Category Archives: Nursery

@ 29 months and nursery search

@ 29 months 1 day

It’s exactly 1 year, 1 month and 2 days since I left the world of workforce to become a SAHM. Time really flies. I remember last year about the same time I was in deep depression trying to cope with all the changes around me.. the new environment in a new country, new lifestyle, new role as a SAHM. Thankfully now a year on, I am all good. Infact I am so used to my current lifestyle that I am not sure if I can now cope with the ever challenging and competitive world of working life, and whether this SAHM is still in demand if I do decide to go back to work when Ryan goes fulltime nursery. By then, it would only make sense I go back to workforce rather than staying home to be a full time couch potato or shopping queen. Hmmm.. *headache*

Ryan is currently attending Julia Gabriel and Shichida now but over the span of 8 months of so, he hasn’t showed much improvement in terms of independency and social skills. He is very vocal but very shy at the same time and always need companion. I’m hoping by esposing him to nursery/playgroup environment would really help improve his social skills.

Back to nursery. Ahh.. ahh.. *headache headache* again. Ryan will be turning 3 next year and it only make sense I start my nursery scouting if I want Ryan to join the classes in Jan09. I have shortlisted quite a number, made numerous enquiry calls, visited a handful; only to realised that most of the better ones (better ones = reasonably good and affordable) are all fully subscribed. After much research, I found out if I want to enrol Ryan into any of these good schools (good = again does not mean elite), I should have put him on a waitlist at least one year in advance and yet that doesn’t guarantee a place. I learned my lesson. The hard way.

Back in Nov last year, I signed Ryan up with a full chinese medium nursery (highly recommended by my cuz). It’s one of the very few good Chinese nurseries in Singapore. I know the chances of getting in are slim, nonetheless I was bearing hope since I signed up more than a year in advance for 2009 intake. Sounds super a bit kiasu I know but afterall no registration fees required, just sign up la. I called them last week for an update. I was flabbergasted when they told me places for next year’s N1 intake are all taken (priorities given to waitlist who has siblings in the school / siblings who were ex students. Like us.. no connections sorry lor). We are now conveniently pushed down on waitlist for 2010 intake. Mad..!! Madness!! It’s only nursery god sake! Okay.. what to do. That’s how life gets around here.

Some info I have gathered so far from the calls/nurseries I’ve visited:

** Operating hours: AM, PM or full day (I prefer flexi days, alternatively AM session from 8.30am – 12.30pm)
** Meals: Breakfast and Lunch inclusive, some includes shower time.
** Curriculum Methodolgy: Some schools swear by themed based, some on literature, montessori, and some have their self school trademark methodology. I would say mostly follows themed based methodology here and ‘play and learn’ style of teaching is encouraged esp for that age group. Not so much on academic.
** Teacher-Student Ratio: Ranges from 1:6 to 1:12 (MOE guideline is 1:15 for nursery level). Some schools take in as many as 18 students in a class with one teacher and one assistant in a class.
** Development Report: Some monthly, half yearly with weekly email updates on the curriculum activities. Portfolio or children’s artwork, craft, etc would be given too. Parental involvement is highly encouraged here.
** Chinese: Mostly have chinese as part of the curriculum with English as main medium (60:40 ratio). Some schools practise bilingual environment, meaning 1 English and 1 Chinese teacher in a class. Not many schools can afford that. Most with just one teacher and an assistant at most at any one time.
** Teachers qualifications: MOE requirement, all qualified teachers must be at least a diploma holder graduated with Early Learning Curriculum
** Worksheet: Mostly don’t recommend worksheets for nursery 1 level
** Fees structure: Ranges from $700 – $1000 per month (elite nurseries can command as high as $1300 per month, of course some neighborhood kindy can go as low as $300 per month) *super madness*
** Subsidies: Lucky lucky if you are a Singaporean. Working/Non working moms are entitled to a max of $150 subsidy per month off the school fees. Not bad eh..

We have not decided which school to enrol Ryan with. I’m still evaluating, still contemplating, researching, what not…I do not want a school that emphasises too much on academic for this age group. I am a strong believer of ‘learn through play’; that a kid will only learn if they are truly happy and enjoy.

Aahh.. aahh… so so… how? The fairly good ones I have enlisted earlier which we can comfortably afford have all been snapped up. Further, schools which offers flexi programme (2 – 3 days a week, the timing I am more keen at) are hard to come by. We are on waitlist for some, some we totally give up as the list are simply ridiculously long. Hopefully we get to hear some good news soon. What to do. Cannot afford the elite schools, and yet I couldn’t bring myself to sign up with kindies that can’t even keep their toilets clean. Yeaks!!!!

Random shots taken with the cheeky boy who is full with 1001 expressions

 Happy 29 months