Tips on Choosing a Preschool for Your Child

[ADV] Choosing a childcare centre for your child is always a daunting task. I remember being really clueless about the whole process and eventually ended up going with gut feel.

Here’s my little preschooler, Daniel. He’s 2.5 years old now, eager to learn, and always ready for adventure. I love the enthusiasm he has for everything (ok well, except maybe how he hates sleeping).

Tips on Choosing a Preschool for Your Child

When choosing a childcare centre for him, I went to quite a few preschools near my house and asked heaps of questions to help me make an informed decision. After the experience I went through, here’s some of my personal tips for choosing a preschool centre for your child.

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#1: Level Of Parent Engagement

This is one of the more important ones. Make sure you find out exactly how and how often teachers will communicate to you about your child’s progress in school.

Some communicate via Whatsapp/Facebook/notebook, and some like My First Skool has a dedicated parent portal where parents can view announcements, the centre’s calendar of events, download documents, and view pictures or videos of their child participating in class activities. I really like that My First Skool advocates having the parents involved in their school activities.

#2: Nutrition

I am big on giving nutritional food for my kid and am wary of preschools that feed snacks or food with high sugar content. Whether or not this is the same for you, do ask to see the menu and see if it’s something you and your child would be comfortable with. Do they encourage healthy eating habits and offer a meal plan that covers all the food groups?

Did I also mention that My First Skool’s menu is in line with Health Promotion Board as well? Meaning, they provide healthier food options and also promote healthy eating habits.

#3: Stimulating Curriculum

Tips on Choosing a Preschool for Your Child

A well-planned, purposeful curriculum is the key difference between what your child can do/learn at home versus in a preschool. Take note of the school’s approach towards teaching. Do kids have time to play and explore? Are they challenged to solve problems and given opportunities to apply what they learn?

Daniel is huge on physical activities, dance & music and outdoor play so when evaluating preschools, I’d tend to lean towards schools which offer more of what he’s interested in.

I noticed that My First Skool utilises new and innovative ways to engage children. Through the use of real-life scenarios, they teach problem-solving concepts and the use of money. It’s especially important to ensure that learning is fun yet relatable so that your kids can cultivate learning habits from a young age.

#4: Competent and Caring Teachers

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Good teachers are angels in disguise. Your young impressionable child needs someone nurturing to be his friend, caregiver, confidant, and mentor all in one.  They listen to the children, help build their confidence, control a whole bunch of small kids efficiently, all while keeping the children safe and parents involved.

#5: Safe & Conducive Learning Environment

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Last but not least, make sure to take a tour of the preschool that you are considering.

Beyond the typical safety measures and the cleanliness level, do ask about how the preschool is designed to maximise your child’s learning journey in his/her early years education. Do check out the facilities and the variety of age-appropriate toys and learning materials available to your child.

Besides the above, here are a few more things that you should also consider when choosing a childcare centre:

  • Community Involvement: They work closely with the community and participate in their events like litter picking, celebration performances (Mid-Autumn festival, National Day etc), tree planting etc. This helps your child to be more aware of his community and become a more concerned citizen who is rooted to Singapore. It also helps to develop his/her civic consciousness, be more informative and to take a more active role in bettering the lives of others around him/her.
  • Location: This is a practical consideration. In most childcare centres, you must pick your child up before 7pm. If you work, it would be better to place your child in a childcare near office. My First Skool has over 120 pre-schools in Singapore! So I’m sure you’ll be able to find a suitable preschool near you for your child!
  • Disciplinary techniques:  You’ll want to know whether the centre’s approach to disciplining and techniques are consistent with your own. Incidences of verbal and emotional abuse are rare but it pays to ask whatever you can before committing.

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This post is sponsored by My First Skool. 

My First Skool has won awards for ECDA Awards for Excellence in Early Childhood Development. The awards recognise centres that have excelled in teaching and learning; as well as the innovative practices of early childhood professionals.

If you are like me and want the best for your child, do check out your nearest My First Skool’s preschool!

Call 6509 7887 or visit www.myfirstskool.com to find out more.

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14 Comments

  1. September 16, 2016 / 3:04 am

    Choosing a facility with caring teachers is a good idea. That way it makes the whole atmosphere a happy one. You won’t have to worry about leaving your child with someone who is unkind and uncaring. That will just make the experience miserable for your child.

  2. November 12, 2016 / 9:35 am

    My nephew is going to need to start going to preschool soon. So, I like that you talked about how you should think about the location of the school. It does seem like a good thing for my sister to think about after all she will have to drop off and pick up him from the school.

    • Ju Ann
      November 24, 2016 / 1:45 pm

      Yes its a great idea. I thought about it but I work too far from office and the thought of having to squeeze with my toddler every morning with the morning rush crowd is just too much to bear.

  3. Janney Marin
    March 10, 2017 / 7:05 pm

    Thank you for the tips. Private is always the better option for preschool education as it provides a better organized and focused learning experience for your child. Here’s something I wrote for finding the best private preschool for children – http://bit.ly/2nmgAdH

  4. Andy S
    March 15, 2017 / 1:29 pm

    Thanks for the tips! The choice of preschool has a huge role in a child’s future and us parents should be wise about the decision.

    • Ju Ann
      August 17, 2017 / 5:56 pm

      exactly! 🙂

  5. April 6, 2017 / 1:44 am

    That’s a good point you make about how the best teachers are those that listen, build, and control effectively. I’ve heard that it’s important to try and talk with parents who have children that have previously attended the preschool to be able to ask them about their experiences. I’ll be sure to remember all these great tips as I try to find the perfect preschool for our little toddler to start at in the fall.

  6. April 7, 2017 / 1:46 am

    My wife and I have been thinking about where we will take our daughter to preschool, and we wanted to know how to choose the right one. I really like that you say to look at the food they are going to be giving your child. It would be nice to know that they are going to give your child the best.

  7. April 8, 2017 / 4:45 am

    Thank you for talking about considering the location when looking for the best preschool for your child. It makes sense that doing this can help you make sure you can get to them in an emergency and that you can trust them. I would want to find a place where my son can be safe and where he can learn from a great curriculum.

    • Ju Ann
      August 17, 2017 / 5:56 pm

      🙂 Thanks for dropping by John! 🙂 I hope you have found the perfect preschool for your child!

  8. Marcus Coons
    July 15, 2017 / 4:24 am

    I loved when you talked about how it is important to visit the preschool you are planning to send your child to and see about the safety and learning curriculums they offer. It makes sense that taking the time to do this can help you know if they are the best ones for the type of learning your child does. Personally, I would want to make sure I find a preschool that has great security and that is close to home so I can pick up my child with easy on my way from work.

    • Ju Ann
      August 17, 2017 / 5:55 pm

      Yes security and proximity is impt too! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your POV

  9. August 16, 2017 / 5:53 am

    I love how you mention that it would be a great idea to ask for the menu of whatever day care you are considering for your child. My little girl is going to be starting preschool this next year and I want to make sure that whatever program we choose has the best for her, including the food. I will definitely want to make sure that whatever preschool she goes to has great nutritional food for her to snack on.

    • Ju Ann
      August 17, 2017 / 5:55 pm

      Tats right 🙂 Nutrition plays a big part of their growing up years 🙂

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