10 useful tips for parents seeking preschool admission in Singapore

Shubhdarshani Mitra
Jan 27, 2023
Preschool education

Early childhood education is a high priority for all parents in Singapore. However,  choosing a kindergarten from the list of preschools can be a nerve-wracking experience. As a result of the country's emphasis on education, there are many options to choose from, including private kindergarten schools, early childhood programmes at international schools and others that fall under the Ministry of Education. 

As you start considering options, you may find that it's not always easy to compare one school to another. Like other parents, you are probably going to be comparing teaching methods at each school, the safety protocols in place for your preschool-age child, the curriculum in use and the enrichment activities that are available.

If you are looking for not just the best preschool but the one that is right for your child, the following tips will help you:

1. Research the curriculum

Curriculum is said to be the foundation of quality pedagogy. Most preschools in Singapore follow a specific programme, and each curriculum will introduce different topics and concepts to early learners depending on the teaching methodology in use. As a parent, you can ask the preschool about:

● Their educational model or philosophy.

● Their teaching method — is it traditional or non-traditional?

● The enrichment activities that are available at the school.

● Their focus on the holistic development of each child.

2. Join a parent support group

Get real feedback by joining online parent support groups where you’ll find like-minded individuals who are currently at the same stage of life. You can be well-informed and get honest answers, valuable insight and guidance from a parent's perspective.  

Some popular topics on these discussion groups include the admissions process, preschool age requirement, child care and safety, teaching methods, early year teachers, the value that the schools provide and the shared experiences that parents and their young children had at a school. 

3. Explore the school website

The school website is going to be a treasure trove of information. On the website, you should be able to access the academic calendar, curriculum details, extracurricular activities, enrichment opportunities and more. You may also be able to connect with an academic counsellor or schedule a meeting to learn more about the preschool.

4. Register for Open Houses and Webinars

Most preschools offer a mix of in-person and virtual informational sessions. Open houses where you get to see the school facilities and talk to school administration, virtual tours of the school and webinars – these are definitely some excellent platforms to get your queries cleared. 

You get to experience the school first-hand, and connect with the academic heads and the school administration. They provide you the opportunity to clarify your queries.

5. Confirm that the school offers a safe environment

Preschool parents are often both excited and apprehensive about sending their children to school, and it's essential to make sure that a prospective school offers a safe environment. Safety factors that you should consider include:

● Security measures at the school.

● Staff interactions with students.

● Hygiene measures that are implemented to promote health and well-being among all students.

Also read: How an international preschool is beneficial for your child

GIIS preschool students during an outdoor activity in school
GIIS preschool students during an ongoing classroom learning session

6. Ask about hybrid learning experiences

Naturally, preschool parents prefer in-person learning experiences. However, in the pandemic era, it's important to confirm that the preschool you are considering offers alternative educational models in the event of an emergency. Be sure to ask specific questions about virtual learning experiences for preschool students and how the school ensures that those activities are engaging and informative.

7. Ensure that your child is ready for preschool

Children grow and mature at different rates, and it's crucial that your child is truly ready for preschool before you enrol them. Your child may be ready if they know how to identify their feelings and express their wants or needs, if they feel comfortable socialising with peers their age and if they have an increased attention span that allows them to focus on short instructions.

8. Compare the location and cost

In most cases, it's best to choose a preschool that is located near your home or your place of employment. Each preschool has a different fee structure, so pick one that fits your budget. Make sure you look into options such as early registration fees, sibling discounts and more, as these promotions help make preschools in Singapore more affordable.

9. Enquire if the teachers are supportive and experienced

The staff at the preschool should specialise in implementing early childhood programmes and be trained to work with young children. Experienced teachers and staff members will be better at connecting with your child, earning their trust and offering them support. A supportive environment at an early age helps children learn skills that are important for their future education.

10. Listen to your child and involve them in the process

Be open and honest with your child about this next step in their journey. Explain to them what preschool is like and the types of activities that they will enjoy there. Ask them if they have any questions, and take them along for the school tour to make them comfortable with the idea of learning in a different environment.

At GIIS, we are proud of our award-winning Global Montessori Plus programme, which is considered one of the best modern approaches to early childhood education. Our customised Montessori curriculum provides your child with a solid academic foundation while giving them the opportunity to play, explore and personalise their learning experience. 

Through enrichment activities and our Extended Programme available as a full-day session, we provide both parents and children with the opportunity to create the preschool experience they desire.

For more information about early childhood education at GIIS, visit our campus today.

Shubhdarshani Mitra

Shubhdarshani has over 10 years of experience in content creation, curation and editing. She has worked for Indian newspapers, school magazines and international news websites where she worked closely with the leadership on the execution and communication of the content strategy. Aside from work, she’s a passionate B&W photographer and storyteller.

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