Just as there is no “one way” to parent a child, there is no “one-size-fits-all” infant care programme.
In fact, there are several types of infant care in Singapore – and one of the most consequential decisions that many parents make early on is choosing the right fit for their little one.
Increasing importance is placed on infant care curriculums these days as more and more young parents recognise that infancy is a crucial time for learning.
Though babies may often seem small and helpless, the infant phase is actually rife with opportunities for them to acquire motor skills as well as cognitive, language and social-emotional development.
The Best Infant Care in Singapore For Your Child
Location and infant care fees in Singapore aside, a key factor to consider is the curriculum.
The infant care programme that is best for your child and family is the one that most closely meets your child’s needs, as well as your values and vision for their development. When choosing infant care, opt for one with a methodology and learning environment that you deem most beneficial for your little one.
To help you identify the infant care in Singapore best suited for your baby, here are four types of programmes:
1. Relationship-Based Learning Infant Care
Approaches such as the Reggio-Emilia programme encourage an educational culture of collaboration and cooperation. Based on the belief that our world is made up of relationships, a Reggio-Emilia-based programme emphasises the development of interpersonal skills from a young age.
Depending on the interests of each infant, a relationship-based programme helps a child understand his or her relationship with adults, with one another, and with the environment. The idea is that everything is connected; nothing is in isolation. Teachers assume the role of co-constructors, observers, partners or guides.
2. Play-Based Learning Infant Care
A play-based infant care curriculum provides facilitated play experiences that help a child’s learning and development. It is rooted in the belief that children learn best through engaging in activities that they find interesting.
Many government childcare centres such as NTUC’s My First Skool and PAP Community Foundation’s Sparkletots offer play-based infant care programmes. When taking infant care fees in Singapore into consideration, government childcare centres might be deemed more affordable.
Through the PETAL© approach (Playing, Exploring, Thinking, and Applying Learning), My First Skool “focuses on development, well-being and children’s active involvement instead of a traditional teacher-directed learning approach.” Infants are encouraged to explore and learn about their environment through various sensorial activities.
At a Reggio-Emilia inspired infant care in Singapore such as Bambino Odyssey, there is a focus on responding to babies’ verbal cues and actions, and encouraging their efforts to explore the world around them through sight, sound, taste, smell and touch.
3. Montessori-Based Learning Infant Care
The Montessori approach emphasises independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s individuality and unique needs. It advocates a spontaneous learning school of thought, where the teacher’s role is to supervise and step in when a child exhibits an incorrect habit. It’s the opposite of a “helicopter approach.”
Self-directed learning and learning through free play are greatly encouraged. Authentic Montessori-based infant care centres in Singapore are often extolled for their effectiveness in fostering independent, engaged, and self-driven young learners.
There are many Montessori-inspired programmes in Singapore, such as Josiah Montessori, a UK-based programme that encourages learning through sensorial experience, physical play and baby signing (to encourage babies to express their needs with simple signs when they cannot yet express with words). Learning outcomes include language and literacy, sensorial and practical life.
4. Whole Brain Learning Infant Care
Whole brain learning infant care in Singapore is rooted in the principle that the process of learning is just as valuable as reaching its goals. This type of infant programme is invested in imparting the whole learning process, including the means as well as the ends to completing a task. There is usually a balance of playing, ‘seizing moments’ and ‘crafted moments’ to make the most of every learning opportunity.
Backed by extensive research, the holistic process offered by MindChamps Infant Care nurtures the mentality of “Explore, Experience, Experiment and Enjoy” in young children to enhance their Sensory, Motor, Intellectual, Linguistic, Emotional, and Social (S.M.I.L.E.S.) development.
To give you a better idea of what baby sensory play is like, take a look at the video below:
Through a semi-individualised approach that is fine-tuned for each infant, MindChamps Infant Care plays to a child’s strengths while identifying and addressing his or her shortcomings. The 1:3 carer-to-child ratio better ensures that your infant will receive plenty of individual attention as he or she is immersed in diverse opportunities to learn and grow.
Written by Jenny Tai