Are Expensive Preschools Worth Rolling that Dough?

by Education Cube, posted on Jun 1, 2016

Are Expensive Preschools Worth Rolling that Dough?

child playing with play dough

It used to be that school enrolment stress came from registering your child for Primary 1. Nowadays, that has been dialled back by a number of years to anything along the preschool age. With a wide range of preschools to fit all manner of budget, interest, and pedagogy in recent times, is it all a matter of the sky is the limit?

The full works

Preschools here provide endless options for children aged anything from a few months to under 7 years old before a child enrols in formal primary school education.

There are both local and international preschools available where their approaches may differ. Students attending local programmes follow the Nurturing Early Learners (NEL) curriculum, a toolkit of kindergarten resources creating quality learning experiences for children from 4 to 6 years old.

On the other hand, an international preschool is known to provide a more holistic view of education with less pressure on tests and exams. Some of these schools also follow different learning systems or pedagogy, such as the Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia, HighScope, or Bank Street curriculums. With so much to choose from, parents have no lack of options to sift through to find out which type is more suited for who.

mesuring tape

Go big or go home?

If all that is still too easy to navigate, parents can hit the big time with ‘branded’ preschools, ones that have built sterling reputations for quality – and also their price tags. A list of the 20 most expensive preschools in the land names institutions with annual school fees starting from above $10,000. The heavyweight that tops it all comes in at more than a hefty $40,000 a year! There in Sentosa, children get to spend their day in a colonial heritage bungalow, and eat in an area realistically styled to look like a 1960s hawker street area.

Keeping it real

So how do we know what to really focus on when balancing the decision on a school against a reasonable budget? It all depends, of course, on what parents define as ‘reasonable’ for themselves. Does your child really need to be in a $40,000 a year preschool just because you may be able to afford it?

money on trees

Here’s a ballpark comparison on affordability: the cost of childcare in Singapore can start from as low as around 10% of the most expensive preschool around. So it can be quite affordable, if parents are not particular about any specialised methodologies, can qualify for Government subsidies, and avoid expensive enrichment options.

Top 10 most inexpensive preschools

According to the Early Childhood Development Agency, the top 10 most inexpensive preschools are:

PCF Sparkletots Starts from $375/month
Tai Pei Child Care Centre $480/month
Chee Hwan Kog Childcare Centre $520/month
ABC Children’s Place $530/month
3-in-1 Family Centre $552/month
St Andrew’s Cathedral Child Development Centre $560/month
D’Joy Children’s Centre $567/month
Lutheran Child Care Centre $570/month
Huda Childcare $570/month
10 Kidz Meadow Childcare & Development Centre $594/month

 

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