Infant Cares in Singapore 2019: PCF Sparkletots vs My First Skool vs Others

infant cares in singapore 2018

It feels like just the other day when you whooped with joy (and relief) at the arrival of your baby. Now, all too soon, your maternity leave is over and you have to return to work.

You don’t have parents, in-laws or relatives to count on. You don’t trust your newborn to a helper. And you don’t think a nanny can quite meet your standards of care. Then, your best alternative (short of being a SAHM) is infant care.

Don’t worry, infant cares in Singapore are expensive, but a viable option for many. Staff are professionally trained and meals are carefully prepared and scheduled to suit babies from 2 to 18 months old.

Usually, the more expensive the centre, the more sophisticated and extensive its curriculum and the lower its teacher-child-ratio, which means that your infant will receive more attention and care.

Infant cares in Singapore – how much do they cost in 2019?

Generally, the most affordable infant cares are under PCF Sparkletots, My First Skool and Skool4Kidz, ranging between $1,298 to $1,376. These centres usually have a teacher-child-ratio of 1:5.

That said, the best infant care in Singapore is usually the one that is the nearest to your home or workplace. Here’s a comprehensive (but not exhaustive) list. Swipe left to see the costs.

Area Infant care Address Cost per month
East My First Skool 487C Tampines Street 45 $1356.78 to $1,364.25
East Kinderland Infant Care Marine Parade 87 Marine Parade Central $1,980
East The Little Skool-House International @ Downtown East 1 Pasir Ris Close, Downtown East E!Hub #03-113 $2,100
East MindChamps 750C Chai Chee Road, Viva Business Park #01-01 $2,500
North The Little Skool- House International – By the Lake 90 Yishun Central, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (Tower A) #04-01 $2,500
North Pat’s Schoolhouse (Grassroots’ Club) 190 Ang Mo Kio Ave 8, The Grassroots’ Club #01-04 $2,033 (pick up at 7pm)
North PCF Sparkletots Preschool @ Punggol North 50 Edgefield Plains $1,361.50 / $1,364.20
West Safari House Babies and Toddlers 1A International Business Park, Tolaram Building #01-01-02 $1,901
West Mulberry Learning Centre Jurong East 31 International Business Park, Creative Resource Level 1 $1,712
West MindChamps 3 Biopolis Drive, Synapse #01-11 $2,500
Central Mulberry Learning Centre Cairnhill 1 Anthony Road #02-06/07 $2,354
Central Little Agape Uni Cecil Street 101 Cecil Street, Tong Eng Building #01-01 $1,498
Central Josiah Montessori City Childcare Centre 3, Temasek Boulevard #03-374/5/6 Suntec City Mall $2,439.60
Central Pat’s Schoolhouse Prinsep Street 30 Prinsep Street, Income@Prinsep#04-01 and #05-01 $2,033 (7pm)
Northeast Little Agape Uni Upper Serangoon Crescent #01-353 Blk 473D, Upper Serangoon Crescent 5 $1,498 (Singaporeans) / $1,926 (non-Singaporeans)
Northeast Kinderland Sengkang 363 & 365 Lorong Buangkok $2,160

*Infant care costs are before subsidies.

PCF Sparkletots ($1364.20 or $1,376.10/month)

PCF Sparkletots is the largest operator in Singapore and has more than 360 preschools islandwide offering 40,000 kindergarten and childcare placesThis means that there is definitely going to be one near where you live or your workplace. 

Their curriculum focuses on aesthetics and creative expression, discovery of the world, self and social awareness, language and literacy, numeracy, and motor skills development.

Teacher-to-child ratio: 1:5

My First Skool ($1,356.78 to $1,364.25/month)

My First Skool is the childcare arm of NTUC First Campus Co-operative Limited. It is the second largest infant care operator, with 87 infant care centres. My First Skool’s infant care fees are the most affordable in this list, even though they just raised the school fees this year

They conduct sensorial activities and encourage babies to explore and learn about their environment through object-based activities.

Teacher-to-child ratio: 1:5

Skool4Kidz ($1,360/month)

Skool4Kidz’s head office is in Marine Parade and they are expanding rapidly in the north and northeast regions. They now have 15 centres, among which 14 offer infant care services (no infant care at Woodands Ring Road) and they emphasise on the relationship between caregiver and baby. 

Teacher-to-child ratio: 1:5

Cherie Hearts ($1,400 to $1,880/month)

Cherie Hearts has 12 infant care centres. Their curriculum, My First Journey, has a range of activities to stimulate development in language and communication, as well as the emotional, social, cognitive and physical aspects of development.

Teacher-to-child ratio: 1:3 or 1:4

Safari House ($800 to $1,901/month)

Safari House Preschool is a chain of childcare centres owned by the same husband-and-wife team behind Zoo-phonics Asia, a chain of pre-schools that use phonics to teach children to read and write.

Teacher-to-child ratio: 1:5

Kinderland Infant Care ($1,600 to $2,160/month)

There are 4 infant care centres in the Kinderland chain with 2 more opening in January 2019. Their qualified and experienced caregivers encourage babies to think, learn and remember through responsive and loving interactions. Do note that the different centres are operated under different costs and have different teacher-to-child ratios so it is best to call in to make sure.

Teacher-to-child ratio: Varies

Learning Vision ($1,400 to $2,193.50/month)

Learning Vision has 11 infant care centres across the island, but 3 are reserved children of staff located within the same building.

Their curriculum exposes babies to music, reading, art, gym, touch, sensorial play and outdoor fun. Their mix of structured programmes and independent exploration mimic the way babies learn naturally.

Teacher-to-child ratio: 1:3

Agape Little Uni ($1,498/month for Singaporeans)

Agape Little Uni encourages hand-on discovery, exploratory activities, and play. They believe that through these, children will learn about themselves, the people around them and their world and grow to be confident individuals.

Teacher-to-child ratio: 1:4

Mulberry Learning Centre ($1,712 to $2,354/month)

At the 10 centres under Mulberry Learning Centre, the wide spaces are bright and colourful. There are classic toys, musical instruments, textured materials and gym equipment. They serve organic cereal for babies and its specialised kitchen prepares healthy meals like porridge and fresh fruit puree. If you’re a nursing mum, there are even private nursing rooms for you in the centres.

Teacher-to-child ratio: 1:3

Maple Bear Infant Care ($1,780 to $2,225.60/month)

The Maple Bear chain is an international one found in 12 countries. They offer infant care (7 centres) as well as pre-school education based on a system developed in Canada. Bilingualism is a cornerstone of their pedagogy.

Several of their infant care centres sit within sprawling grounds. For example, the one in Bukit Timah is surrounded by nature and the programme also focuses on nature-play to stimulate the little ones’ sense of sight, sound, smell and touch.

Teacher-to-child ratio: 1:3

Pat’s Schoolhouse ($2,033 to $2,515.50/month)

At prices of above $2,300, Pat’s Schoolhouse’s infant cares are definitely premium. It offers infant care services at 3 locations: Prinsep, River Valley and The Grassroots’ Club (AMK). The brand has 30 years of experience and its pre-schools and infant cares focus on bilingualism and exploration through play and music.

The infant care is also the only one to have a split pricing depending on what time you pick your child up. If you are able to pick your child before 5.30pm, the fees are cheaper by over $200.

Teacher-to-child ratio: 1:3

MindChamps ($2,500/month)

MindChamps is a well-known pre-school chain that has recently opened 2 infant care centres. Their infant care programme goes by a cute acronym, S.M.I.L.E.S, which stands for Sensory, Motor (Music and Movement), Intellectual, Linguistics, Emotional and Social. Edu-carers respond to the babies with activities in these 6 areas, encouraging them to experiment with stimuli, interact socially and explore on their own.

Teacher-to-child ratio: 1:3

Montessori infant cares (usually above $2,000/month)

If you haven’t heard of the Montessori method of child-centred education, you probably will in good time, now that you have a kid. Usually, the fees of Montessori infant cares are in the price range of over $2000 per month. What the methodology offers is a thematic curriculum that encourages independence and the honing of social and learning skills.

For instance, at Josiah Montessori Infant Care in Suntec City ($2439.60), classical music is played throughout the day to stimulate the babies. Even those who have yet to sit up are engaged with mobiles and textured materials within their reach. They also teach the little ones sign language so they can express themselves even before they can speak.

Teacher-to-child ratio: 1:3

Final note: subsidies for infant care fees

Even though infant cares are expensive (anywhere between $1,200 to $2500 every month), infant care subsidies help to lighten the financial burden.

Infant Care Subsidy

If you are a Singapore citizen and your child is enrolled in an infant care or child care licensed by ECDA, you’re entitled to infant care subsidies. Working mothers can get up to $600 in subsidy for infant cares and non-working mothers can get up to $150.

Additional Child Care Subsidy

You qualify for additional child care subsidy of up to $540 if you’re a working mother working 56 hours or more a week or a single father. Your monthly household income is $7,500 or less or your family per capita income (PCI) is less than $1875 a month.

Also, if you do not have upfront cash, you can use your child’s Baby Bonus to pay for the fees. Depending on which infant care you go for, the amount should be able to sustain you between 8 to 14 months.

Is a premium infant care better than PCF Sparkletots or My First Skool? Mums, leave us a comment below to share your experience!