Choosing a pre-school: Attention Parents, Be careful!

The age of four to six, forms the most crucial part of your child’s physical and mental growth. And certainly, the childcare centre you choose for them plays a vital role in their life ahead. While some will consider location, others go for factors such as cost, availability and perhaps brand-name. On the other hand, some opt for pre-schools which offer their own cultural and religious values.

No, it is not that these aren’t valid considerations. But yes, these are not enough to judge a good foundation programme for your child’s temperament, needs and interests. Here, you need to understand the essentials of a dynamic curriculum and a respectful environment. Being a parent, it is essential to look for an environment which offers your child high-quality human interactions, with a stable group of teachers.

In Singapore, the national curriculum framework for the early childhood education sector is mostly private. However, back in 2012, the Ministry of Education (MOE) introduced Nurturing Early Learners: A Curriculum Framework for Kindergartens in Singapore, which was a revised version. Basically, this lists developmentally appropriate expectations, like it does not promote the use of academic worksheets. Rather, the emphasis is on being curious, active, playful, and competent learners and communicators.

So, here is a list of things you need to check in a quality pre-school curriculum and teaching:

  1. The programmes need to be in written form of curricular document, clearly stating the broad learning goals for all children for every year.
  2. Organizing time, space, children and materials should be there in the to-do list.
  3. The curriculum should be planned as per the needs of the enrolled children, evolving around their interests and expectations.

And, the activities should intentionally support and encourage the holistic development in different areas like perception, problem-solving, communication, creativity, reasoning, self-regulation, emotional security, social skills, etc.

For a better check, it is the responsibility of parents to visit pre-schools and have a better understanding of what goals and heights the teachers and principal plan to achieve. Remember, the time spent in these programme is highly significant. Thus, before deciding over the comfort level for your child, it is better to go for philosophy and practices of the particular pre-school!

Featured Image Credits: new pre school