Picture this, you and your spouse had a child or childrennot so many months ago and are already out of the infant stage. How your childis old enough to walk and even talk but not yet old enough to attend school. Sothe next logical thing to do is to look for a good preschool in a Singaporelocation that is convenient for you.
Why preschools are agood idea
By now you have already realized that having a child is anexpensive affair. However, it’s not about to get any easier given that sometimesoon your child will have to go to school which means more expenses. Butexpenses aside, you should be thinking about preparing them for school.Preschool is the obvious way to go not only because it will prepare your childfor school but also because it will allow some free time for other activitiessuch as work.
You should consider taking your child to a preschool so thatyou can take advantage of their developing brain. The human brain develops at avery rapid pace, especially during the first three years. They absorb thingsfaster during this stage, thus making it the best time to start impartingknowledge on your children. Taking children through preschool at this earlystage will, therefore, help stimulate their minds.
The cost of going thepreschool way
Although choosing to take your child to a preschool soundslike a good idea, but the cost is something to consider. Preschool fees can getquite expensive, but the fees may differ depending on the preschool you choose.Below are some of the most affordable options you can choose from and theirprice comparisons.
PCF Sparkletots and NTUC My First Skool are the mostaffordable preschools in the above list. They also happen to be the largestchild care centers in Singapore and have affiliations with the country’s government.PCF charges roughly $770.40 per month while NTUC’s fees range from $712.21 to$1,112.27 per month.
The beauty of the above two preschools is that they have about200 centers combined that are distributed across the country. This makes iteasier for parents to find one that is conveniently around their location.
Private preschools that are owned by individuals or privateorganizations are more expensive just as is the case with regular privateschools. Most of them charge monthly fees above $1,000 per month. They oftencharge higher fees because they offer special programs. If you can afford suchamounts, then go for it by all means because you cannot put a price on goodexposure and a good education.
There are many more private preschools that are available inSingapore. Below are some of the examples and the monthly fees they charge.
- Carpe Diem Childcare- estimated monthly fee is $1,284.
- Cherie Hearts- $1,000 estimated monthly fee.
- Mindchamps- $1,800 estimated monthly fee.
- Kinderland Child Care Centres-$1,400 estimatedmonthly fee.
- EtonHouse- estimated monthly fee starts from $1,800.
- Chiltern House- Charges over $2,000 per month.
- Pat’s Schoolhouse- Charges roughly $1,979.50 permonth.
- Little Village on the Grange- Charges over$4,290.70 per month.
Singapore also has various Montessori centers whose monthlyfees range from around $800 to over $2,000. Montessori centers offer aneducation system that focuses on developing natural activities and interestsinstead of following the regular teaching norm. Montessori centers in Singaporemay exist as individual centers that are not all owned by the same entity orindividual.
Childcare run byreligious groups
It is also a common thing that numerous religious groups inSingapore also operate preschools. These schools usually have religiousprograms where they teach religious values. The good thing about most religiousgroup-based preschools is that they tend to be less expensive with the averagemonthly fees around $1,000. Below are some examples of such preschools.
- Iman Childcare
- Wesley Vineyard Childcare
- Tai Pei Child Care Centre
- Ramakrishna Mission Sarada Kindergarten
- Catholic preschools and childcare centers
- Anglican kindergartens and childcare centers
- Wesley Vineyard Childcare
Enrichment programsoutside preschools
Although preschools are a great idea, they are not the onlyoptions that parents may opt for. You might want to impart unique skillsthrough enrichment programs. Below are some of the programs you might considerthat are easily available in Singapore.
- Creative writing
- Sports activities such as football, swimming,tennis, skating and more
These are much more affordable than preschools but are lesscomprehensive compared to what your child may learn from a preschool. You mightend up paying between $50 and $350 per month for any of the programs, and thismay include materials and equipment for the specific task.
Take advantage ofsubsidies
Although the cost of preschool is high in Singapore, thereis a way to afford it without much of a hassle. The Singapore government hasschemes that are designed to help Singapore parents lower the cost of bringingup their children.
- The babybonus scheme
All Singapore parents have access to a monetary incentivewhen they open a Child Development Account (CDA) for their child. The programprovides $8,000 or $10,000 in cash as well as a $3,000 grant. It also matchesthe amount in each CDA on a dollar-for-dollar basis. Parents who have morechildren receive more of the bonus.
- Basicchildcare subsidy
This childcare subsidy is provided to Singapore parentswhose children are enrolled in child care or infant care preschools that havean ECDA license. Below is a chart demonstrating the available basic childcaresubsidies.
- Additionalchildcare subsidy
Needy Singapore parents receive up to $540 additional childsubsidy which is designated for infant care and $440 designated for child care.However, numerous qualifications have to be fulfilled for Singapore parents toqualify or these subsidies.
These subsidies are available to those whose family percapita income is below $1,875 per month. Qualifiers may also be single moms ordads who work for more than 56 hours per month. Those with $7,500 or lessmonthly household income may also be eligible.
The above subsidies may help to significantly offset some ofthe costs that Singapore parents incur when taking their children throughpreschool thus making it more affordable.
(By Neha Gupta)
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