Modernity has revolutionized many things, including childcare. Traditional societies allowed the extended family to cater for children born in it. Mothers could stay at home to take care of the children while fathers went out to work. This is no longer the case. Single parent families are on the rise and families are moving away from their extended families to look for work. Reliable childcare is therefore necessary and parents in Singapore need to be aware of the options available to them.
One child care centre in Singapore that meets these preferences is Chiltern House preschool. They nurture your child’s confidence and independence, and also structure their programme to ready your child for primary school. Hence if you are serious about your child’s education, you should consider Chiltern House.
Which type of facility is best for your child
There are three main categories of childcare facilities. The choice of each depends on various factors like age of the child, the cost of the facility and the services that you expect from the facility.
If you are not comfortable leaving your child in an environment different from home, then you can choose to hire a nanny. If the services you want include the child getting some formal education, then pre-school and childcare facilities are the way to go. Other facilities allow you to go to work with your baby, which has numerous benefits for both mother and baby.
According to The Expat Team, the rates for taking care of your child while you are at work can vary by quite a bit. They write:
“There are 3 types of childcare available to you in Singapore, which are:
Pre-school or Childcare centres
Depending on whether you opt for a full-day or half-day childcare programme and how young your child is, the average cost of full-day infant childcare is about SGD 1.5k a month.
Babysitters or Nannies
There are freelance babysitters and nannies and there are live-in nannies (usually foreign workers). Freelancers can cost up to SGD 900 a month while live-in nannies can start from as low as SGD 1.5k a month.
Working at a child-friendly office or co-working space
Rates depending on your working arrangement—if your company is working in an office where brings your own children is allowed or if there’s a playpen in it, then you’re basically paying nothing extra. Otherwise, you may have to pay for the cost of working in a co-working space.”
Read more here.
How Do You Distinguish Between a Pre-school, Kindergarten and Childcare Centre
It is important that a parent understands the distinctive features of these facilities. You do not want to enroll a child who ought to be in a child care facility in a pre-school facility.
It is important that you consider the needs that you want to be met by your facility of choice. The age criterion is especially very critical as it determines a child’s entry point into the formal system of education. You do not want your child to miss out on this by putting him/her in the wrong facility. The educational approaches are also different. It is important to know beforehand what educational approach you would want for your child.
If you enroll a younger child in a facility meant for older children, it will mean that the institution will not have the ability to meet the needs of your child. For example, a child who needs to take a nap will suffer if placed in an institution that does not have facilities for such.
“To start, know that in Singapore, any institution that provides early childhood care and education services is considered a preschool. As such, child care centres and kindergartens are both considered preschools; however, each caters to different needs and varies in education approaches. When it comes to choosing a child care centre or kindergartens in Singapore, note these main differences:
Enrolment in child care centres is open for children aged 18 months to 6 years old, but some child care centres also provide infant care for children 2 months and up. Kindergartens only accept students between the ages of 3 to 6 years old.
In short, if your child is younger than three but you want him/her to go to school already, then a child care centre is your option.” Read more here.
It is also critical to consider the affordability of a facility so that you don’t end up bearing an unmanageable financial burden. Confirm whether you qualify for government subsidies.
How much Do These facilities Cost?
Various facilities accommodate the financial capabilities of different Singapore parents. Some facilities are costly while others are more pocket-friendly. The cost of a facility is dependent on several variables.
A government facility is more affordable than a private one. Full day or half day arrangements have further implications on the cost.
It is important to consider the long-term financial implications of childcare. Consider whether you are getting value for money. Remember you have other financial obligations besides childcare. It should not cost an arm and a leg. Expensive does not always imply better. Ask whether it is possible to get similar services elsewhere at cheaper rates.
The Asian Parent writes:
“1. Is it really worth it to send your child to private childcare centres that cost more than $2,000 per month?
What if you knew that saving the difference of $1,000 per month over a 3-year period (for instance when your child is 3-6 years old) and compounding these savings over time at a modest rate of 2.5% p.a. would pay for your child’s entire university fees?
Wait, how can this be?
Currently, tuition fees for the vast majority of university courses at NUS costs under $9,000 per annum (yes, lower than childcare fees). Factoring in an inflation rate of 2% p.a., and assuming a 4-year course, your 3-year old child’s university tuition fees would cost $49,420 in 16 years’ time.”
Read more here.
In conclusion, childcare needs to be well planned and thought out. The wrong choices can have serious negative implications for a child’s life. Ensure that the childcare plan you take is affordable and does not affect your long-term financial goals. Leaving your child with a friend or a relative is a better choice if it works for you.