A childcare centre helps parents find quality care for their children. They also provide a safe, nurturing environment for children to learn and grow.
A childcare centre is an environment where they can create new friendships, develop social skills, and expand their minds.
To do this successfully, the centre needs to meet certain standards. To learn more about it, read this article.
What Is Meant by Child Care Centre
A child care centre is a facility that provides care for children while their parents are working. The type of care provided at these facilities can vary, but most centres provide education, meals, and a safe environment for children to play in.
There are many different types of child care centres, including:
- public or private daycare centres (which are often run by the government)
- preschools (these are specialised daycare centres that offer educational programs for children)
- private family child cares (these are homes where people care for children in their own homes)
What Is the Purpose of a Child Care Centre
A childcare centre is an institution that provides care for children of all ages, usually between the ages of 6 weeks and 12 years. The centre may be privately owned, operated, publicly owned, or run by a non-profit organisation.
A childcare centre staff typically includes teachers specialising in early childhood education. They can also include doctors, nurses, psychologists, speech therapists and other health professionals who provide medical care for children enrolled in the program.
In addition to these services, some centres offer an educational component that allows children to receive educational instruction while being cared for at the centre. In some cases, this might mean providing books or toys that can help stimulate learning.
However, it could also mean providing formal lessons from teachers specialising in early childhood education. Additionally, some centres offer activities such as sports teams or dance classes as part of their curriculum.
Childcare centres are popular among parents who need child care for their young children while they work or attend school themselves or because they have difficulty finding someone else willing or able to watch their child during the day.
What Happens in a Childcare Centre
Daycare centres are a great place to find fun.
They’re also a great place to find friends, learn new skills, and make memories you can cherish for years to come.
If you’re lucky enough to have your kids in a daycare centre, here are some fun things that can happen:
- Your child might learn how to play with others.
- They might learn how to share toys and other items with other children in the class.
- They might also learn how to interact with other adults in the room (teachers, aides, etc.).
- Your child might learn about numbers and letters from their teachers or other adults at the centre during circle time or other activities such as crafts or cooking classes where everyone gathers together as a group around tables or desks where they work on activities together as one big team working towards a common goal (something like drawing pictures together using crayons).
What to Consider in Choosing a Childcare Centre
Government-run or private
The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sport (MCYS) oversees the setting up child care centres in Singapore. All childcare centres in Singapore must be licensed and comply with all regulations stipulated by MCYS.
However, even though MCYS has stipulated requirements, do note that centres have the autonomy to adopt their curriculum design.
Determine how much you can afford to pay for the daycare centre services. Are you willing to pay more to ensure your child’s needs and safety while you are away at work?
Or are you working with a small budget? Be clear about this before you begin your search.
Location of a childcare centre
Choose the area where the child care centre should be located. Should it be near your workplace or your home? Whatever you decide, it should be somewhere you can easily access that will be convenient for you and your spouse.
When you have identified the daycare centres in the most accessible or convenient location, visit each one personally.
Look around carefully and ask the administrator if the centre has a license or is accredited by a government agency or organisation that oversees child care facilities.
It would also be wise to ask how many children the centre is licensed or accredited to handle.
The reputation of the centre
Try to ask other parents about the reputation of the school. If possible, conduct a background check to determine whether there had been complaints or cases of negligence against the daycare centre.
A simple Google check will reveal centres that have negative reviews.
You should ask the following questions from the daycare centre manager to get a sense of their credentials and centre policies:
- What are the minimum qualifications of their hired teachers?
- What are their discipline philosophies?
- Are the child care providers in the centre First Aid or CPR trained?
- Do they have certified teachers?
- Are the administrators responsive to the needs of their staff, personnel and clients?
Ask plenty of questions from the childcare centre Manager before you make the decision whether to send your child there or not
When researching a particular childcare centre, get to know more about the centre’s method of teaching children.
Many models of pre-school programmes are available to children, such as Montessori, Project, Integrated and Whole Language.
So gather information about the different curricula that will be suitable for your child, then find out whether he/she can benefit from the centre’s curriculum choice.
Determine the pervading atmosphere of the play school or daycare centre as you walk around. Is it a place where children are comfortable and taken care of?
Do you think it would be the best place for your child to spend her early days? Ask what type of snack they serve to the children. How much time do they allot for naps?
Also, try to visit the daycare centre with your child to ascertain if she is comfortable in the environment. Do also check if the school has CCTVs installed.
If you have to leave your child in a daycare centre, you need to find out its approach to child safety. Here are some questions regarding this matter that you should ask the Centre Manager:
- Does the centre have an emergency or evacuation plan in case of fire?
- Are cleaning and hazardous materials kept in appropriate places out of the reach of children?
- Do they have child-proofed classrooms?
- How about the safety gates for dangerous areas such as stairs, kitchens, basements ora porches?
- Do they have materials and equipment that are child-friendly?
- Will the children have fun and stay safe while playing in the play areas and play grounds?
- Are there medical supplies in case of emergency?
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Day Care Centre for Children in Singapore
According to Singapore’s Ministry of Social and Family Development, here are the guidelines for child care and infant care in Singapore:
“Early Childhood Development Centres (ECDCs), which are commonly referred to as infant/child care centres or kindergartens, provide half-day and full-day care programmes for children under the age of 7.
The services provided and corresponding operating hours are listed in the table below. It is important that parents choose a centre which offers a programme and curriculum that meet their expectations and child’s needs.”
Childcare centres guidelines from Ministry of Family and Social Development
Infant care and child care centres operate services throughout the calendar year except on:
- gazetted public holidays; and
- 6 days of annual closure (which includes Teacher’s Day and a minimum 2.5 days for staff training and development).
Kindergartens operate during the school terms according to the Ministry of Education’s academic calendar for primary schools. Kindergartens are given 3 days of annual closure, which must be used for centre-based events.
Infant and Child Care Subsidies
All parents with Singapore Citizen children enrolled in infant care and child care centres licensed by ECDA are eligible for a Basic Subsidy.
In addition, working families with monthly household incomes of $12,000 and below are eligible for an Additional Subsidy, with lower-income families receiving higher subsidies.
Larger families with 3 or more dependents can also choose to have their Additional Subsidy assessed on a per capita basis, which may qualify them for higher subsidies.
Image Source: iStock
Updates by Pheona Ilagan
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