June 7, 2019
A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing an Infant Care Centre in Singapore
Infant care centres in Singapore cater to children between 2 to 18 months old. There are some parents who cannot bear to leave their newborn children at an infant care centre. However, for working parents, it is something they must consider as they will return to work and must enroll their children into infant care for support and growth of the child.
Therefore, it is important for parents to plan and decide carefully on an infant care centre in Singapore. We will provide some tips and pointers for consideration to aid in your search for a suitable infant care centre for your child.
The Background, License and Awards of the Infant Care Centre
The Early Childhood Development Agency’s (ECDA) licensing requirement for childcare centres starts from 6 months and goes all the way to 24 months. Those infant care centres which have a 24 months license tends to be of higher quality as they can be trusted with a longer certification. Of course, some infant care centres with 6 months license should still be considered despite having shorter license periods.
There are also awards issued to infant care such as Singapore Preschool Accreditation Framework (SPARKS) mark which also shows that the infant care or childcare centre is more trustworthy and holistic and should be considered more over the others.
Aside from awards and accreditation, it is important to know the history of the infant care centre. Try to find out more about their track record and ask for feedback of the centre from other parents who have sent their children to the same centre in the past. Having a word with the infant care teachers or the centre principal is also encouraged for a first-hand interaction and clarification of questions and addressing worries of parents.
Location and Transportation
The location of the infant care centres should be a factor of consideration as those centres which are closer to your home or your workplace are more convenient for dropping off and picking up your children. If an emergency does happen, it will be convenient for you to pick up your children. Here is a useful link you can use to find infant childcare locations near you.
Under the ECDA guidelines, infant care centres are advised to have a 1:5 staff-to-child ratio. Some centres may have lower ratios to ensure that your child’s needs are met, and more attention can be given to each child. At our MLC Bedok Reservoir Centre, our staff-to-child ratio is 1:5 as per regulated.
Various infant care centres offer different curriculum and parents should research and consider each centre based on the curriculum offered by the centre.
From a young age, infants should be exposed to more stimulating curriculum that enhances their cognitive, linguistic, motor and social-emotional development. This type of curriculum provides your infant with more diverse opportunities to learn.
This, together with the day-to-day care process which includes feeding, playing, reading and changing the diapers of the infant is paramount to preparing the infant brain for optimal growth.
By ECDA, all centres can only hire a State Registered Nurse (SRN) or a trained Infant Care Educarer. These personnel are certified in infant and toddler care, in first aid and have a 2-year experience working in a childcare or a preschool environment. You can also ask about the training conducted for the educarers and how long and experienced these educarers are. You can also observe how the staff communicate and their attitude towards the children. Take note of how they interact with the children and make sure it fulfils your requirements.
When you explore around the infant care, does it have a separate area from the preschool, with the older children separated from the infants? Is the equipment provided in good condition and safe for children? Is the classroom properly ventilated and cooled? These things should be observed when you come to check on the condition of the infant care centre. These will help to enhance your children’s safety and comfort in infant care.
If your child has any food allergies or diet restrictions, be sure to ask the centres whether they cater to such needs. Also, if possible, ask to see the menu for the food served to infants as this will help in determining the nutrition profile of your child should you choose to send your child here for infant care.
Upon dropping off your children, the preschool should have conducted checks on their temperatures and ensure hand sanitization. There should also be regulated and frequent hand washing with diaper changing. Also, if possible, ask to see the menu for the food served to infants as this will help in determining the nutrition profile of your child should you choose to send your child here for infant care.
Fees will vary across different centres. Some centres offer a more affordable rate and some may charge a premium due to the services and venue they may provide. You should look up on the fee’s different schools charge and check whether any subsidy is given by the school. You may also qualify for subsidies by ECDA. You should also check whether the childcare centre is within your budget limits.
To find out more about Infant Care at My Little Campus, click here.