Deciding on the right infant care for your child can be challenging, especially for first-time parents.
The environment that your child is in plays a huge role in his/her development, as learning takes place on overdrive from 0 to 5 years old. With that, providing the appropriate care and stimulation will provide your child with the right foundation as he/she progresses through life.
There are many things to consider when looking for a suitable caregiver to look after your infant when you have to return to work after maternity leave.
Should you opt to get help from the grandparents, hire a domestic helper or enrol your baby in infant care?
Whichever option you choose, each brings with them its own set of considerations.
Should you decide to put your child in infant care in Singapore, be sure to have questions ready to bring up when you visit the centre before confirming your enrolment.
Here, we outline the key things to look out for when choosing an infant care centre in Singapore.
What to Look for in an Infant Care Centre in Singapore
1. Observe the Centre Environment
A good preschool should be one that is warm and friendly, where children look forward to going at the start of every day.
Once you have a sense of this, find out more about the infant care centre’s values and policies. After all, you want to find one that is in line with your own beliefs and values as a parent.
Next, check out the setup of the infant care section. Do the cots look clean and comfortable?
Are there enough teachers to attend to the infants? Are there learning materials available in the room to provide stimulation to the babies, allowing them to develop their motor skills and senses?
And most importantly, is the infant care section properly segregated to allow space for infants at various stages to explore safely?
2. Ask About the Daily Meals and Feeds
During the first 6 months, your baby will live mainly on milk for nourishment.
Whether you are offering formula or breast milk, it is important to find out the infant care centre’s approach when it comes to milk preparation. Mothers who are inclined to offer expressed breast milk should ensure that the centre is supportive of their breastfeeding journey and are well-equipped with the right materials.
Having your baby start solids at 6 months old is another milestone to look forward to and you would be anxious about the nutritional value of the food offered to your infant.
Do take this chance to find out more about the meal plans available at these infant care centres and ask if they are able to cater to your baby’s dietary needs if any.
3. Is There a Curriculum Offered at the Infant Care?
For infant care centres in Singapore, a specially designed curriculum is offered to cater to the development of the littlest ones. The best infant care curriculum encourages curiosity and provides opportunities for exploration for babies to learn and discover.
At Little Footprints Preschool, the infant care programme taps on the Blooming Minds curriculum which helps to nurture your baby to become confident, respectful and reflective individuals through play and exploration.
4. Look at the Location and Cost
One of the first things to do when choosing an infant care centre is that it should be easily accessible either from home or your workplace.
In this case, convenience is a key factor as you would want it to be able to bring your children to school with ease in the morning and pick them up on time at the end of the day.
Once you have settled on the location of the best infant care centre, you will then need to look at the costs involved.
As outlined by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), Singaporean children with working mothers receive a subsidy of up to $600 on monthly school fees, while non-working mothers receive a $150 subsidy.
On top of monthly school fees, do also ask about miscellaneous fees such as excursions, year-end concerts, enrichment programmes and more.
5. Double Check the Safety and Hygiene Aspects of the Centre
During the early years, children are more vulnerable to illnesses as their immune system begins to develop. With that, your child’s health and safety should remain a top priority, especially in a school setting like infant care.
Ask about the protocols for food preparation and meals, as well as cleaning and sanitisation of classrooms and learning materials at the infant care centre of your choice. Children should be taught to have their hands washed before and after meals and activities too.
As with the daily activities, sleeping arrangements for infants should be clearly sectioned and cater to the different stages of development.
For example, immobile infants are placed in cots while those who can stand or cruise are placed in lowered cribs or mattresses. The sleeping areas should also be cleared of toys, with only a fitted sheet covering the mattress.
Importantly, there should be a clear policy for school pick-ups. Only authorised persons on your list should be given access unless approval or instructions are given for alternate caregivers to pick up your child.
Are you Ready to Schedule a Tour of the Infant Care Centre?
With the list of things that you should look out for above, now is the time to check out the best infant care centres in Singapore, according to your preference!
Book a tour with your preferred Little Footprints Preschool centre to check out our facilities and find out how we can partner you on your parenting journey, from infant care to childcare.
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