We have finally confirmed Little Twinkle's playgroup! Just made the deposit payment yesterday... Wow, suddenly feels that she's really growing fast.
The decision to put Little Twinkle at the playgroup is a last minute one. This resulted because the contract of our helper is expiring soon (beginning of Oct), thus we need someone to help to take care of Little Twinkle from the time our helper leaves until Little Twinkle starts pre-nursery at the church kindergarten.
We've been to this childcare 3 times. On the 3rd visit, we decided to place Little Twinkle in the playgroup but there was no vacancy then. And just happened they have 1 slot currently, which is very lucky for us. :)))
Things we like about this childcare:
- Big outdoor playground - as usual we think it's important for toddlers to run around and have fun, instead of sitting around indoors.
- Bilingual - they have 1 English teacher and 1 chinese teacher for every class. Both will always be around to speak to the kids in respective language. Thought this is better for toddlers to learn the language through their daily interaction, instead of just 1 hour chinese lesson everyday.
- Cozy setup: teachers and principal seems to know the kids well
- Variety in kid's lunch menu: I'm rather impressed with their lunch menu which sounds sooo yummy, even for me. Each meal includes protein, carb, fibre. Another childcare that we visited last week offered 3-in-1 milo for all breakfast/lunch with nuggets/ butter cake/ soon kuey / steamed bun etc.
- Near our house: 8 mins car ride
Things that made us reconsider for this childcare:
- Close by 6.30pm latest: not very ideal for dual working parents as most workplace end at 6-6.30pm. This also assumes that one can leave on the dot everyday, which seems unrealistic in our society. And I was told that the kids in Little Twinkle's class mostly leave by 3pm, so most likely Little Twinkle will be without friends from 3pm onwards. I still feel that childcares should operate until 7 or 7.30pm so that working parents have sufficient time to pick up the child after work.
- Inconvenient location: the childcare is about 600+ meters from thr MRT station based on street directory. So it means I have to walk 1.2km (600 m back and fro) to fetch Little Twinkle. So I will walk 2.4km everyday. And I have to walk fast enough to be able to catch her before 6.30pm which means I need to leave my workplace early by 5.30pm assuming I need 30 mins to travel via mrt and 30 mins to walk. Sigh....
We have considered putting Little Twinkle at the childcare opposite my workplace, which will be super convenient for me. But the quality is really substandard and the price is more expensive....
- Cramped place: like a small office setup
- No outdoor playground
- High teacher-to-student ratio: 1 young teacher to 9 students
- Unconducive language learning environment: they have only 1 teacher currently and who speaks only singlish to the kids (we do speak singlish as well, but I don't expect a teacher to do that since she's supposed to educate the young kids.)
- Not ideal lunch menu: the lunch menu is the one I have described earlier with the 3-in-1 milo and nuggets etc.
So my colleagues were saying it's better that the parents suffer (walked 2.4km daily), rather than kids suffer (un-conducive environment). I guess they are right. Hopefully Little Twinkle will be happy in this childcare that we have painstakingly decided. Haha...