If you and your spouse are both full-time employees, around 3 months after your baby’s birth, you will have to make arrangements for an alternative caregiver while both of you are at work. One option is placing your baby in an infant care centre, which accepts babies from 2 to 18 months old (beyond 18 months, it will be under childcare within the same centre). A few basics in the choices of infant care centres are:

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1. Programme

A full-day (from 7am to 7pm), or half-day (from 7am to 1pm or 2pm to 7pm). Some centres offer half day care from 7am to 2pm on Saturday. Not all centres offer half-day care and it is proportionately more expensive than full-day care.

2. Availability

You may be surprised that some centres are fully booked and there is a waiting list. If you are sure that you will be enrolling your baby in an infant care centre, you should start to survey the centres and reserve a slot early.

3. Cost

This ranges from S$1,000 to S$2,000, with an average of about S$1400. The amount stated in the MSF link is before the childcare subsidy which is typically S$600. An additional subsidy is available if monthly household income is lower than $12,000.

4. Learning/Teaching Approach

You can ask what programs they have for infants and also look at the centre’s curriculum for playgroup, nursery and kindergarten children. There are some centres that focus on academic, others that focus on play, project work or offer a second language (not all second languages are available).

5. Teacher-child Ratio

Some infant care centres adopt a smaller teacher-to-child ratio, providing attentive care and love for their students.


A quick look at some of the Top Infant Care Centres in Singapore:

1. KiddiWinkie Schoolhouse

KiddiWinkie Infant Care

At KiddiWinkie Schoolhouse, a premium preschool of Babilou Family Singapore, the carefully crafted curriculum for infants encourages skills development through spontaneous learning in a safe and secure environment.

Designed based on the C.A.R.E framework, our educarers embrace the importance of being Communicative, Attentive, Responsive and Engaging, to establish positive relationships with the little ones.

Being the first preschool in Singapore to introduce a Sensory Space facility filled with elements that ignite our infants’ curiosity in a relaxing environment, babies will be immersed with soothing sounds and a variety of learning materials to discover while keeping their minds and emotions calm.

Find out more about them here.

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2. Little Footprints Preschool

Little Footprints Infant Care

Little Footprints Preschool is a community-based preschool brand offering Infant Care, Preschool and Childcare programmes under Babilou Family Singapore.

Designed to support the holistic development of infants, Little Footprints’ Blooming Minds curriculum is the first step to nurture children to become a confident, respectful and reflective individual.

There are 10 infant care centres under Little Footprints Preschool currently:

  • Admiralty
  • Ang Mo Kio
  • Boon Keng
  • Choa Chu Kang
  • Depot
  • Kent Ridge
  • Sengkang 205
  • Sengkang 275
  • Thomson
  • Ubi

The half and full day fees are $950 and $1330 respectively, before GST and subsidies (for Singaporeans).

Keen to enrol in one of these centres? Submit your interest here.

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3. Star Learners Child Care

Star Learners infant care

With 20 years of experience in the child care space, you can count on Star Learners to support your child’s early years. Star Learners’ qualified infant educarers make meaningful connections and build strong bonds with little ones in clean, safe and conducive environments. Under their care, babies will be exposed to songs, stories and various sensorial activities, as they get ready for Playgroup level.

Under ECDA’s Partner Operator (POP) scheme, Star Learners is committed to accessibility, affordability and quality, and offers half and full day programmes for infants 2 to 17 months old.

Find out what a day in Star Learners’ infant care looks like here.

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4. NTUC – My First Skool

My First Skool is the childcare arm of NTUC (National Trades Union Congress) First Campus Co-operative Limited. The curriculum for infants is under their Skool-EducareĀ© Curriculum, focusing on development of sensory, motor and self-help skills. There are over 145 centres under My First Skool island-wide and the infant care fees range from about $1.3k to $2k with most of the centres charging $1.3k.

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5. Little Skool-House

There is also a premium brand under Little Skool-House International which adopts a relation-based approach that covers developing the Psychosocial Self, Physical Self and Thinking and Communicating Self. There are infant care centres under Little Skool-House International with fees ranging from $1,230 to $1,630.

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6. Raffles Kidz International

Raffles Kidz International Infant Care

Established in 2014, Raffles Kidz International is a multi-award-winning bilingual premium preschool in Singapore that provides quality preschool and childcare programmes. Infant care is also provided in its largest centre at Jurong West for children aged 2 to 18 months.

Committed to providing the best head start for young children, their full-day and half-day holistic infant care programmes focus on developing the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional skills of infants in a safe and nurturing environment. To facilitate the development of strong and positive relationships with well-trained infant educators, their educator-child ratio is at 1:3 on average. Personalized infant care programs are also set in place to meet every infant’s preferences, routines and interests.

Find out more about Raffles Kidz International here. Keen to enrol in other centres? Book a tour here.

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To decide on the centre, nothing beats making an actual visit and talking to the teachers and caregivers. Call ahead to schedule and visit during the nap time so that the teachers have more time to talk to you and you can get a better feel if you can entrust your baby to their care. In Singapore, parents are entitled to additional subsidies, talk to the school staff to find out what kind of subsidy your child is entitled for!

By Mei.

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This article was first published in New Age Pregnancy.

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