Full-day or half-day childcare? A checklist you should consider beforehand
Torn between putting your child in full-day or half-day childcare? We make your decision easier with some very useful tips on what to consider before making the choice.
Most centres in Singapore provide both full-day and half-day childcare programmes.
A full-day programme runs between 7am and 7pm, from Monday to Friday; with some ending later than 7pm.
A half-day programme runs from 7am to 1pm. On Saturday, centres operate from 7am to 2pm.
Read on to find out more.
If you and your spouse are both working and do not have alternative care arrangements, a full-day programme will be helpful. It will give you peace of mind at work when you place your child in a full-day programme in a suitable childcare centre.
On the other hand, if you do have someone else to look after your child, you may also consider the half-day programme option.
If you child is below the age of three, you may want to consider placing him in a half-day programme for a start, especially if it is his first time experiencing a communal environment.
A half-day programme will provide him with important developmental opportunities and at the same time, teach him how to socialise with other children. The advantage is your young child won’t spend too long in a centre setting. A win-win arrangement for both you and your child.
Look through the class timetable, and understand what the children will be doing in school. Most childcare centres provide the core programme during the morning session. The afternoon session is usually occupied with routine care, such as shower, lunch, and naptime.
Sometimes, a little time-slot is set aside for reinforcement learning or other activities in the late afternoon. In this case, it may not be worthwhile to place your child in the centre for the the whole day, if it's not completely necessary.
Most childcare centres structure the half-day programme fees in a way that there is only a slight difference from full-day programme fees. This is to encourage parents to enrol their child in full day, for better utilisation of their centre's capacity.
You may wish to take this into consideration when deciding whether to enrol your child in a half-day or full-day programme. If you are eligible for Government childcare subsidies, the amount will vary, based on the programme type.
There are childcare centres that also offer extended programmes from 7am to 3pm. This caters to parents who prefer their kids to be exposed to more developmental programmes for slightly over half the day.
Some centres also provide a range of flexicare programmes to cater to the diverse needs of working parents.
• Flexicare 1 - 12 hours to 24 hours per week
• Flexicare 2 - Above 24 hours to 36 hours per week
• Flexicare 3 - Above 36 hours to 48 hours per week
• Flexicare 4 - Above 48 hours per week
If you still can’t make up your mind over the programme type, do discuss with your childcare centre manager to give you the flexibility of changing programmes later on, if your child is not happy with the initial programme you choose.
Preschool Education Gallery