Singapore has made significant strides in the development of education policies over the last five decades. The country now boasts one of the best education systems in the world. With more research highlighting the importance of early childhood education, the country has now shifted focus to this sector. While preschool in Singapore is not mandatory, emerging government policies highlight the importance of this arm of the education sector.
But is early childhood a worthwhile investment? Are there returns a parent or the government should expect from this massive investment? To answer these questions, you’ll have to look at the benefits and costs of investing in early childhood. This post discusses the benefits vs costs of early schools.
Benefits of Early Childhood Education
The question of the role of early childhood schools has been around for a long time. Parents in Singapore have the choice to enrol their children in these programmes or wait till the children are ready for primary school.
Parents of special children need not feel disheartened on this ground. There are some exceptional educational institutions that are now focusing on inclusive education. This means that kids, no matter what their disability, will be able to get education that will be suited to their condition, allowing them a chance to grow and develop just like anyone else.
However, the popularity of preschool education in the country shows that parents have discovered the benefits of early schooling. If you’re a parent pondering whether to enrol your child in an early childhood programme, consider these benefits:
Early childhood schools are crucial in the socialisation of a child outside the family setting. This is the first place your child interacts with other kids and develops social and emotional skills. Children in preschool learn how to share, make friends, collaborate, cope with difficulties and so much more.
Other important concepts your child learns at this stage include diversity. By interacting with children from different backgrounds, your child can appreciate differences and live harmoniously with other kids. In the global nature of the modern world, children need to understand diversity and the need to accommodate each other for more harmonious living.
- Early Academic Training
Early childhood schools set a good academic foundation. Children who go to prep school in Singapore learn crucial concepts, including writing, reading, numeracy skills, problem solving, and alphabets. The basic skills learnt at this level come in handy in the child’s future academic pursuits.
The games and other learning activities used at this level build enthusiasm for learning. Kids who go through early childhood programmes are more curious and have an easier time when they join formal schooling.
- Learning Respect for Rules
Early childhood plays a critical role in introducing the concept of rules to the child. Children have an easy time at home where everyone goes to extra lengths to please them. In school, your child experiences a structured environment with rules and schedules. Children become more responsible and learn to respect authority. These lifelong skills come in handy in moulding the child into a well-behaved adult in the future.
Investment and Cost of Early Childhood Education
Singapore’s Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) landscape comprises mostly privatised institutions. In addition, there are Ministry of Education (MOE)-run Kindergartens. While attending preschool is not compulsory, it’s easy to see the government’s commitment to this sector.
In 2019, the government announced S$1 billion annual spending in early childhood education. The announcement came with a promise to double the funding. Most of this funding goes to the government-run programs. This means private institutions in the country inject even more money into their programs. An established prep school for instance requires a lot of money to run every year which comes from the tuition fees.
But is this investment worth it? Is investment in your child’s early childhood education a worthy investment? Research shows that every $1 invested in quality early childhood programs can yield returns between $4 and $16.
Parents in the country have to pay top dollar for enrolment in the best programmes. Take a look:
- MOE Kindergarten: $160 for Singaporeans half day and maximum of S$415/month
- ECDA Anchor Operator Kindergartens S$720 full day and S$160 half day.
- International Kindergartens: Full day S$1,600 to S$2,900 and S$800 to S$5,000 half day.
Is Investment In Early Childhood Education Worth It?
Preschool subsidies are available for parents who enrol their children in approved childcare centres. The subsidies include S$300 per month for full-day childcare and S$600 per month for full-day infant care. Even with the subsidies, the cost of these preschools is still high. This brings up the question of the importance of preschool education.
The heavy investment in preschool education by the government, the private sector and parents has a huge impact on society. Early childhood schools shape and mould these kids into more responsible adults. The programs build a foundation for early learning and prepare the children for the rigorous formal education.
By investing heavily in early childhood education, investors, the government, and parents have set a foundation for creation of an educated society. This investment has made Singapore’s workforce among the most skilled in the world. The progress started way down in early childhood where parents sacrificed to enrol their children in the best schools. Thinking of enrolling your child in the best international British school? This is the best gift for your child and an investment of a lifetime.
Finding the Best Early Childhood School
Investing in early childhood education is one of the best decisions you can make as a parent. To ensure your child gets the best out of these programmes, choose a licensed and reputable school. Seek referrals and recommendations from other parents and visit the institution to inspect the facilities.
The best facilities invest heavily in safety and hygiene to meet the stringent licensing standards. Confirm the teachers in the programme are well trained and certified. Check the type of learning activities used by teachers and confirm if there are enough teachers to offer personalised attention. Go on and invest in the best early childhood education programme.