7 Leading Child Care Centres in Singapore – Making the Right Choice for your Family

Fostering your baby while juggling work is a humongous task. In Singapore, people are lucky to have access to world-class childcare for every budget. Whether you need a drop-in centre to leave your child for a few hours or a longer day care option, there’s a place available for you. To help you make an informed decision about which option to choose, here’s a list of the 7 leading child care centres in Singapore today.

1. Shaws
Phone: +65 9789 2255
Email: carolynlai@shaws.com.sg
Website: www.shaws.com.sg
Location: 5 campuses in the city. Check their website for detailed information
Opening Hours: 07:00 am – 07:00 pm (Mon-Fri)
Sat and Sun closed

Lucy Shaw was the visionary, who began Shaws Preschool almost 30 years ago. She recognised the need for learning through play and started her own school to implement this all-important education model. Today, Shaws is a well-recognised institution offering a unique academic and non-academic curriculum.

Highlights:

  • Preschool-age children are taught real-life skills via a planned non-academic curriculum. These include sports classes, mathematics through play, Mandarin through music and rhyme, sensory play, and outdoor learning.
  • Children are given opportunities to learn through self-direction and under the guidance of highly skilled and trained teachers.
  • The school emphasises giving back and teaches the importance of caring for others and the environment.
  • Shaws promotes a multicultural environment and accepts children from all backgrounds and nationalities.

Things to Remember:

  • Scheduled visits are possible during the weekdays. To book an appointment, you can connect with the school via their website.
  • Shaws has a trial period of one month after the admission date. Scheduled visits are possible during weekdays. To book an appointment, you can connect with the school via their website.
  • If you feel your child is not ready for school within this time, you can remove him or her and receive a full refund.
  • All the teachers at Shaws are certified as per ECDA recommendations.
  • There are also scheduled open houses held twice a year. Check the website for more information.

Parent Review:

“I looked at several play schools near me before settling with Shaws. The campus is large and well-designed and the children have ample space to run around and place.” 

Ron, parents of Tim
2. Pat’s Schoolhouse
Phone: +65 6781 2288
Email: contact@patschoolhouse.com
Website: www.patschoolhouse.com
Location: 100G PasirPanjang Road, Interlocal Centre, #05-18 Singapore, Singapore
118523. Multiple centres all over Singapore.
Opening Hours: 09:00 am – 05:00 pm (Mon-Fri)
Sat and Sun closed

From day one, all students at Pat’s schoolhouse are viewed as independent thinkers and doers. The learning environment at this popular chain of preschools is largely play-based, with an emphasis on holistic education. Pat’s Schoolhouse is also regarded as the leader in music-led learning. Music is included in all areas of the curriculum, and the teachers are trained in music as well.

Highlights:

  • Pat’s Schoolhouse offers a unique Bilingual Immersion Programme. Developed in 1988, this curriculum ensures that children are taught in both Mandarin and English at school. Teachers conduct sessions in both languages and help boost language skills at an early age.
  • Sibling discounts are available at all centres.
  • Outings and field trips are conducted throughout the year as part of the curriculum.
  • The infant care centres at Pat’s have one of the lowest teacher-child ratios, ensuring attention and hands-on care.
  • Parents are viewed as an integral part of the school system at Pat’s. You can expect regular updates about your child’s progress and parent-teacher meetings throughout the year.
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Things to Remember:

  • You can schedule an in-person visit to the school by registering on their website.
  • The school offers a 1-month free immersion programme. This allows the children to get acquainted with the school routine and staff before joining.
  • Regular Confidence Camps are held to promote independence and curiosity. Check the website to learn more.

Parent Review:

“We love this school for Sam. He goes to school happy and returns even happier. The teachers are very attentive and devote time to each child at Pat’s. We will be enrolling our younger daughter as well.”

John and Lily, parents of Sam
3. Mindchamps
Phone: +65 8233 4400
Email: sg.psbrooks2@mindchamps.org
Website: www.mindchamps.org
Opening Hours: 09:00 am – 07:00 pm (Mon-Fri)
Sat and Sun closed

Established two decades ago, Mindchamps has extended its reach from centres all over Singapore to schools in the Philippines, Australia, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The organisation follows a 3-Mind Approach to education, wherein the champion mind, the creative mind, and the learning mind all work together towards the development of the child. 

Highlights:

  • Mindchamps’ childcare services included programmes designed for after school, vacation camps, and weekend classes.
  • Children between the ages of 2 months and 18 months are accepted into the early child care programme.
  • From 18 months to 6 years, your child will move on to the preschool programme.
  • Mindchamps has both English and Chinese play schools offering the Mindchamps mode of learning.

Things to Remember:

  • Mindchamps has an online shop where you can purchase books and merchandise.
  • The organisation prides itself on preparing their students for easy admission into the primary school of their choice.
  • The fee structure and payment details are available online.

Parent Review:

“Mindchamps changed my shy, reserved daughter into a bubbly, talkative young girl. We love the way they teach and appreciate all the hard work that goes into making learning enjoyable for our children.”

Sebastian, parent of Kim
4. Tots and Teddies
Phone: +65 6816 0001
Email: contact@qualitycentres.com
Website: www.tots-and-teddies.com
Location: 62, Cecil Street, #04-00 TPI Building, Singapore 049710
Opening Hours: 07:00 am – 07:00 pm (Mon-Fri)
Sat and Sun closed

Offering full-day care services for children as young as 2 months old, Tots and Teddies promises the safest, most caring environment for your child. They do this by providing a high teacher – child ratio and keeping their student intake small. This in turn encourages a better bonding experience between caregiver and child and faster adjustment and learning.

Highlights:

  • The aim of Tots and Teddies is to provide the highest quality bilingual education and full-day childcare services in Singapore.
  • The campus is conveniently located in the business district.
  • Classes with mixed ethnicities are encouraged at Tots and Teddies. The ratio of local to international students is 50/50.
  • There is a specially designed school app for parents to keep in touch and remain updated about their child’s progress.
  • The food provided at Tots and Teddies follows the protocol recognised by the HMCCP (Healthy Meals in Childcare Centres Programme). The school has a specially-trained dietitian who provides a diverse and healthy menu for the children at the school. Individual meal plans are also possible after consultation.

Things to Remember:

  • A private tour of the school can be scheduled via their website.
  • Tots and Teddies uses only TrueHEPA Purifiers to regulate the air quality on campus.
  • Bi-weekly parent-child trips to Gardens by the Bay are arranged by the school at no extra cost. This helps promote outdoor play and learning.
  • All toys in the school are supplied by the well-known preschool brand, Melissa and Doug.
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Parent Review:

“Having a daycare so close to our offices is such a boon. We drop Amy off at Tots and Teddies and we know she is well taken care of and is having such a good time playing with her friends and eating the delicious food.”

Maria and Chris, parents of Amy
5. My First Skool
Phone: +65 6509 7887
Email: info@myfirstskool.com
media@ntucfirstcampus.com
Website: www.myfirstskool.com
Location: 229 Mountbatten Road, #02-08 Mountbatten Square, Singapore 398007
Opening Hours: Timings differ as per location

Mr First Skool has more than 150 schools all over the island and over 2,600 educators and child care teachers. A Singaporean institution, the centres are available to children from 2 months (infant care) to 6 years (Kindergarten Level 2). My First Skool comes under the umbrella of the NFC and was the first early child care brand to be awarded the “Best Companies to Work for in Asia” for three years in a row.

Highlights:

  • The organisation is based on the principle that all children learn differently, and education needs to cater to these differences. Accordingly, their curriculum is largely play-based and experiential rather than bookish.
  • The schools follow the PETAL Approach, where playing, exploring, thinking, and applying are the cornerstones of the learning experience. This in turn leads to children developing their own intuition and intelligence.
  • Daily sports and outdoor activities are conducted to promote a healthy lifestyle and develop gross motor skills.
  • They also offer a special EYC programme for children between 2 months and 4 years. This assists in later kindergarten placement at an associate school.

Things to Remember:

  • Since My First Skool is an ECDA-certified organisation, the schools receive subsidies from the government, which means lower fees for the parents.
  • Check their website for vacancies at any of the My First Skool centres. These are updated regularly.
  • You can enrol your child in any centre for up to 12 months prior to joining. Admissions are possible year round.
  • A virtual tour of the schools is available online.

Parent Review:

“Leah has been with My First Skool since she was 6 months. We enrolled her in the EYC program and we were very happy with her progress. The staff are so kind and helpful and the centres are beautifully done up.”

James and Sarah, parents of Leah
6. Mulberry Learning
Phone: +65 6653 8082 (General hotline)
Email: enquiry@mulberrylearning.com
Website: www.mulberrylearning.com
Location: Multiple locations. Details available on the website.
Opening Hours: 07:00 am – 07:00 pm (Mon-Fri)
Sat and Sun closed

Mulberry Learning is the only Singaporean preschool to receive certification from the American organization, The Institute for Habits of Mind. Additionally, it is also the only preschool in the city to have been awarded the Overall Brand Winner by the Singapore Prestige Brand Awards. Felicitations aside, Mulberry Learning offers Reggio-inspired education and a bilingual and holistic curriculum. 

Highlights:

  • For babies aged 2 to 17 months, the Infant and Toddler Programme is available.
  • Child care options include half or full day care for children between the ages of 18 months and 6 years. Chinese preschool options are also available.
  • The teacher-to-child ratio is 1:3 in all early learning classes.
  • The schools have an in-house kitchen that prepares healthy meals and snacks for all students.
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Things to Remember:

  • 15 centres all over the island.
  • Part of the Global Edu-Head organisation with child care centres, preschools, and kindergarten centres all over Asia.

Parent Review:

“The Mulberry Learning school is beautifully designed. There are designated play areas and outdoor spaces to explore. The classrooms are large and the staff are trained to handle every eventuality.”

Alex and Rina, parents of Miriam
7. Sparkle Tots
Phone: +65 6244 4600 (HQ)
Email: pcfhq@pcf.org.sg
Website: www.pcf.org.sg/sparkletots/
Location: Blk 57B New Upper Changi Road, #01-1402 PCF Building, Singapore 463057
Opening Hours: 09:00 am – 05:30 pm (Mon-Fri)
Sat and Sun closed

With over 360 preschools in Singapore and more than forty thousand students enrolled, Sparkletots is definitely the largest organisation for preschool and childcare. Sparkletots has been certified as an anchor operator by the ECDA, so fees are subsidised and affordable.

Highlights:

  • The teacher child ratio in infant care is 1:5, while the preschool classes have a 1:12 ratio.
  • All infants’ schedules are recorded by the teachers and shared with the parents.
  • Full-day child care students are provided with three meals, while pre-school and half day students receive snacks during their time in school.
  • Post-school enrichment programmes are available as part of the curriculum.

Things to Remember:

  • There is a two-week trial period offered for full day child care programmes. This is not an offer for any educational classes.
  • There is usually a waitlist for admission, and vacancies vary across all centres. It is recommended that you register your child at the earliest possible time and you will be notified of any vacancies at a centre near you.
  • You can register your child up to three months before your due date.

Parent Review:

“Sparkletots was the best decision we took for Amol. He is thriving under the care and supervision of his carers and he loves going to daycare. We are also very impressed with the food served to the kids.”

Rishi and Veena, parents of Amol

FAQS

What is the cost of childcare in Singapore?

Depending on the kind of centre you choose, you could be looking at a budget of between $1000 to $2500 per month. Some centres offer only drop in charges and part time childcare services with nannies and babysitters to look after your child while you work. Others provide a more structured environment and a non-academic curriculum that promotes learning and social development.

Centres that are known as Anchor Operators receive funding from the government’s Anchor Operator Scheme. While these establishments are still privately run, they can afford to charge much less for their services. Prices for full-day daycare can range between $700 to $1200 per month.

The ECDA (Early Childhood Development Agency) in Singapore also provides a comprehensive list of all the recognised childcare centres and kindergartens in the city. You can check their website for more information.

Will I receive any child care assistance from the government?

Your child is automatically eligible for subsidised child care if he or she is a registered Singapore citizenHowever, these lowered rates do not apply to privately owned preschools and daycare centres. The institution has to be recognised by the ECDA and possess the required ECDA licences. With child day care services costing up to $2500 a month, government assistance can prove very helpful.

At what age do I enroll my baby for a daycare programme?

Early child care can begin as early as 2 months and stretch out to 18 months. You also have the option of in-home child care at this age. There are several agencies that specialise in finding daymaids and nannies for half- or full-day child care in the comfort of your own home.  Post 18 months and up to 5 years, you can look for a child care centre to look after your children, while you work. These can range from drop off centres for half day sessions to preschools for full day programmes. Or a mix of both.

CONCLUSION

The range of child care services available to parents and children in Singapore is very impressive. There are options to suit every requirement and budget, and you are assured of the best care for your child. With preschools and daycare centres also preparing their children for the next step of education – kindergarten and primary school, it becomes even more important to make an informed decision. Always make sure you visit the campuses and speak to teachers and other parents, to get a well-rounded opinion of what the school can offer your family.