Choosing an infant care centre is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a parent. The early years are crucial for your baby’s physical and mental growth, so you want a place that will help them develop the necessary skills.
Sending your little bundle of joy to an infant care centre in Singapore would also give you the time to rest and recover and the peace of mind to get back to work. With so many infant care centres scattered all over the island, finding a reliable one might be harder than expected.
To help you feel more confident in your decision, here are some tips on finding good infant care centres in Singapore!
1. Do your research
The first step in finding the right infant care centre in Singapore is by doing some research yourself, whether it be combing through the internet or asking for recommendations from fellow parents.
A simple Google search would lead you to nearby infant care centres that may be worth adding to your shortlist. More often than not, there will be reviews posted by parents themselves, which can be helpful in your decision-making!
The thing about online reviews is that unhappy customers are more likely to leave reviews than satisfied customers. Try to give the centre the benefit of the doubt if you encounter some not-so-positive comments.
Meanwhile, a quick conversation with fellow parent friends or parents you meet at the park can likely give you more accurate information about an infant care centre.
2. Drop by and observe
While recommendations from trusted parents are important, nothing beats visiting the centre yourself and observing.
You’ll need to look at the place yourself to see if it matches not only your child’s needs but your preferences as well.
Any childcare environment is expected to be clean, safe, and conducive to the learning and development of children. There should be a designated place for learning, playtime, and resting.
If time allows, try to visit the same centres at different times to get a sense of how the caregivers interact with children throughout the day. Unannounced visits may confirm if it’s the right place for your child, but sometimes they can be an eye-opener.
3. Check their curriculum
An infant care centre’s curriculum is crucial in the intellectual and mental development of your child. The programmes and activities that children are exposed to could determine the skills they learn at this age.
In Singapore, the Early Years Development Framework (EYDF) was developed to help early childhood education centres cultivate a holistic learning environment for young children. It’s worth checking if an infant care centre’s curriculum is aligned with this.
4. Do a policy check
As a parent, it’s important to pick an infant care centre in Singapore that shares your parenting philosophies on a wide range of aspects.
Ask about how the caregivers discipline the children. Do they use time-outs or scoldings? What’s their rule on television usage?
What happens when the caregivers are too sick to come in for work? Is there any contingency plan in place?
As early as now, try to ask as many questions as you can. The more questions you ask now, the earlier you’ll know if it’s the right place for you and your child.
Trust your gut!
Every parent has this special skill of knowing when something doesn’t feel right, so learn to use this to your advantage!
Sometimes, you may get turned off by a certain infant care centre that many parents seem to love. If this happens, keep searching!
If something just doesn't feel right about a place, don’t hesitate to explore other options.