There are many different types of childcare available for people living in Singapore and each one carries a different price tag. One option is a high quality childcare center with enrichment opportunities. These centers can easily run several thousand dollars per month. While the enrichment classes are typically provided by outside vendors, they do take place at the center. This is the most costly method of childcare. The next option for childcare is a childcare center without enrichment activities. Here children still receive quality care and are able to interact with other children and adults but for a much lower cost. This type of center typically involves much more free play, however it still covers the basics such as letter and number recognition and things of that nature. Both types of centers will deliver a similar program in regard to basic education expectations; however they may go about things in a different way. For instance, some of the more expensive centers may subscribe to a Montessori type program, where the children explore their interests in blocks of time called “learning blocks,” while other centers may prefer instead to run a “skill and drill” school prep that involves lots of worksheets and practicing the various things that they have learned
Another option, which is typically the cheapest childcare option in Singapore, is making use of a private babysitter or nanny. This can be especially helpful for people with a limited income or for those that are foreigners living in Singapore and therefore do not qualify for the various government subsidies that Singapore offers. A private babysitter or nanny does have many pros and cons that must be considered before making a decision. A private babysitter or nanny is typically a significantly cheaper monthly cost than it would be to take the child to a basic or enrichment center. However, the child may learn drastically different things. A nanny may be limited in her ability to teach certain skills and offer various enrichment opportunities, therefore it falls to the parent to ensure that the child masters all lessons required for school preparation. A nanny or babysitter may also be limited in terms of providing socialization, especially if the nanny prefers to stay in home rather than venturing out with the child. However, this is not to say that there are not fantastic nannies and babysitters offering high quality care to children in Singapore at reasonable rates. It is up to the parents to find the perfect childcare match for their little ones.
The Singapore government recognizes the high cost of childcare in its nation and provides valuable subsidies to its citizens. These subsidies help working parents to afford the best childcare they possibly can. However, these subsidies are offered in varying degrees to residents of Singapore. For instance, a mother in Singapore that is a citizen and works fifty-six hours or more per month may receive a childcare subsidy for up to seven hundred dollars a month from the government, which is a substantial discount. Mothers in Singapore that are citizens that work less than fifty-six hours a month also qualify for a proportionally discounted subsidy. Low income families that are citizens of Singapore will also qualify for additional income based subsidies to ensure they have access to high quality childcare. Permanent Residents of Singapore are eligible for a small subsidy as well, although it is significantly lower than what full citizens receive. Foreigners living in Singapore do not qualify for any subsidies and in fact are often charged a significantly higher rate for centers as well, sometimes double the base rate that citizen would be charged. This is done in an effort to ensure that citizens of Singapore have access to high quality childcare at all times.
Training in childcare can branch out to a number of different fields and qualifications. Colleges that are approved by the Ministry and Workforce Development Agency can offer courses that will guide educators to a standard Diploma in the care and education of young adults, a Professional Diploma, and even to a Specialist Diploma in the field of Child Care and Education. The courses involve first learning about children. One must understand children if they are to teach them. The classes start with basic information on how children learn from in the different stages of their growth, such as from toddler to adolescent and so on. The courses will also teach different disabilities and exceptionalities child care educators may come in contact with during their career. It provides the educator with a background of knowledge on what to do in certain situations and how to help other children learn and relax in an environment of students who learn and interact on different levels. This way, the students are not just being watched over by those who are in charge, they are also learning from them and developing character.
Childcare education courses extend into the field of reading and other skills childcare specialists will find necessary in a child care facility. Looking after the child while guardians are at work is only part of the process of being a child caregiver. Child Care courses in Singapore are growing rapidly to keep up with the number of people entering the job market. Singapore is preparing its workforce to focus on their career while knowing that their children are not only being well taken care of in clean and Ministry approved facilities, Singapore is making sure that those children are being taken care of by well educated people who are aware of Ministry standards in regards to good child care practices. The courses will train the educators in their program how to have strong leadership abilities as well as an understanding of the emotional needs that some of the children will need met. Childcare courses are offered extensively in Singapore and are designed to fulfill a complete core of educational skills.