4 new mega childcare centres in Singapore will be open in mid-2018! Read what is special about these centres!
Working parents of young children in Singapore have reasons to rejoice. In mid-2018, four new mega childcare centres are expected to open in Singapore, bringing the total number of such centres to nine.
Two of them will be in Punggol and will be able to take in 1,000 children each, the largest ever for a childcare centre in Singapore. The others will be in Sengkang (400 children) and Bukit Panjang (300 children).
First childcare centre in a park
According to The Straits Times, NTUC's My First Skool will run one of the two centres in Punggol, and Bukit Panjang; PAP Community Foundation will run the other centre in Punggol; and Skool4Kidz will run the centre in Sengkang.
What's more, for the very first time in Singapore, a childcare centre will be built inside a park! The two-storey mega childcare centre at Sengkang Riverside Park, run by Skool4kidz, aims to have learning spaces that are integrated with nature. Children will even be served fruits and vegetables harvested from the centre's own garden! The centre hopes to work with the National Parks Board and incorporate educational materials on Singapore's biodiversity.
Demand for childcare centres in Singapore
As per Channel NewsAsia, Sengkang West Member of Parliament (MP) Lam Pin Min said, "Many parents have given feedback that they have been placed on the waiting list for the past six months, to even 12 months. And even with the completion of some of the new childcare centres, they are still deprived of a place. That tells us that the demand is still there.”
“We’re working very closely with HDB, all the new estates. Clearly, we continue to build childcare centres in the void deck. But we’re looking at various locations – parks is a new development and something we’re quite excited about. We’re tracking very closely and reviewing the demand as it evolves. So we’re very much on track,” he added.
Registration for the four new mega childcare centres in Singapore will open in late 2017, at www.childcarelink.gov.sg
Choosing the right childcare centre
What are the things to keep in mind when zeroing in on the right childcare centre? Here are some pointers:
- Location and timings: Choose a centre which is convenient for you to pick up and drop off. Pay special attention to the operating hours; depending on whether you need full day or half day childcare.
- Fees : Opt for childcare centres whose fees fall within your budget. Also be clear on the mode of payment, and whether your child is eligible for government child care subsidy. Understand what the terms of withdrawal are. Also check if they offer a trial period.
- Programme and Curriculum: Analyse what your priorities are. Does bilingualism top the list? Are you looking at play based curriculum or a programme that places emphasis on the arts? You might want to consider centres which have ample scope for outdoor play as well.
- Meals and snacks: Food served should comprise breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. It should be nutritionally balanced food that is high in protein, carbohydrates and dietary fibre, but low in fats and sugar. If your child has special dietary requirements or allergies, remember to specify it to the childcare centre.
- Safety and hygiene: Are there adequate safety measures in place? What are the centre’s arrangements in cases of emergency or when your child falls ill? It is good to have a proper understanding of these things.
- Attend open houses: Visit the childcare centre. Do the children look happy? Are the staff warm and supportive? Your children will be spending a good amount of time at the childcare centre. The overall atmosphere at the centre should be relaxed and conducive to free activity and healthy development.
Be sure to check out ParentTown for more insightful stories, questions, and answers from parents and experts alike. If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them in our Comment box below. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Google+ to stay up-to-date on the latest from sg.theAsianparent.com.