Malaysian mum needs help finding kindy in Singapore

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

Malaysian mum needs help finding kindy in Singapore

Postby Leese » Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:46 pm

Hi everybody,

My family is relocating to Singapore this February and Aidan will turn 2 on 15 February. I plan to enter Aidan into kindergarten when he turns 3. We'll be living at Kovan Melody and we won't have a car so it would be great if I could find a good place that's not to far. I am a stay-at-home mum so the convenience, while not everything, will be very helpful as my maid only focuses on housework, not caring for Aidan. I would be really grateful to hear some suggestions so I can start researching! I've heard that Kinderland, Serangoon is pretty good. There's also a Catholic Kindergarten just behind Kovan Melody (which looks a little run down) but my priority is to ensure Aidan is taken care of and nurtured in an environment that's friendly and nurturing. Thanks in advance!

Leese
KiasuNewbie
KiasuNewbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:07 pm
Total Likes: 0


Postby toddles » Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:07 pm

Catholic Kindergarten is real popular with waiting lists! It's also quite affordable.

Perhaps you can read the relevant thread on Cath Kindy (do a search) and it'll tell you more...

toddles
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 1351
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:04 pm
Total Likes: 71


Thanks Toddles

Postby Leese » Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:23 pm

I think I need to search more because nothing much comes up when I google Catholic Kindergarten. I did call them up with questions and they sounded professional and nice.

Leese
KiasuNewbie
KiasuNewbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:07 pm
Total Likes: 0


Re: Malaysian mum needs help finding kindy in Singapore

Postby Dontjl » Wed May 11, 2011 5:21 pm

Leese, hv u found a kindy for your kid yet? I am moving to Kovan Rd in early July '11 and looking for kindy (N1) in the vicinity. Do u hv any info to share?

Dontjl
KiasuNewbie
KiasuNewbie
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:22 am
Total Likes: 0


Re: Malaysian mum needs help finding kindy in Singapore

Postby Leese » Wed May 11, 2011 11:49 pm

Hi Dontjl, I have enrolled Aidan into Schoolhouse by the Garden at Philips Avenue which is a short 15 minute walk away. They have a bus service too. It's however primarily a daycare centre so Aidan is enrolled for the half-day care. I only walk him to school by 9am though and the bus sends him back. The session for Aidan finishes at 12.30pm while the rest stay on to nap and continue with the curriculum after that.

There's Pat's Schoolhouse nearby as well (http://www.patschoolhouse.com/centres/p ... -serangoon). Some parents on a forum have said it's good in terms of teaching methods but some have also commented on the upkeep of the branch here at Serangoon.

I also checked out Kinderland (opposite Nex Shopping Mall at the Serangoon MRT station). I think it's a big chain of schools that's probably well-run but because of the size of the classes, "mass bathing" occurs. Several parents have also commented on how the school is too impersonal and focuses too much on fees as they complained about "rude" admin (http://www.kinderland.com.sg/index.php? ... Itemid=100).

Learning Vision has a good reputation too. I went to the branch at Grassroots Club which is the nearest one to us (Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8) but I didn't feel comfortable having Aidan go to a school inside a building like an office. After all he's so young (2years 3 months now) and should literally feel at home even while learning. There's another branch at Nanyang Polytech which is a few doors away from the Grassroots Club but that one was full (http://www.learningvision.com/)

I also checked out Catholic Kindergarten (we are Catholics). It's a huge school with large lawns and the admin I spoke to was warm (Brenda). This one's not daycare. There are 2 sessions - 8.00am till 11.15am, 11.15am till 2.30pm (if I'm not mistaken). They take kids from 3 yrs old onwards. At the time of inquiry, Aidan was just 2 years old. I plan to enroll him there when he reaches kindy stage as he seems happy at Schoolhouse by the Garden.

I think it depends on what you're looking for and how you want your child to thrive. Not to be dismissive or anything but I really believe that as far as curriculum goes, all schools are equal, if not almost on par. Every one is geared towards helping the child transition into P1 smoothly given how challenging P1 is. To me, the difference lies in how they teach, and how much they care.

Other than that, I look out for hygiene (there's a problem if the school keeps reporting high numbers of HFMD cases year on year for instance). I also look out for cosy environments with an outdoor area because Aidan is very outdoorsy by nature.

The only downside to Schoolhouse is that some of the teachers (possibly the playgroup ones) don't have a very strong command of written English. I've seen them teach the kids and spent a few days being with Aidan in his class and they are fine with spoken English! I tell myself there's no perfect school and that Aidan won't be affected until he's at the age where he has to learn to write and construct sentences.

Other than this "problem", the school's great for Aidan. It operates out of a bungalow - the interiors may look a bit "old" but it's clean - has a garden at the front where the outdoor toys are (including a pet turtle), as well as backyard where the kids engage in water and sand play. The kids all eat in the "kitchen". They have themes every term (this term it's plants) and they organise field trips to reinforce their lessons (so this time Aidan will be going to the Aero farm). And the menu is always serving up something nutritious yet varied. The best bit for me is the communications book. Teachers and parents communicate their concerns and observations through this book. I am sure they are not the only school that has this tool though. When Aidan is sick, the principal will sms me and ask how he is. When Aidan was going through the initial separation anxiety episodes, his class teachers would be extra nice and sweet to him (I know because I would stand outside the door and watch). There is also firmness though. I tihnk from N1 onwards, the teachers are more firm. I always encourage Aidan's teachers to be firm with him if he's rude or too aggressive. The teachers will incorporate your discipline methods at school if you request for it. As for fees, Kinderland was quite expensive I remember (above $1000). Learning Vision is also expensive (S$1250 if I can recall correctly) and no school bus service. Schoolhouse is S$710 (S$650 under the subsidy scheme for working mums).

I hope this helps. Aidan would be the biggest proof that Schoolhouse has got something right. He asks about playschool even when he's ill. And he'll spontaneously sing songs with Mandarin in it (which means he's absorbing!) My number is 81636533 if you need further clarification or even directions to the school.

All the best!
Leese

Leese
KiasuNewbie
KiasuNewbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:07 pm
Total Likes: 0



Re: Malaysian mum needs help finding kindy in Singapore

Postby Leese » Wed May 11, 2011 11:52 pm

Dontjl,

Forgot to add that Aidan's playgroup class is about 7 kids to one teacher and one assistant which is fine by me. I saw that the N1 class at Catholic Kindergarten was bigger - about 12 kids.

Leese
KiasuNewbie
KiasuNewbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:07 pm
Total Likes: 0



Return to Child Care, Kindergartens, Student Care