kinderland but learns very little from St. James. When he goes for excursion brought by St. James, he is sure to have bruises or abrasions but he is very fine with Kinderland, and given the no. of outings plus park visits. He was also more disciplined with Kinderland. Kinderland is more tolerant of active children and they have a way to 'control' them. While St. James leave them on their own, perhaps it is just kindergarten (for teaching academics but not behavioural aspects).

You don't have to worry about Kinderland feeding information. I can see that the children enjoys what they learnt. They learn through play, excusions, art/craft, activities. It is the kindergarten that is forcing information onto the children.

Regarding calling of teachers as aunties in St. James, I don't know why, never bother to go and find out. I recently met my son's Maths teacher. She doesn't know 1/4 of circle is called quarter circle. She asked me 3 times if this is called as such in primary school. She called it a section. Any fraction is a section.

For Montessori, I don't have personal experience.


chiefkiasu
Don't believe the food they pasted on the wall would be the food the children eat. Try popping in during lunch time and see. You would be shocked.

caroline3sg
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Postby chixchix » Wed May 28, 2008 11:44 am

Hii Ganchong :)

My younger N1 boy is going 3x a week..as I dont want to stress him too much ..but the older one when he reached K1 ,,the teacher told me to put him into full day everyday....however ,in the afternoons ,they have Yoga, Speech & Drama,,,story times...

Mandarin : The teacher is from China and seems really patient and sweet,, but I cant comment much cos I am not a Chinese myself. So i dont really know what she's teaching. :cry:

The school does hold field trips,they have photo taking session,hhmmm what else..food is ok ..i think its not bad.main thing is that the staff there are the type that welcome parents feedback and work towards it.

chixchix
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