As a new parent, your little bundle of joy is everything. And when the time comes for you to get back to work, it’s essential to choose an infant care centre that you can trust.
Today, we look at the factors you need to consider when selecting a daytime home for your 2 to 18-month-old infant. But first, we compare infant care centres with home-based help (i.e. Hiring a domestic helper or nanny).
Infant Care vs. Home Care
When it comes to caring for children, there is no doubt that domestic helpers and nannies can care for your child while you are working. However, there are numerous reasons why many Singaporean parents prefer a reliable infant care centre.
Firstly, with the current COVID-19 measures in place, it can be challenging to hire a domestic worker. What’s more, some parents may have concerns about privacy and having another person live in their home.
More importantly, at an infant care centre, your child gets to learn and grow in a stimulating environment with early childhood development professionals who are equipped with the expertise and tools to help infants and toddlers develop.
In addition to having social interactions with children in a similar age group, an infant care centre will provide your child with opportunities to be exposed to their mother tongue. This is especially important if parents speak primarily English at home, or may not feel comfortable speaking in their mother tongue.
Now that we’ve determined why infant care is an ideal choice for parents, let us see the seven most important factors you should think about when choosing infant care services.
7 Factors to consider when choosing an infant care centre
#1: Centre Environment
Take a look at the centre and observe the infants’ sleeping and play areas. Are they safe and conducive for infants? Is the place a sensory-rich environment that is ideal for learning?
At My First Skool, our infants’ sleeping area is separated from their play area, which ensures that infants get restful sleep during nap times. Our play areas are safe, sensory-rich environments that contain books, handmade learning materials, and everything else infants and toddlers need to develop. Our furniture are child-friendly, with padded areas that keep infants stay safe and sound, even as they learn to crawl and tumble.
#2: Services and Curriculum
Ask if your shortlisted centre provides routine care services, or if they have a dedicated curriculum that provides your child with other forms of stimulation and enrichment during their formative years.
Infants at My First Skool undergo our relationships-based curriculum (RBC) programme – a curriculum for children 0 to 3-years-old that is proven to build strong, nurturing relationships between teacher and child.
It is important for a child to feel secure and attached to their teacher, because when a child feels secure, learning happens! Research has shown that children are more engaged and involved in learning when a relationships-based approach is adopted. Our Relationships-based curriculum approach helps children to develop a positive "I can do it" spirit, while also building confidence and resilience!
“Thank you for caring for Liam ever since he joined the school as a tiny infant. His smiley face every day is a testament to the joy and secure environment he receives from school daily and it warms my heart to know he’s well taken care of with many “mummies” at infant care. Keep up the good work!” – Lorraine, Parent of Infant at My First Skool at Blk 269 Compassvale Link
All infant care teachers in Singapore possess a Higher Certificate in Infant Care (or higher), so you can be assured that your child is being looked after by a trained professional.
At My First Skool, our teachers also undergo rigorous training on how to observe, document and come up with learning plans to suit each child’s unique needs.
To do so, teachers maintain regular documentation of each child’s level of well-being and active involvement in activities. Through keen observation and documentation, our teachers track detailed aspects of your child’s development – and communicate these findings with you.
#4: Parent Communication
Be sure to ask about the level of communication your preferred infant care centre has with parents. This is an essential, but often overlooked factor for many parents.
At My First Skool, we believe that communication between parents and their child’s school is paramount to a child’s development and wellbeing. Here, we inform parents of their infant’s feeding times and amounts – providing assurance and peace of mind that their child is being well cared for.
Your child’s main caregiver will frequently engage with you, sharing all this important information, while also understanding how your child is doing at home. You can also log in to our convenient parent portal app to find this information, as well as consistent developmental updates on your child.
“Having 2 young children attending school at a tender age can be daunting but the love and care showered by the leaders and teachers with prompt updates have given me the assurance while I'm at work.A big thank you to the infant care teachers who diligently captured my son's milestones since his infant years and to the Toddler teachers now for your patience with my playful little monkey.” - Astraea's and Isaiah's Parent, My First Skool at Blk 82 Strathmore Avenue
Nutrition is vital for growing infants, so it is important to check what type of meals your child will be getting at your preferred infant care centre.
Here at My First Skool, every meal is planned by our nutritionist and in-house chef to ensure children receive a nutritious, balanced diet that is in accordance with the Health Promotion Board’s guidelines.
As every child develops at a different pace, we keep in constant communication with parents to determine the ideal time to start weaning a child on solid food. For infants who can take solid food, we recommend that they eat their meals (breakfast, lunch and tea break) at our centre.
Our nutritious meals are perfect for introducing new food types to your child in a gradual manner, so they will be well-acclimated to healthy solid foods by the time they reach 18 months of age.
Here are just a few examples of the tasty meals that infants enjoy at My First Skool:
- Apple sandwiches
- Fruit pancakes
- Baked French toast with fruits
- Cream of potato, fish and carrot soup with toasted bread
- Steamed beancurd with minced chicken and wolfberries
- Brown rice porridge with spinach and minced chicken
- …and much more!
Accessibility is incredibly important! Having a preschool located near your home will allow you to spend more time resting and engaging with your child, and less time on travelling. This leads to happier parents and happier children!
With 145 centres island-wide and 115 of these centres offering infant care services – the My First Skool network is easily the most easily accessible preschool for many Singaporean families!
As part of the NTUC First Campus family, our philosophy is to give every child a good head start in life – regardless of their background or financial capabilities. This ethos is reflected in our affordable fees, high-quality care and curriculum. Even better, working mothers can enjoy an infant care subsidy of $600 per month when you place your infant with us – making your infant care investment an affordable $764.25 a month.
Learn more about our fees here.
A Day at My First Skool Infant Care
Interested in seeing how our infants spend their days at our centres? Take a look at their daily routines here. At My First Skool, we are truly committed to raising happy, healthy children who embody an “I can do it!” spirit – and we do so with our innovative curriculum, nutritious meals and engaging learning environments.
Give your child the head start they deserve by sending them to a My First Skool centre near you. Visit us to find out more!