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).
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.
#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.
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
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
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
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.
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.