Securing a seat in primary school happens through the Primary 1 registration phases every year.
The P1 registration process can be pretty anxious for parents as they wait with bated breaths for the results to be announced. Everyone hopes to receive good news – but, there’s only so much parents can do to improve their chances, right?
That said, some think that attending MOE Kindergarten guarantees primary school admission since their child is enrolled in the school.
Let’s find out some facts about this claim.
Perks of being an MOE Kindergarten student during P1 registration
What is one of the key factors for parents to enrol their child in MOE Kindergarten?
The key advantage of enrolling your child in an MOE Kindergarten (MK) gives him priority to apply at Phase 2A during the P1 registration exercise for the school that the kindergarten shares its premises with. Currently, no other preschools or childcare centres in Singapore enjoy special eligibility for primary school.
Source: MOE Facebook page
Phase 2A is the same category as parents or siblings who were ex-students, alumni, is a member of the School Advisory or Management Committee or is a staff member of the primary school.
This also means that the MK student will have a priority during registration in this earlier phase as compared to the later ones where the distance of their home to the school is taken into consideration.
However, there are pre-requisites for enrolling into MK along with an income cap for priority admission.
Chances of MOE Kindergarten students with a guaranteed slot during Primary 1 Registration
With the priority placement at Phase 2A during the P1 registration, that’s probably the “best” chance of securing a slot for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs), if the child does not already have a sibling studying in said primary school (Phase 1 requirement).
There is a fixed number of vacancies for each phase of the registration exercise. Hence, should Phase 2A be oversubscribed, balloting will kick in and the selection of students enrolling will be based on citizenship and home-school distance, regardless of whether they are enrolled in MK or not.
Source: Park View Primary School
How balloting works during P1 registration:
Priority admission to primary school works as follows:
1. Singapore Citizens (SC) living within 1km of the school.
2. SCs living between 1km and 2km of the school.
3. SCs living outside 2km of the school.
4. Permanent Residents (PR) living within 1km of the school.
5. PRs living between 1km and 2km of the school.
6. PRs living outside 2km of the school.
Singapore Citizens have a higher priority over PRs, in addition to the home-school distance advantage.
Oversubscription for the various phases happens and this is common, especially in schools with young families in Sengkang and Punggol.
When that happens, children who are balloted out will need to register at the next possible phase.
Take for example: Horizon Primary School at Punggol, with an oversubscription at Phase 2A. Applicants will also include children from MOE Kindergarten @ Horizon.
Source: sgschooling.com, July 2023
From the above scenario, the 24 children who didn’t manage to secure a seat will need to apply at another phase e.g. Phase 2B or 2C.
At this point, the advantage of being an MK student will no longer be a consideration. However, should the child be living within 1km of the preferred primary school, this means the child has 2 chances of securing admission, i.e. if he didn’t get a seat at Phase 2A, he can now apply at Phase 2B if 1 parent meets the below requirements and/or apply at Phase 2C since they live 1km away from the school.
Phases of P1 Registration Exercise
Phase 2B is for parents who are parent volunteers (PVs) at the said primary school who have completed at least 40 hours of service, is a member endorsed by the church or clan or endorsed as an active community leader.
Phase 2C is open to the rest of children who are eligible to register for P1.
Phase 2C Supplementary is for children who have yet to secure a seat.
Likewise, their citizenship and home-school distance consideration will apply. Those living within 1km from the school have a higher priority than those living between 1km to 2km from the school versus those who are 2km and further.
Thus, parents who wish to have more options can also consider applying to a primary school near their child’s caregiver’s address since they will be taken care of by them after school. If doing so, note that declaration is mandatory, and you need to ensure that this caregiver arrangement is maintained for at least 30 months from the start of P1 Registration Exercise or your child may be transferred out of the school.
In conclusion, it is a myth that MK students have guaranteed entry into their affiliated primary school.
Dedicated childcare programme in Singapore for 18 months to 6 years old
Parents who wish to minimise changes in children’s routines, consider childcare centres in Singapore with programmes to support young learners through half-day and full-day arrangements.
Little Footprints Preschool offers a holistic curriculum to prepare children for primary school.