TOP 10 Childcare Centres in Singapore

Want to give your child a good start in life? Check out these reputable preschools!

TOP 1 Odyssey The Global Preschool

Odyssey is a premier global preschool with extremely high standards of education and care for every child. Few preschools can match its standards as specific fitness and learning programmes are created for every child to best suit their learning and growing needs. An in-house fitness specialist will come up with a gross motor development regime that’s specifically tailored for each child, while continuing to monitor the children’s physical needs regularly. The education programme has won multiple awards, and an early childhood education therapist will build a tailored curriculum for your child. The therapist will also provide support for early intervention for certain conditions if needed. The level of tailoring extends even to dietary needs, where a gourmet chef will craft a dietary programme for your child and cater to any dietary requirements such as gluten-free and organic. An in-house registered nurse are spacious outdoor playgrounds are just icings on the cake. 

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TOP 2 EtonHouse

Headquartered in Singapore, the EtonHouse International Education Group has 120 schools in over 12 countries and its preschool is renowned for its “Inquire-Think-Learn” curriculum inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach. This approach is highly popular among parents as it encourages children to be curious and learn through understanding and experience. To cater to an international audience, it offers 7 different language programmes including Spanish, Hindi and Malay. EtonHouse Sentosa is particularly noteworthy as it is housed in a heritage building amidst lush greenery and in close proximity to the beach and forest, which allows kids to explore the natural environment. An added advantage for enrolling your child in EtonHouse Sentosa (and a few other branches) is your child gets to enjoy direct admission to its international primary school located at the same premise. 

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TOP 3 Brighton Montessori

With over 20 years of history and 7 preschools islandwide, Brighton Montessori is a reputable preschool that’s popular with parents. Brighton Montessori adopts a hands-on, one-to-one teaching approach along with a curriculum that’s tailored for the child. It aims to cultivate a love for learning and the child’s interest in various subjects, and instil a confidence in them so that they will be ready for primary school. The teacher to student ratio is about 1:6 for pre-nursery and 1:14 for preschool, which is comparatively on the high end. 

After-school enrichment programmes such as music appreciation, educational games, computer literacy and drama are available to expose the kids to more topics beyond the curriculum and spur their interest. They also have an Intensive Chinese Immersion Programme where lessons are conducted in a Mandarin-speaking environment with study materials and fun activities to help kids learn the Chinese language in a fun manner.

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TOP 4 Pat’s Schoolhouse

With over 30 years of experience and several centres islandwide, Pat’s Schoolhouse is a chain of established preschools that aims to give children a memorable childhood and help to build a strong foundation to prepare them for the future. They are a pioneer of the Bilingual Immersion Core Curriculum where English and Mandarin teachers are co-teachers in the same classroom to create a cohesive and immersive bilingual environment. Under such an arrangement, children are exposed to both languages and are encouraged to interact within the context, which helps them to learn both languages with greater ease. 

Pat’s Schoolhouse also adopts play-based learning where children learn by harnessing their natural curiosity about the things around them, which leads to meaningful questions. The teachers then answer the questions to impart knowledge and confidence as well as encourage more exploration. Besides the usual curriculum, Pat’s Schoolhouse have in-house music specialists which expose the children to music via songs, movements, games and the playing of percussion instruments.

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TOP 5 Mindchamps Preschool

Mindchamps Preschool is a large chain of reputable preschools with an excellent curriculum, experienced teachers and ample facilities for children’s development. They adopt the S.M.I.L.E.S.™ curriculum which is based on the work of early childhood experts with established methods to develop the sensory, motor, intellectual, lingustic, emotional and social skills of children. The curriculum is based upon over 20 years of research in the various fields and is specifically designed to meet the developmental needs of preschoolers and prepare them for primary school. 

With 39 centres islandwide, it is not hard to find one near you. Each centre has a purpose-built children’s gym, and some centres even have spacious outdoor learning areas. Parents who wish to build a solid Mandarin foundation in their kids can consider the Mindchamps Chinese Preschool were all classes are conducted in Mandarin.

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TOP 6 Blue House Nursery & International Preschool

Blue House adopts the Reggio Emilia approach where children learn from personal experiences in relationship-driven environments. The use of light, space and colour is evident in the design of the campuses so much so that the environment is often deemed the third teacher. There is also an outdoor area for children to play and experience different activities while sharpening their senses. Besides the main curriculum, there are other classes such as messy play, art, music and drama. In particular, there are resident artists on campus and students can have regular sessions with them to build their artistic interest and hone their skills. A bonus point is you can drop by for play sessions with your child any day of the week so you can make use of the facilities for a time of bonding with your child.

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TOP 7 Tanglin Trust School

Tanglin Trust School Nursery is located within the Tanglin Trust School campus. Catering to children from 3 to 6 years of age, it follows the Early Years Foundations Stage (EYFS) curriculum where learning is segmented into areas such as literacy, art and design, and maths. There are very good indoor and outdoor facilities to aid with the children’s learning and development. These include libraries, a pool, a field, outdoor playgrounds, outdoor kitchen, climbing walls and balance bikes where children can develop their motor skills. A noteworthy point is Tanglin Trust School is the first school in Asia to be awarded the Early Years Quality Mark from the UK and the first nursery in Asia to achieve Curiosity Approach Accreditation. Children enrolled into Tanglin Trust School Nursery will also be directly admitted to Tanglin Trust Junior School. 

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TOP 8 Chiltern House Preschool

Chiltern House Preschool is known for its bilingual programme which effectively builds up students’ English and Mandarin literacy. For Pre-nursery and Nursery 1, classes are conducted jointly by an English teacher and a Chinese teacher so that the children are exposure to both languages. From Nursery 2 to Kindergarten 2, children will have separate classes conducted in English and Mandarin daily to further sharpen their language literacy. The Oxford Reading Tree Scheme is used to build a strong foundation in the English language. On top of the languages, other core components of the curriculum includes mathematics, art and craft, cookery, physical education, research and mindfulness to give a holistic education. Lessons for speech & drama and music & movement are conducted weekly by specialist educators, and children have opportunities to go on field trips and other events for increased exposure. 

Bonus points include the low student to teacher ratio and the nurturing environment which fosters warmth, security and love. Chiltern House Preschool also has a staff training programme to ensure all of its teachers are updated with the latest developments in early childhood, and a teacher-mentor scheme where newer teachers learn from more experienced teachers. 

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TOP 9 St James’ Church Kindergarten

St James’ Church Kindergarten has a comprehensive curriculum that is curated using various best practices from around the world. This includes the Project Approach where various strategies are used to guide the children in the study of real world topics, and the MATAL Creative and Critical Thinking where children are encouraged to learn through asking questions and coming up with logical answers based on observations. The classes typically incorporate a range of activities to help the children develop physically, emotionally, cognitively, creatively and spiritually. 

The new Gilstead campus is set in a pre-war colonial mansion with facilities such as a music studio, an art studio, a sensory studio and a light studio. Children can enjoy cycling, playing with water and sand, swimming in the in-house pool, running in the large field and enjoying the playground.

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TOP 10 The Little Skool-House

The Little Skool-House was established in 1994 and has a robust pedagogy and curriculum that helps children in their learning of English and Mandarin, Mathematics, Science, Creativity, Physical Self, and Social Development. The unique Storytelling method is used alongside other approaches such as the Formation Programme, Builders & Innovation Project and a structured reading programme to build up the bilingual capabilities of the children. These approaches have proven to be effective as up to 93% of the children were assessed to be highly proficient in both English and Mandarin by the end of K2 according to a study conducted by the Nanyang Technological University. It is also noteworthy that several of the teachers have won awards such as Outstanding Preschool Teacher and Outstanding Preschool Mother Tongue Language Teacher over the years.

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Photo credits: Odyssey The Global Preschool, EtonHouse, Expat Living Singapore, Pat’s Schoolhouse, MindChamps PreSchool, Blue House Nursery & International Preschool, Tanglin Trust School, Chiltern House Preschool, St James’ Church Kindergarten, The Little Skool-House

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