Category Archives: Infant

Infant

Choice Of Child Care Centres In Singapore

Singapore has a high-quality infrastructure for child care right from infant level. A number of child-care and infant care centres are present, giving working parents the option of keeping their child in the care centre and going to work, instead of one parent having to stay at home full time to mind the child.

Child care centres (children aged 18 months and upwards) are far more numerous than infant care centes (children 2 months to 18 months old). Generally, the infant care centre is a spin-off of the primary child-care centre. As of May, 2015, there were 393 Singapore infant care centres available to parents , with 3769 children enrolled, and average full day fees of $1445 per month.

Listed below are some of the popular infant care centres in Singapore:

PCF Sparkletots:

PCF has been around since 1991. It offers care services for infants from 2 months old, to students up to 14 years old. It also has quite a few branches, so that is an advantage when parents want the centre to be close by and don’t wish to spend too much time driving them back and forth.

My First Skool:

This too has some centres at different locations, to ensure easy reach from different neighbourhoods. Their Skool-Educare curriculum is specially designed for children aged 2 months to 3 years. Sensory, motor and self-help skills are taught through object-based activities.

Cherie Hearts:

This group tries to make learning fun by adopting a learning-through-experience approach. With the advantage of many centres, this again is a good choice for parents considering child care centres. Children are given liberty, under keen supervision, to explore and learn on their own.

Learning vision:

Learning vision is an employer-sponsored child care centre. This means they have tie-ups with corporates and institutions, whose employees’ children are taken in by the centre. Learning vision has earned some awards over the years, including Healthy Eating award, Outstanding Teacher award and some others.

Safari House:

This brand has bi-lingual teaching programme, with English and Chinese-Mandarin being the languages employed. Phonemic awareness, literature, writing etc are some of the course components here.

Skool4kidz:

Inspired by Program for Infant/Toddler Care, Skool4kidz focuses on nurturing the relationship between the care-giver and the infant. It is formed by Kinderland Educare Services and Dr. Jane Ching-Kwan.

My World Pre-School:

The teachers at My World Pre-School are inculcated with values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Through teachers, the school strives to teach children about everyday problem-solving, ability to observe and read intentions, among others.

Infant Care In Singapore

Children aged between 2 and 18 months fall in the category of infants for Singapore’s definition of infant care. Mostly, it is the child care centres (catering to older children), that also offer separate services for Singapore infant care. They provide full day and half day programmes for infants.

Apart from caring for the infants while their parents are at work, these centres also try to develop the infant’s physical, cognitive and psychosocial faculties. Specialised training for handling infants is a pre-requisite for staff at these infant care centres, so it is mandatory for the centre to employ a state registered nurse or qualified infant care teacher to look after their needs.

The recommended teacher to infant ratio is 1:5 at these centres. This low ratio ensures proper and adequate attention to every infant. The minimum floor space requisite is 5M2 for every infant/toddler enrolled at the centre. This large per-infant allocation of space is to allow free mobility and safety. An infant care programme primarily focuses on routine care of the infants, rituals and play-time. The idea is to foster a parent-child kind of relationship between the care-giver and the infant, because at this age, the child is almost completely dependent on the care-giver for all of his/her needs. To make up for the absence of parents, a routine encompassing most of the activities that infants need, and want, to do is established.

Singapore also offers subsidies for fees of infant and child care centres. These depend on whether single or both parents are working, how many hours they work, whether the care centre programme is half day or full day, and the monthly family income. So although infant care centres are expensive, significant subsidies ensure that they don’t become burdensome to the parents. The logic behind these infant care centres is that mothers can stay employed even after a child is born. So, if the mother also works, taking into account the subsidy provided by the government, and the additional family income generated by the working mother, it should work to the advantage of the family. It should work to increase the overall financial standing of the family. It is also a recognition of the fact that women can contribute significantly to the national economy even after starting a family, if a viable and quality child-care programme is offered to care for the child in the mother’s absence.