The first few years of a child’s life are critical. Those are the years that children develop mentally at a rapid rate, necessitating careful supervision and instruction. As a parent, you want to ensure that your child receives the best care possible while also allowing you to focus on your career or other professional pursuits.
Generally, preschools serve children aged 18 months to six years. This is a crucial stage that assists children in seamlessly integrating into Singapore’s education system. It is also highly critical for their brain development in terms of laying the groundwork for lifelong learning.
Everyone wants the best for their child. Therefore, if you have a child about to join preschool, you must start doing your homework on the type of school and the associated fees for preschool.
Here is a complete guide to the cost of preschool, subsidies, MOE kindergarten and private childcare in Singapore.
Preschool fees have been rising gradually, with some schools occasionally raising their prices by about 5%. Preschool school fees in Singapore can therefore be as high as $14 to $36 per day, depending on the school you pick.
It is significant to note that while some kindergartens in Singapore have shorter learning hours without meal provisions, other childcare offers longer hours of caretaking and provide students with two meals per day. In short, the cost of preschool in Singapore varies depending on the type of centre.
In Singapore, there are three types of preschools. These are government (MOE) preschools, private/international schools, and the Anchor Operators of the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA).
More than 50 MOE kindergartens are run by the government. The two main pedagogies used in MOE Kindergartens are Purposeful Play and Quality Interactions.
The curriculum has a focus on the Starlight Literacy Program, which encourages early childhood bilingualism, and the HI-Light Program, which seeks to promote holistic development through integrated learning experiences with a unique “Singapore flavour.” The programme gives children the chance to delve deeper into their surroundings and learn more about them.
Due to the available subsidies, MOE kindergarten fees are generally low at $320 per month. The kindergarten Singapore fees list for foreigners is double the citizens’ rate at $320 per month per child for Singapore permanent residents.
The Singapore government also regulates and supports childcare centres through the Anchor Operators (AOPs) initiative to increase access to good quality and affordable early childhood care and education, especially for children from lower income or disadvantaged backgrounds.
Under the Anchor Operator Scheme, the monthly fees for the selected preschools are capped as follows:
Some of the schools under this scheme include:
The private kindergartens create their programmes while adhering to an external curriculum. These also have their own systems and methods for holistic education different from the MOE centres.
One advantage of sending your child to a private school is that they may have access to more resources. They will most likely be more closely monitored and have access to more learning opportunities and extracurricular activities. Government schools tend to have fewer resources.The teacher-child ratio is higher, which can allow teachers to offer children more attention.
The public schools, on the other hand, are less expensive for low-income families as not every family can afford to take their children to private schools. In private preschools, one child’s education could cost you more than four-fold the cost of a public school.
As for the curriculum, the private preschools devise their own curriculum, which varies from one school to another. Instead, MOE Kindergartens have two core programmes. It includes the HI-Light Programme, which supports holistic child development in key learning areas.
The Anchor Operator Scheme funds selected preschools to ensure affordable education, particularly for children from low-income or disadvantaged families. If you are looking for affordable childcare that also provides quality education support, you should look into Anchor Operator Scheme childcare centres (AOP).
The monthly fees for full-day childcare are capped at $720 under the scheme, while for full-day infant care, it’s at $1,275, and $160 for kindergarten.This initiative is meant to ensure that children from low-income or disadvantaged families can equally benefit from early childhood education.
The benefits of taking your child to childcare centres which are operated under AOP schemes include:
In Singapore, even households with two incomes may find preschool fees to be costly. For foreigners, the fees for kindergarten may be exorbitant. While some may be fortunate enough to have family members pitch in, most parents will need to pay for themselves.
In order to ensure every child has access to early education, the government has set up childcare subsidies to defray the preschool costs for parents. Let us walk you through the available preschool subsidies.
The Basic Child Care Subsidy is a government subsidy that benefits full-day pre nursery age infants of age 2-18 months old and children between 18 months to 6 years of age. The subsidy is paid directly to the child’s registered learning centre rather than to the parents or guardians. The fee difference after the subsidy is then paid by the parent.
The applicant’s employment status determines the subsidy rates and whether your child is placed in infant or child care.
Working parents receive a basic subsidy of $600 per month for full-day infant care and $300 per month for full-day child care. The basic subsidy for non-working applicants is $150 for both infant and child care.
This subsidy is eligible to parents with children enrolled in infant or child care centres which are authorised by ECDA (Early Childhood Development Agency).
The Additional Child Care Subsidy is available to families who are experiencing financial difficulties and require additional assistance.
This additional subsidy is a means-tested subsidy for lower-income families that supplements the Basic Child Care Subsidy. It enables lower-income parents to afford preschool fees in Singapore, allowing them to work without having to worry about child care.
Depending on your eligibility, this subsidy can be up to $710 for infant care and $467 for child care.
The KiFAS considers your income as a factor in determining the kindergarten fee subsidy rate. It is designed to make kindergarten programmes affordable to all citizens and accessible to all children from low-to-middle-income families.
This programme is only available to Singaporean families with children. More so, your child should be enrolled in Anchor Operators’ or the Ministry of Education’s kindergarten to be eligible.
This, like the child care subsidy, is paid directly to your child’s kindergarten, and you pay only the net fee after the subsidy. This subsidy ranges from $21 to $170, with lower-income families receiving more of the subsidy.
This subsidy is available to families with a gross monthly household income of $12,000 or less or a per capita income of $3,000 or less. The household should be of five or more members with at least three dependents without income.
When your child starts preschool education, there are other education-related costs besides school fees. Here are other cost areas that you should consider when planning your preschool budget.
Once your child enters nursery or kindergarten, they will require a variety of books for learning. These include reading books for subjects like English, Mathematics, and more. You will also need to factor costs to purchase writing materials and stationery.
Many Singapore preschools require preschool children to wear uniforms. These uniforms might cost from $15 to $60 per set. It is recommended that each child have three sets of uniforms.
If you are unable to send and pick up your child from school, some preschools provide the added convenience of daily school bus transportation, which costs between $100 to $200 per month for to and from school pickups.
Excursions are popular activities among preschool kids. It involves taking them out of the traditional curriculum and into a new, active learning environment. Excursions necessitate the hiring of additional transportation, entry charges to parks, and a meal for your child. All these can cost you from $20 to $50 per field trip.
Most schools will conclude a preschool term or year with a performance or concert for their parents. This usually involves the purchase of costumes, which can cost you anything from $30 to $100. Parents and guests may also need to purchase entry tickets for the event, which may be priced around $40 per ticket.
Besides fees, there are other factors worth considering when scouting for a preschool in Singapore for your child.
Some preschools provide a full-day session, while others provide half-day sessions based on the child’s age and level. This may be even less depending on the preschool, so check with the specific schools you’re considering enrolling your child in.
And because it will be the first time your child will be away from you and your caregiver, starting with a shorter half-day session may be a good idea.
A low student-to-teacher ratio is better in ensuring that each child’s needs are met while also ensuring optimal learning. A high ratio means your child’s unique learning needs may not be noticed by a teacher attending a class of too many children.
You could enrol in a full Mandarin immersion programme, a bilingual programme, or an English instruction school that includes Mandarin instruction. It’s always a good idea to inquire about how much second language lessons are included in everyday learning.
The curriculum and early childhood teaching methodologies may differ between preschools. The Montessori method, the Reggio Emilia approach, and the Waldorf approach are the most well-known. Some curricula emphasise either play or work, while others blend the two.
Since your child is a new learner on how to behave and what is expected of him/her, positive reinforcement should be the best method for your preschool of choice. You might want to inquire about the school’s disciplinary policies and procedures. You can do this by having a chat with the principal and teachers.
This is one of the most important considerations you should make. After all, you’ll be taking your child to and from school every day for the next few years, so pick one near your home, office or somewhere convenient on your daily commutes. A preschool that is too far away will also exhaust your child due to the commute.
Knowing the teaching fraternity by speaking with them in person will assure you that they are adequately qualified, both in terms of background and education. Examine whether they are positive and caring toward the children.
You should also check to see if they are willing to communicate with parents about their children’s progress on a regular basis.
Yes, and it’s getting more expensive by the day due to the rising cost of living. Thankfully, the government offers childcare subsidies, though they might not be enough to cover all of the education costs.
Given the substantial price differences between public and private schools, preschool fees might be a key deciding factor. When determining which preschool best meets your child’s needs, also consider other pertinent factors.
Paying fees for preschool with the best personal loan can help ease your financial burdens, especially if you opt for a private preschool. Here at Money Kinetics, we can assist in helping you look for a personal loan with flexible repayment terms, so that your child can get the best education. Find out more here.
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