Finding The Childcare Provider Which Gives The Best Value
Children’s knowledge and character differ depending upon the quality of their experiences and that is why finding a good childcare centre is a prime concern for many parents. For most of the parents in Singapore, the childcare of choice should be a safe and affordable option that allows kids to explore new horizons in a loving environment.
If you are a parent looking for quality childcare with the best value, read on to grasp some tips that may help you along the way!
Figure Out Your Budget – Have a close look at your budget and determine the amount that can be put for childcare. When you actually start crunching the numbers, you might be able to afford more than you thought for a suitable childcare centre for your little one. A clear understanding of your budget and the government subsidies offered to parents in Singapore will give you a great starting point for evaluating your options. (For more information on childcare and infant care subsidy, please refer to www.childcarelink.gov.sg)
Know Your Options - There are many childcare programmes out there, designed to match the different requirements of parents in Singapore. Some options usually available are half-day, extended day, full day, flexible care and childcare provided by preschools and other educational institutes. Shop around to find one that fits your needs, budget and work schedule. Moreover, get to know about the centre’s approach to early childhood development, their teaching methods, sports and other extra activities such as arts and crafts.
Explore Your Area – Now you know your budget and the available options and the next step is to actually get started with the process. Explore your area for quality childcare centres around you and prepare a list of centres to personally visit. As your trusted childcare advisor, Parentdigm will schedule visits; allow you make inquiries from our in-house experts and our review portal will help you gauge a centre’s service quality with the experiences of other parents who walked the path before you.
Begin Early - Childcare centres enroll only a limited number of children and the slots at good childcare centres in Singapore fill up really quickly due to the high demand. So make sure you secure a place for your child in a quality childcare before the seats get filled.
Get First-Hand Experience - You can’t decide on the quality of a childcare without personally visiting them. You may have to visit several childcare centres in Singapore as a part of your childcare selection process. With Parentdigm’s Schedule-A-Visit, you can arrange a personal visit to your selected centres at a time convenient to you!
Be Clear On The Charges – Know the fees of the childcare centre and any extra amounts that may be charged in certain circumstances (e.g. penalties for late pick ups). Beware of the hidden costs and be assured that your child is given the best care for the money you spend. At all possible times look for ways to ease the burden on your pocket. For example, a childcare centre that provides meals to the children may charge a little extra than a centre that doesn’t. If you really like a centre with meals but it is too costly, see whether you can provide meals to you child and waive off the cost of the meals given by the centre.
Little Things Matter – Safety, security and the cleanliness of the environment are essential elements of quality childcare. Pay attention to the cleanliness of the staff and check whether the place is child-proofed with age-appropriate toys to reduce the odds of spreading germs and your little one meeting with an accident while he/she is at the centre
Don’t Compromise On Quality – Sure, you should go ahead with a childcare only if it is well within your budget. But, compromising on quality for a little gain is not a good idea as the price you pay later could be much higher than what you get today.
Quality Can Be Illusive – However, one of the risks of selecting the best childcare centre is that you never know the real quality until you personally experience it! Wouldn’t it be great to know the experiences of other parents before you settle your child in a childcare centre? Parentdigm review portal will help you in this selection process!
Observe - Even after you enrolled your child in a centre, observe him/her carefully and visit the centre whenever possible to see whether everything is going well. If by any chance the centre fails to meet your expectations, don’t hesitate to reconsider your childcare provider.
There are several elements that make a center high-quality other than nice teachers and pretty toys! Have a look at our childcare checklist to get a better idea of what you should really look for in a childcare centre such as physical environment, location, quality of teachers/caregivers and the programme schedules.
Most importantly, a good childcare centre should provide you the best value for your money as quality and price are not mutually exclusive (at least not at all times!).