what are the things to look out for when it comes to choosing a childcare for your child?

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1) Licensed care provider First and foremost, ensure that the childcare centres in your shortlist are licensed by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS). A licensed centre has to comply with the Ministry’s regulations with regards to staffing, administrative and physical requirements. The list of licensed childcare centres can be found on the MCYS website. 2) Availability of places Some childcare centres are extremely popular and have long waiting lists, so be sure to call up the centre to find out if there are still available places. For the very popular centres, parents may even need to register up to one year in advance just to be on the waiting list. 3) Location and fetching timing Should the childcare centre be near your home or your workplace? If it is to be near the workplace, transport arrangements have to be considered. For instance, will the child be taking public transport and will there be difficulties getting to the centre on rainy days? Despite the logistical concerns, some parents may opt for centres near their workplace so as to be able to pop by to visit the child during lunchtime. The decision on location will go hand in hand with the timing that you need to fetch your child from the centre. Childcare centres usually adhere strictly to their respective timings and fines may be imposed for turning up late to fetch the child. There may even be specific rules stating that if the child is fetched late from the centre beyond a certain number of times, the child can no longer be enrolled at the centre. 4) Fees, notice period and availability of trial period The fees charged can vary widely between different childcare centres, hence choose one which suits your budget. This may be an important consideration for parents who intend to put more than one child at a centre. For working mothers of Singapore citizen children who meet the requirements including the stipulated number of working hours, there is a childcare subsidy granted by the government which will help offset the cost. In addition, it is important to find out other information such as the notice period, withdrawal procedures and the availability of trial periods. 5) Staff-to-child ratio Generally a smaller staff-to-child ratio means the likelihood that a child receives more individualised care will be higher. Find out if there are designated childcare staff for each class, for instance playgroup or kindergarten and whether staff are shared between classes. Note that childcare centres need to adhere to staff-to-child ratios stipulated by MCYS and these vary for different age groups. There are also regulations on the proportion of trained staff, for instance with qualifications such as Diploma in Childhood Education that the centres have to comply with. For more details, please refer to the MCYS website. 6) Hygiene and ventilation An important consideration is definitely the hygiene level. If the floor feels grimy and filthy or there are bad musty smells which indicate poor ventilation, these may be causes for concern. During the visit to the centre, take a peek at the toilets. Also some parents may prefer an air-conditioned environment for their child while others may not. and many others but these are the few that I personally feel that it is more important.

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First of all, I will choose based on the curriculum that I believed in, i.e. Montessori. 1. Curriculum: Most of the preschools are based on thematic learning. Montessori school, Reggio Emillia, International preschool are very expensive compared to normal preschool. 2. School distance from School: I set priority when looking for schools that are montessori based and narrowed down my search based on the distance from my house. It will be tiring for kid to travel on a long journey and thus try to choose school that is nearer to your house. 3. School Environment: It depends on your preferences. Some parents prefer non-aircon, own outdoor compound for children to run around and close to nature, cleanliness of the school, safety measures taken by the school e.g. safety gates, meals (in-house or catering), size of the school and etc. 4. Teachers: whether they are open to feedback and communication. Normally during the visit I will ask how will be the two ways of communication method adopted by the teachers. However, this will only be known after your child has started school. There was once, I am very satisfied with the school but in the end I withdraw my daugther as the teacher communication is in chaotic, where they didn't track my fees payment. After I shorlisted a few, I will read up more reviews and feedback from internet. After that I will pay a visit to each school and make comparisons on their curriculum, school environment (clean and safe) and the ways of teachers handling the students. Some preschools provide trial period, e.g. 1 to 2 weeks trial class. You can join the trial class first before deciding.

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You can check of the curriculum, the faculty of teachers and administrators(you can do a background check of them) , infrastructure, hygiene and cleanliness maintained. You can also check whether the childcare is under cctv surveillance.Last but not the least check on the fees and take a breakdown of the fees to get a better understanding whether its worth it or not.

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Firstly, I will choose a childcare based on reputation. If it is well known and often talked about, chances are that the facilities and teachers there are up to standard. Secondly, I'll choose a childcare based on location. A childcare needs to be convenient for both you and your spouse on a daily basis and especially in the event of an emergency.

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Seriously speaking, 1st thing I look out for are emergency exits, fire extinguisher, hydrants. 2nd is the character of the staff that's why I really want to attend an open house first. Lastly is the fees. My real priority is security and safety.