Childcare or Kindergarten

Young ParentsIn order to clear my doubts on preschool education, I get myself a copy of Preschool Guide (Vol. 6 2008/2009) published by Young Parents.

In this guide, there is a comprehensive listing of kindergartens and childcare centers in Singapore.

Some of the useful topics featured in this guide include ways to determine whether our kids are ready for preschool, the search for a kindy/childcare and the critical life skills that our kids need besides IQ.

From what I understand from this guide and the MOE & MCYS websites, these are the major differences between a kindergarten and a childcare.


  • Operates 5 days a week with 2 sessions of 3-4 hours each, with one-week term break after the first and third terms, a four-week mid-year vacation and a six-week year-end vacation.
  • Registered with Ministry of Education (MOE).
  • Generally, only snacks are served due to shorter amount of time spent.
  • Lesser routine care as compared to childcare.
  • Teacher-Student Ratio (by MOE)
    Nursery (3-4y/o): 1:15
    K1 (5y/o): 1:20
    K2 (6y/o): 1:25
  • Can use Baby Bonus on approved institutions.
  • No subsidy.


  • Operates 5.5 days a week (Mon-Fri 7am-7pm, Sat 7am-2pm) throughout the year, with 5 scheduled off-days per year.
  • Registered with Ministry of Community, Youth and Sports (MCYS).
  • Meals and snacks are served.
  • Extensive routine care due to longer amount of time spent. Routine care includes showers, naps and attending to the children’s daily needs.
  • Teacher-Student Ratio (by MCYS)
    Playgroup/Nursery (18 – 30mths): 1:8
    Nursery 1 (30mths – 3y/o): 1:12
    Nursery 2 (3-4 y/o): 1:15
    K1 & K2 (5-6 y/o): 1:25
  • Can use Baby Bonus on approved institutions.
  • Childcare subsidy is available to Singapore Citizen children.

I hope this preschool guide will be helpful to you too! Check it out. 🙂


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