Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Thoughts on Childcare Centre/Preschool-Hunting

Some key factors that influenced our decision on choosing childcare centre/preschool for our kids:
  1. Proximity to home
  2. Teachers
  3. Environment
  4. Curriculum
  5. School fee
The first childcare centre that we enrolled Pei Pei was quite a distance from our home, and it is not very accessible by public transport. Even we have our car, the carpark attendants in that area are very "on", and we received a summon even when we just parked there for a short while without putting up carpark coupon! Then we found another childcare centre, just 5 minutes walk from home, which is very convenient, it is especially important when we have to rush to work early in the morning.

I was quite impressed by curriculum of some centres, but this is just a system on paper. How effective the curriculum is delivered to the children depends on the teachers. More importantly, the teachers must be caring and patient. So far, I feel that Pei Pei's current teachers are very nice, and Pei Pei likes them. Pei Pei is particularly attached to one of the teacher assistant, Mdm Tan, as Pei Pei goes up to hug her when seeing her in the morning.

The first childcare centre that Pei Pei attended was air-conditioned, but later we feel that it may not be a good environment for Pei Pei who has sensitive nose. We feel that it would be better for her to stay in classrooms with good ventilation, since she spends more than half a day there.

Some parents believe in Montessori teaching method and join in a super long waiting list to enrol their children into famous Montessori schools. Not that I do not believe in this method, just that the school fee is a bit beyond our budget. $1k per month is not really affordable. In fact, parents are the first teachers of their children, it is important for parents to follow up with what the children have learnt in school, by allowing the children to apply their knowledge in daily activities.

Pei Pei enjoys school life most of the time, just that she would fuss a bit when she returns school after a few days of medical leave. And there was one incident when she was bitten by her classmate, but I think her school has taken necessary actions. After spending 9 months there, Pei Pei has learnt a lot good (and some bad) habits, and her linguistic development has also improved. We have also registered Hao Hao, who will start his school life in December.

As long as Pei Pei and Hao Hao are happy, I would feel that the school is the right choice for them.

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