Preschool In Singapore

Singaporeans are spoiled for choice when it comes to Preschool education, with approximately 1,800 Preschool options, from full-day child care centres to kindergartens.

The Preschool Education Landscape Infographic is designed to provide a landscape perspective of Singapore Early Childhood Education which encompasses the following:

  • the difference between child care centres and kindergarten
  • number of infant care centres, child care centres and kindergarten
  • the statistical view of Singapore Preschool operators and education groups
  • top questions asked by parents when considering Preschool options in Singapore

Preschool Enrolment Statistics Singapore 2017

Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Q1 2017
Total no. of child care centres 1,016 1,083 1,143 1,256 1,342 1,366
Total no. of child care centre places 92,779 101,597 109,694 123,327 137,278 141,197
Total Enrolment 75,530 73,852 83,928 95,414 103,221 102,926
Enrolment in full-day programme 65,826 65,650 75,518 86,898 95,357 95,425

Preschool Fees in Singapore For 2017

Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Average full-day fees $850 $923 $953 $999 $1,014 $1,029
Median full-day fees $750 $830 $850 $900 $856 $856

Key Statistics For Preschool Education in Singapore

  • More than 99% of incoming primary one students aged 6 years attend at least 1 year of Preschool  in Singapore (Source: LIEN Foundation)
  • As of May 2017, there are 1,366 child care centres and 495 Kindergartens in Singapore (Source: ECDA/MSF)
  • Jurong West high the highest number of enrolment followed by Sengkang (Source: ECDA)
  • Sengkang has 90 Child Care Centres, the highest among all the areas, followed by Jurong West and Woodlands with 82 Child Care Centres respectatively (Source: ECDA)
  • S$360 million provided in subsidies to 79,000 children in infant and child care (Source: ECDA)
  • By 2017, one in two children aged 18 months to 6 years will have a child care place (Source: ECDA)
  • The average fees of a full-day Child Care Programme is about $1,029 [Q1 2017] (Source: ECDA)

Different Types of Preschool Programmes In Singapore

Once you’ve decided to send your child to a preschool, a world of choice opens up to you! Singapore is home to a huge diversity of childcare centres, playgroups and kindergartens that suit a wide range of parent and child needs. 

Quality preschool will offer your child a stimulating, nurturing environment which should help prepare them for school and to reach his or her full potential.

Infant care
By and large, infant care services cater for infants from 2 months to 18 months. One of the things that new parents tend to stress over, is finding a trustworthy infant care centre for their precious bundle of joy.

Playgroup
Playgroups are exactly what they sound like – they consist of groups of children playing together, like a regular playdate. Less structured than childcare and preschool, playgroups are a good way of easing children into a foreign environment without their parents so they can work on their interaction and social skills before enrolling in preschool or kindergarten.

Childcare
Though there are distinctions between them in other countries, childcare centres and preschools are pretty much the same thing in Singapore. They take in children from the ages of 18 months to 6 years, their programmes are longer than kindergartens’, the curriculum is usually split between work and play, and they often provide full meals and baths as well. Therefore, childcare is a great option for parents with full-time jobs and who have no guardian or babysitter during the day.

Kindergarten
Kindergartens, on the other hand, offer shorter, structured curricula of about 3-4 hours per day, and take in older children (between 4-6 years old). Programmes are generally academia-focused, with the end goal of preparing children for the rigours of formal education.

Childcare Operators Programme

Anchor Operators (AOP)

According to ECDA, there are five childcare chains who receive government subsidies and offer discounted rates for children attending their child care and infant care programmes.

The anchor operators must provide affordable preschool places, with school fees capped at S$720 for a full-day childcare programme and S$160 for kindergartens.

  • NTUC First Campus’s My First Skool
  • PAP Community Foundation’s Sparkletots
  • Metropolitan YMCA’s MY World Preschool
  • CreStar’s Skool4kidz
  • EtonHouse’s E-bridge Pre-School

Partner Operators (POP)

There are 23 preschool partner operators which run 169 childcare centres and offer 16,500 places in total. Under the new partner operator (POP) scheme, participating centres have to cut fees – which must be capped at $800 a month (before GST) for full-day childcare.

  • Ace @ Work – 4 centres
  • Agape Little Uni – 8 centres
  • Alliance First – 7 centres
  • Bright Juniors Pte Ltd – 5 centres
  • Bright Kids – 4 centres
  • Busy Bees Singapore Pte Ltd – 3 centres
  • Carpe Diem Holdings – 16 centres
  • Faith Educare Centre – 4 centres
  • Ichiban Montessori – 7 centres
  • Just Kids – 8 centres
  • Learning Kidz – 5 centres
  • Kidz Meadow Childcare and Development Centre – 5 centres
  • Nurture Education Group – 11 centres
  • Perdaus – 3 centres
  • Persatuan Permudi Islam Singapura – 6 centres
  • Presbyterian Community Services – 11 centres
  • Safari House Preschool – 7 centres
  • Spring Brainy Kidz – 3 centres
  • Star Learners Child Care – 22 centres
  • Sunflower Childcare Group – 10 centres
  • The Little Skool-House International Pte Ltd – 6 centres
  • Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society – 4 centres
  • Young Women’s Christian Association of Singapore – 10 centres

Top Questions Asked When Looking at Preschools In Singapore

Selecting a Preschool that is a good fit for your child can be exciting as well as overwhelming. As a parent, you want to be confident that you chose the best fit for your child, but how do you make the best choice? Here are some specific questions that parents would usually ask.

  • What is the teacher student ratio? Any assistant teacher? What is the maximum class size?
  • What are the operating hours?
  • What is a typical day like?
  • What is the fee structure?
  • How do you give progress report/updates to parents?
  • How frequent is the parent teacher meet up?
  • How long has the school been established?
  • How long have the class teacher been with the school?
  • What is the policy on running nose, cough?
  • What is the policy on biting/scratching/hitting?
  • Is it academic structured or play structured?What play structured is it based on?
  • What type of enrichment classes are offered?
  • Any outdoor activities/excursions? How often?
  • What values do you instil in the children?
  • How do you discovered special interest and talent of the child?
  • What is the meal plan like? Are meals and snacks provided?
  • Is potty training required?

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