Tips: How to pick the right childcare centre

SINGAPORE - With more households being helmed by dual-income earners, childcare centres are becoming more of a necessity in Singapore.

So how do parents pick the right childcare centre?

Firstly, the parents need figure out how many hours they spend at work. Childcare centres typically provide full day and half-day care programmes, and some centres even offer flexible child care programmes to cater for the diverse work requirements of parents.

While most centres admit children from 18 months onwards, some also provide infant care to children aged two months to 18 months, according to the information provided on the Early Childhood Development Agency's site.

Parents also should check if the supervisors and teachers of childcare centres are are childcare and first aid trained, which is required of them.

These centres also have to be licensed by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports under the Child Care Centres Act (Cap. 37A) and Regulations.

They are also required to meet basic standards of health care, safety precautions, food quality and security measures.

While a centre's programme is aimed at educating and developing pre-school children for the future, they also provide activities to stimulate a child's mental, physical and social development.