In the blink of an eye, the first few years have gone by, and your little one is soon to be a kindergartener! While it’s exhilarating to reach this important milestone, the task of selecting the right kindergarten may seem daunting. Especially if you’re a first-time parent, you may be riddled with anxiety over making the right choice.
A recent poll conducted by theAsianparent revealed that Singaporean mums have different considerations when it comes to choosing preschools for their kids. They also have pertinent questions on how different the learning experience at an MOE Kindergarten (MK) is compared to other private kindergartens.
To help you get more familiarised with key factors to consider in choosing a preschool for your child, we look into how a holistic education can help your child get a head start in life.
Anchored by its firm belief in holistic education, MOE Kindergarten provides quality and affordable preschool education to Singapore Citizen and Singapore Permanent Resident children aged five and six. There are currently 28 MKs around Singapore, with around 60 to be opened across the island by 2025.. Parents can opt for either the morning or afternoon session and at most MOE Kindergartens there is also the option of a full-day programme to suit the needs of working parents.
MOE Kindergarten Curriculum
MOE Kindergarten believes that preschool children are curious, active and competent learners who are keen to make sense of the world around them and learn best through active learning. Based on these beliefs, MOE has developed a framework, called the Nurturing Early Learners (NEL) Framework that shapes the kindergarten curriculum development in Singapore. By designing learning experiences based on the NEL Framework, MOE Kindergarten teachers are able to provide a high-quality early childhood education to the young ones.
With a distinct Singapore flavour through authentic learning, MOE Kindergarten helps to nurture confidence and social skills, literacy and numeracy skills as well as bilingualism in English & Mother Tongue (Chinese, Malay & Tamil) through the following flagship programmes:
This is designed to support the holistic development of children across six learning areas through an integrated approach to learning. It provides children opportunities to explore and discover the world around them. Some areas of learning include aesthetics and creative expression, motor skills development as well as numeracy.
Starlight Literacy Programme
Through the use of books, songs, rhymes and games, this programme nurtures children’s language skills and focuses on developing their listening. This programme also aims to teach children about local customs and traditions.
In all its programmes, MOE Kindergarten carries out thematic learning via purposeful play. Its spaces are child-centric and created purposefully with learning opportunities in mind. Furthermore, in place of worksheets and written homework, MOE Kindergarten builds strong partnerships with families and communities through projects and learning journeys.
As families play an integral role in nurturing children’s development, MOE Kindergarten routinely involves families through the Learning and Inspiring Families of Early Learners @ MOE Kindergarten ([email protected]) programme. This is a series of workshops conducted by MOE Kindergarten educators for parents to be in the know of their child’s learning.
In this manner, the MOE Kindergarten brand of education hits the sweet spot between a holistic, multi-faceted approach towards learning and giving children a strong start to ensure that they are ready for primary school.
21st Century Competencies
The Singapore education system recognises the fact that we live in a rapidly changing world. It classifies the future of the world as one that is VUCA – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous—thanks to key driving forces such as globalisation and technological advancements. This means we are preparing children of today for the world of tomorrow, for jobs that don’t even exist yet. As such, there is a pressing need for children to be equipped with soft skills and 21st-century competencies to thrive in the future.
The Singapore Education system aims to provide children with a good sense of self-awareness, a sound moral compass and the necessary skills and knowledge to take on the challenges of the future. Through its carefully designed curriculum, MOE Kindergarten has fostered a learning environment that allows for these skills to be developed right from the kindergarten years and to be built on in the primary and secondary school years.
Priority Admission to Primary Schools
Apart from the curriculum, another concern of Singaporean mums is that of priority admission to primary schools. MOE Kindergarten offers priority admission to co-located primary schools and closely collaborates with primary schools to facilitate a child’s transition from kindergarten to primary school.
As for enrolment into an MOE Kindergarten, those who have siblings studying in an MOE Kindergarten, or who live in close proximity are also given priority.
However, parents should take heed not to switch their children to an MOE Kindergarten solely for priority admission to primary schools. Rather, they should consider if what MOE Kindergarten offers is the best fit for their child’s learning experience.
Affordability & Financial Assistance
There’s no hiding from the fact that pre-primary education can come with a hefty price tag. While some parents can afford to pay a premium fee, others may struggle. MOE Kindergarten comes affordably priced and offers financial assistance to Singapore Citizens under the Kindergarten Fee Assistance Scheme (KiFAS). Families may apply for financial assistance and subsidies as a third of the places in MOE Kindergarten are reserved for them.
Mums, we hope that we have given you a comprehensive introduction to the MK learning experience. If you are interested to find out more about MOE Kindergartens or how the NEL Framework will nurture your child, visit the MOE Kindergarten website, where you can even take a virtual tour of an MOE Kindergarten to see how the classrooms and other facilities are like.
For those with younger children up to 4 years old, you’d be interested to know that a number of MKs are also partnering Early Years Centres (EYC) from PCF Sparkletots and NTUC My First Skool, and children who are with these EYCs will get direct admission to their partnering MKs.
Remember, the kindergarten years are a child’s first steps into the education system, and the experience in the formative years is bound to leave a lasting impression, so weigh your options and make the choice based on what best suits your child!