@ 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


17 thoughts on “@ 29 months and nursery search”

  1. One year already?! Wow..time really flew by fast. Looks like you have a lot of kindies to go through. It isn’t easy to find the perfect place, huh?

    EM: It would be much easier if we don’t have that many options I guess.

  2. ah..know exactly how you feel…I was so farn thinking of where to send Ryan and Jaden next year but just decided to stay put in the same kindy with the 2 brothers together. The key is just to ‘make’ a decision – it may not be the ‘perfect 10′ decision but it is the best decision at the point in time :) Good luck

    EM: Thanks. Oh Jaden also go kindy already eh? Good he has his bro to look after him

  3. The fee so expansive. Pre-school pay is like college fee. *Killing* summore all no space..

    Hope you find the right one for Ryan soon. I do have the same thinking like you on Learn through Play.

    EM: That’s the thing.. it’s expensive, that’s why I want something which at least gives some value for money

  4. i think the mummy enjoyed more than Ryan in the different faces photo shots..hehehehe

    EM: Was initially trying to get a good mommy and baby shot but the fella kept mischieving around.. so I followed suit. :P

  5. hahaa…very stressful eh? you know what? Ashley will be going to the kindy next year but I have yet to start looking.

    EM: Sometimes I wonder if I am still in KL, would I be as stress?

  6. I am not having any ease on this subject either… you know how things around here… all so commercialized!

    Probably I’ll end up home-schooling Darrius till he is 5… I really hate this scouting for the ‘ideal’ school…

    EM: Home schooling is good but it needs a lot of determination and discipline on the parent. I really cant do it. I’m such a slack.

  7. We’re in the same boatlah. I’m going mad looking for a “suitable” playschool/kindy/whatever-you-wanna-name-it for Irfan too. Sigh. Julia Gabriel or Chiltern House costs a bomblah if nak send everyday. :(

    EM: Yea.. JG and Chiltern fees are mad. But some like etonhouse lagi mad.

  8. hehe… very stressful wo. I ended up sending her to this cantonese based school. I hope I have made the right choice.

    EM: Just curious what methodology the school adopts? Wonder if it’s the same as here…

  9. now we know where ryan gets his model posing style eh? haha

    EM: Hahaha.. yea.. was trying to teach him to smile ‘properly’, thus all the cheeky faces he showed

  10. I also went through some headache trying to search for a suitable playschool for Ian, since he isn’t talking yet and doesn’t take instructions well. He’s 22 months old and we thought going to a playschool will help solve these problems. Turned out that the school fees are generally about US$400-$500 per month, with only about 2-3 times per week and each time only half day. Then fortunately, a friend of mine recommended us to go to a community-based recreation center that has different activity classes at just about less than $100 for 3 months. So I signed Ian up to an art class for a start (I also need to be in the class too). I wanted to enroll into the dance/music class but it was already full… So you may want to try find some community-based classes if they have something like that in your place. Personally, I would send Ian to Montessori when he is a little older, like 4-5 y.o.

    Hey, I don’t know you are now a SAHM. Welcome to the group!

    By the way, I also did something like that photo shoot collage of yours recently. Just that mine did not have that many pics..

    EM: Thanks. Yes, me SAHM for more than a year now. :P

  11. The kindy’s here are just as expensive. It depends if you want a holistic environment or one that instills a lot of play through learn.It is all your choice as kids will eventually catch up. Although, some of the kids that go to Chiltern house or Children house here do see behind academically in Primary one as they counterparts were exposed to drilling methods at other kindergartens. Am planning to send Rowena next year too. She is getting really bored

  12. Understand what you are going thru perfectly. I faced the same situation and furthermore we are vegetarians thus need to find 1 near our place. well, dun worry too much.

    i think SM doesnt encourage Montessori method. That’s what i thought i heard during the parental guidance class. 1 major reason why i put ross into SM is to save $ on nursery and jsut go to a normal one…

    where do you stay? and which JG u go? my friend’s little gal is at JG evans road and she likes it there leh

  13. Oh my god, getting a nursery in Singapore is worst then in Malaysia. At lease here the seat is always available. And the fee is so expensive, my goodness~

    If you like ‘learn through play’, why don’t you try montessori system, so far my son is so happy with his new school with montessori education. It is a bit expensive than normal school.

    I feel going to a 5 days school is better than flexi days, because this is confuse the kid when should go school, and when should not. For my son, he know very well that the day daddy & mommy go work he have to go school. Weekend he will said “Mommy no working, Yeah! wai wai no go school, wake up go kai kai, Yeah!” Hahahaha

  14. so fast need to go school dy.. quite pricey also the nursery there, but i think the stuff they teach are much better than in aussie.. aussie only teach them to play play play.. no study at all..

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