A Comprehensive Guide to the Different Preschool Curriculum in Singapore

When parents pick a preschool for their kids, they consider many factors such as the location, the curriculum, as well as the academic objectives of learning. 

Of these factors, the type of preschool curriculum carries the most prominent weightage in the decision process as it indicates an alignment with what parents are looking for in values and learning philosophy.

Types of Preschool Curriculum in Singapore

Whether you are looking for childcare or playgroups in Singapore, parents in Singapore are spoiled for choice when it comes to preschool education for their kids. 

Check out the different types of preschool curriculum and discover which is most suited to your child’s temperament and learning style.  

1. Reggio Emilia

The Reggio Emilia Approach is an innovative and inspiring approach to early childhood education. The Reggio Emilia principles value the child as strong, capable and resilient, rich with wonder and knowledge. 

A Reggio-inspired curriculum aims to cultivate within children a lifelong passion for learning and exploration and is flexible in execution as it emerges from children’s ideas, thoughts and observations. 

preschool singapore

2. Waldorf Steiner

Waldorf Steiner education is a child-centred approach that aims to educate the mind, body and spirit at the appropriate developmental stages. The Waldorf (Steiner) curriculum is designed to meet the intellectual, emotional, and physical stages of development throughout childhood. 

Academic excellence and creative thinking are achieved in a supportive environment. Learning at a Waldorf Steiner preschool is a dynamic process that engages the child’s imagination and initiative, while art, movement and music are woven into daily academic studies. 

3. Montessori

Named after Maria Tecla Artemesia Montessori, a well-known Italian physician and educator, Montessori education is characterised by an emphasis on “independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development.” 

True-blue Montessori preschools practice having classrooms with students of different ages to allow them to develop socially, intellectually, and emotionally. Your child works with materials independently while guided by a trained adult. 

Singapore parents who find this method too flexible can look for preschools that blend Montessori with other educational approaches.

4. Whole Brain Learning Approach

This model of learning requires learners to use both parts of the brain to keep students engaged in lessons. 

Under this approach, there is an assumption that the brain is most active (and therefore optimal for learning) between a newborn to 16 years of age which is why the Whole Brain Learning approach should be introduced at a young age. 

Educators use games and motivational methods to encourage students to express their thoughts and adopt high-energy and hyper-focus to increase concentration and engagement. Some parents like this curriculum as it instils in young children the ability to make better, more balanced decisions. 

preschool singapore

5. The High Scope 

The High Scope curriculum uses a carefully designed process called “active participatory learning” that strives to develop in children a broad range of skills including problem-solving, interpersonal, and communication skills essential for successful living in a rapidly changing society. 

This curriculum encourages student initiative by providing children with materials, equipment, and time to pursue activities they choose. Teachers are also provided with a framework to guide children’s independent activities toward sequenced learning goals, thus allowing them to achieve powerful, positive outcomes. 

6. Play-Based Curriculum 

Play is the most natural way for young children to learn. This curriculum incorporates lots of art and craft, music, stories, puppets, drama, dance, playtime, cooking, physical games, nature exploration, sand play, water play, sensory and inquiry based learning. 

The emphasis is always on having fun and building on those very important life skills like sharing, caring and independence rather than a demanding curriculum. Little Footprints Preschool leans towards play-based for the younger age group (Playgroup and Pre-Nursery - 18 months to 3 years old), then progresses to hands-on, experiential learning from Nursery to K2 (4 to 6 yo). 

Simply put, this curriculum believes in letting children be children!

7. Art-Based Learning

Preschools that offer arts-based learning adopt the purposeful use of artistic skills, processes and experiences as educational tools to foster learning in non-artistic disciplines and domains. 

This curriculum offers different art-based activities like storytelling, creating artifacts, drawing and drama to support the learning within its academic and arts education in music, art and dance such as piano and violin, languages, speech and drama, positive focus and visual arts performances. 

8. Theory of Multiple Intelligences

Singapore childcare centres that adopt this curriculum believe that each person has different ways of learning. This type of learning originates from Howard Gardner’s theory that all people possess 8 intelligences, which imparts the way they learn and interact with the world around them. 

The eight vital types of intelligence in children are spatial, kinesthetic, logical, linguistic, intrapersonal, interpersonal, musical, and naturalistic. Hence, this curriculum recognises that each child is unique and aims to fortify and nurture the child’s natural talents in learning.

9. Mandarin Focused

Many playgroups and childcare centres offer full or 70% Mandarin immersion programmes in their curriculum to expose children to the language. However, there are some preschools that focus on full immersion and cultural appreciation that encourages experiences in the rich and beautiful Chinese culture. 

Children are exposed to fun activities like Chinese painting or calligraphy, watching or practicing traditional music and dance performances and celebrating key Chinese festivals. 

preschool singapore

10. Collaborative Preschools

If you seek to enrol your child into a preschool that offers different disciplines, collaborative preschools may be your answer. This type of preschool combines British and Singaporean curricula and provides children with various learning styles. 

11. The National Curriculum

This is the most common curriculum adopted by Singapore’s Ministry of Education (MOE) operated Kindergartens and forms as a guideline to childcare centres in their curriculum programme. 

The Nurturing Early Learners (NEL) framework aims to provide holistic, accessible and affordable early childhood education for children aged 4 to 6 years old. The principle is to nurture the children’s curiosity to explore and discover the world and encourages their learning through experimentation and development in thinking and reasoning skills.

12. Theme-based, Experiential Learning

The concept of this pedagogy is that children are encouraged to take charge of their learning. 
At Little Footprints Preschool, we adopt the I.D.E.A. for our children from aged 18 months to 6 years old. This encompasses the Integrated approach to theme-based learning to provide our children with progressive learning and Development through Experiential methods and Active learning. 

Through this methodology, our teachers prepare your child progressively with skills that are crucial for formal schooling. Some of the activities include having our students listen to invited guest speakers and encouraging them ask questions and gather information.

Other activities involve taking them on field trips to engage their learning, or conducting research through books and interviewing adults.

Book a tour with Us! 

preschool singapore

If this sounds like something you will like for your child, book a tour today at your preferred Little Footprints Preschool centre and see if we are the right learning space for your child’s early childhood education journey. 

We have centres island-wide, so book the centre most convenient for you.


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