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18 month old - which playgroup or preschool is best?

Discussion in 'Motherhood, Pregnancies And Babies' started by domesticgoddess, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. Would like to hear from other parents who have sent their children to playgroup and preschool or are considering the various options currently. There are so many in Singapore, which have you picked and what do you like/dislike about them?

  2. dearie14

    dearie14 Member


    I find for 18 months.. it's impt to have them in a play based environment. You can try playgroup for tumble tots, they include play phonics as well.. there are other schools u can try too, like kindermusik for music.. gymboree for more physical activities, play workz for learning through physical play..
  3. thanks Ying. What is the difference between play workz and gymboree? Where is Play Workz?
  4. tamarind

    tamarind New Member

    Hi all,

    I have brought my girl and boy to try out a few places. Just like to share what I think.

    1. Gymboree at Tanglin Mall
    Equipment are quite old, they have slides and tunnels. Children are guided through activities to use each of the equipment. The most exciting part (for 2.5 - 3 year olds) is jumping down from a 1 meter high platform. $34 per trial class.

    2. JWT Gym at UE Square
    Bigger, more spacious and newer than Gymboree. But less equipment, mostly slides. A large part of the class is free play, which means the children are left to play on their own. The most exciting part is the swing hanging from the ceiling. They also bring out wooden planks for the children to learn balancing. Very expensive, about $40 per trial class.

    3. My Gym at Woodlands Civic Center
    About the same size as Gymboree but newer and has more equipment. Only a small part of the class is free play. The children are divided into small groups, and the teachers will guide them to do somersaults, hanging from horizontal beam and flipping over it, and rolling down slides. I find the teachers are the best compared to Gymboree and JWT. They also teach simple things like shapes and colours. So far this is the best baby gym we have tried. And best of all, free trial class !

    4. Rythm in me at UE Square
    Entirely sing and dancing through 45 minutes. Not much equipment. I think this is more suitable for much older kids, unless the parents like singing and dancing themselves. $26.50 per trial class.

    I am still planning to try out Little Gym at Forum, the equipment looks very good. I am also considering Shichida class, heard great things about it but very expensive.
  5. dearie14

    dearie14 Member


    Play workz is at millenia walk. Their playgroup classes are more focused about learning through physical play. They have language sessions, gym sessions, art and craft etc. They move from room to room too during the whole session. Gymboree is more of a physical play concept. It builds on the child's physical skills. You can check out this websites... www.playworkz.com.sg or www.gymboree.com

    There's other preschools / enrichment centre whereby you can send your child too, depending on what you want. You can try Julia Gabriel, if you want more on language. You can also try Kindermusik for music classes.

    Hi tamarind,

    I went through Shichida website. It's more of like memory work for the child, reinforcing the flash cards or something like that. Ya, the resources that you need to purchase to practice at home is also expensive...
  6. babycutie

    babycutie Active Member

    I was thinking to send my girl to Carpe Diem 4hrs Flexicare on weekdays so that she can socialize rather than staying at home with the maid and my mum.

    I have visited Little skoolhouse at Orchid Country club which they have a one and a half hour class daily for 18mths old but I find it too expensive.

    I have also considered sending her to a brain-based school but there isn't one near my home. So Carpe Diem is my best choice at this moment.

    Anyone can advise?
  7. dearie14

    dearie14 Member

    Hi babycutie,

    Have you take a look at the school surroundings already? If you haven't, maybe you would like to take a walk in and around the school. Talk to the staff there. If you feel comfortable with the environment, chances are your child will feel the same too. If you are concern about what they are teaching, you can find out more about their curriculum, just usually at 18 months, teaching is very minimal. That's what I can advise you...

  8. babycutie

    babycutie Active Member

    Yes. I have visited the school and also look at their curriculum. The place is quite spacious. It occupied the 3rd floor of the Yishun Polyclinic and they don't share air-con with the clinic. All their rooms are air-con including their gym room. Only the playing space outside is non air-con.

    I have visited Kidsville also. The place is quite small because it occupy void deck of HDB Housing Block. But the place is non air con. Only the office room is air-con.

    Whereas Little skoolhouse at Orchid Country club is fully air-con which I don't quite encourage.

    I prefered non air-con place as the air is more fresher.

    What do u think?
  9. motherof

    motherof New Member

    I also heard that shichida class is very expensive. last time my frd ask me to attend a talk for this shichida class, just 1 day it cost more than $500/- (if i am not wrong since 3yrs ago).
  10. chiart

    chiart New Member

    hi all mommies
    is it necessary to send our babies to playschool when he turns 18 months?
    please advise
  11. tamarind

    tamarind New Member

    Hi Joleena,
    Personally I don't think it is necessary at 18 months. In fact I would not be sending my boy to playschool until he is 3 years old. My girl is 2.5 years old and she just joined a playgroup. I find that 18 months is still very young, and they still need a lot of one-to-one attention. Furthermore they may get bullied by other kids in the class, and may get infected easily if other kids have colds, stomach flu etc.
  12. sunshinekid

    sunshinekid Active Member

    Yes, I personally think that sending your kid to a childcare / playschool at 18 months old is abit too young.

    My son went to half day childcare only at 26 months. And I saw there is this little boy who started at 18mths old. Gosh, he cannot even walk properly. The teachers have to be constantly keep a look out for him just in case he wanders away by himself, or accidentally fall down by himself, or other older kids knock him down accidentally.

    Aslo, he cannot talk yet so alot of times, he gets frustrated as he cant relate his needs and wants to the teachers. Very poor thing lor. JMHO.
  13. chiart

    chiart New Member

    hi tamarind and sunshine kid
    thanks for the advice.
    may i know which playschool you send your babies to? there are so many out there and just wonder how to choose.
    i am staying in sengkang
  14. sunshinekid

    sunshinekid Active Member

    Hi Joleena

    My son goes to Learning Vision at Surbana One, which is the old HDB Centre. My mum lives at Telok Blangah, so we decided to send him there. But I find LV at Surbana One quite good.
  15. tamarind

    tamarind New Member

    Hi Joleena,

    My girl goes to a playgroup at Jurong Point. I am considering signing her up for My Gym at Woodlands or Little Gym at Forum also, for once a week classes. You can bring your son to those classes where one parent is allowed to accompany to him, it will be much better for him at 18 months.
  16. dearie14

    dearie14 Member

    Hi babycutie,

    If you feel comfortable with the place, I think it should not be of a problem. Perhaps you can try bringing your child to the place to have a look...

    Hi mommies,

    Honestly, I don't find sending children to childcare at 18mths benefical, unless you have nobody to look after the child. Like what tamarid said, you can try sending him to enrichment classes, at least they do learn something there. At childcare, it's more of routine care and seperation from the parents/families are quite long.
  17. babycutie

    babycutie Active Member


    I think it is very individual for one to send their child to child care. Although I have a maid and my mum to take care of my girl, but I also would like to encourage my girl to socialise with children around her age.

    And she can learn from older children there. U know see monkey do monkey kinda stuff. Of course I will not let her attend full day. My intention is to put her on half day or 4hr flexi so that she can pick up some motor skills. She is already attending Shichida Class every Saturday for brain stimulation.

    Also with another baby coming along, this would ease the child care for at least half a day for my mum as taking care of 2 children is not easy.

    I thk the parents of the 18mths old kid has no choice but to put him in the child care as they may have no one to take care of him and engaging a nanny is out of their budget.
  18. westbb

    westbb Member

    my SIL used to send her 20 mths old for playgroup enrichment at baby jumper gym, she said is quite good but stop after a term cos too far for her. she heard from them that they are starting a new branch at bt gombak mummies who are keen may want to check that out. just sharing but i have not tried on my bb yet cos he's only 5 mths now [​IMG]
  19. dearie14

    dearie14 Member

    Hi babycutie,

    That's just my own opinion. I am a preschool teacher, so encountering with children with 18 mths doesn't seemed to show much response. No doubt learning is taking place.
  20. babycutie

    babycutie Active Member

    What does it means if a childcare centre is awarded with Super Brand?
  21. eeing

    eeing New Member

    Hi mummies,

    If I send my 18 mths boy to those classes like GUG,My Gym, Little Gym etc, do I still need to send him to playgroup? Are those classes consider playgroup? I am a bit confuse now.
  22. tamarind

    tamarind New Member

    Hi YeeYee,
    GUG and My Gym have playgroup where you can attend everyday. Little Gym is once a week. But their fees are not cheap, if you feel that it is beneficial for your boy to attend both, then why not ?
    My 2.5 year old girl is attending playgroup during weekdays, on weekends I am planning to sign her up for Little Gym.
  23. Thanks mummies for this lively discussion.

    Does anyone know how good the programmes in Julia Gabriel are? I have heard that they specialise in language development.
  24. dearie14

    dearie14 Member

    Hi babycutie,

    I am not sure about that. I thought Super Brand is only associated with products.
  25. babycutie

    babycutie Active Member

    That was what I thought too. But there are childcare centres that are super brand awarded which I am not sure the criteria of being super brand.
  26. dearie14

    dearie14 Member

    Hi domesticgoddess,

    I heard about Julia Gabriel. Ya, their programme is more on language development, but the fees are kinda ex.
  27. judyscore

    judyscore New Member

    Hi Mommies,

    Babysitter located at Bukit Batok (near Bukit Batok MRT)

    Just like the first few years of education is the most important part of a child's life.

    Give your child the right environment and care during the first few years of his/her life too.

    It is unfortunate that Singapore poses a society of many working mothers in our rat race society. For a child during the age of 1 1/2 to 3 years of age, by having the child in the right environment and habits posed the most significant part of the child's life. For eg. by having the child in an environment that is loving, quiet and caring will posed the child's ability to developed into a confident person who knows what he/she wants in life.

    Please contact me at 9871 9293 or email judyscore@yahoo.com.sg if you have any enquiry.

  28. superbabymama

    superbabymama New Member

    hello all,
    I'm planning to send my son to childcare when he turns 18 mths after chinese new year.

    My parents used to take care of him when he was younger. Until a month ago my husband moved to an office which was nearer to his parents, so he is now at my in-laws.

    He responded well to my parents, and at 16 mths, can recognise and even say 20+ words. (Even words like baby,flower,stallbeli aka strawberry) All-Time-Favourite words...starrr,ballll, lorli and bike bike.

    Now at my in-laws,they are much quieter when he is babbling away. So i think its much better for him at childcare even with in-laws protest about child getting sick etc. (My reason - you send him at 2 or 3 yo he also will fall sick wat?!)

    My two choices so far is
    1st : MMI (sengkang)
    Not yet opened, but very big place and huge play area. Not sure about the teachers, heard they are planning to transfer the teachers from other branches

    2nd : Little skool house on the hill
    near my workplace. Never read much bad or rave reviews about it. But i checked out the place. Nice and quaint.

    Anyone here has comments about this two places?

  29. missylan

    missylan Active Member

    Hi mummies,
    My baby and I have attended class from Grow Up Gifted, My Gym and Gymboree.

    GUG - Dancing, story-telling(Mandarin), Phonics and hand painting...

    My Gym - Songs and physical

    Gymboree - Songs and physical

    I like GUG best. Maybe my son and I not interested in physical.
  30. superbabymama

    superbabymama New Member

    hi missylan,

    i've heard about GUG..and would be planning to put my son there for enrichment classes. Are you doing the 3 times per week or the once a week? Any teacher recommendations?
  31. pooh_the_bear

    pooh_the_bear Active Member

    hi tamarind

    may i know jurong pt has wat kind of playgroup?
  32. tamarind

    tamarind New Member

    Hi POoH,
    The playgroup is called Clement's playhouse. It is located at Jurong Point, 5th level. They have classes from 18 months to 4 years old. The classes are 2 hours long, they have singing, phonics, arts and crafts, and Chinese lessons. I am very pleased that my girl learn quite a few Chinese words and phrases after going there for only 2 months.

    I have also been to GUG for trial classes, I find that it is very similar to Clement's playhouse, which is a lot cheaper.
  33. handydog

    handydog New Member

    hi tamarind,

    do they have any website or contact? How much do they charge? TIA.
  34. pooh_the_bear

    pooh_the_bear Active Member

    hi tamarind

    same as handydog.. do they have any contacts? how much have u pay for the Clement's playhouse? and wat's the timing like?.. sorry, ask so much qns
  35. tamarind

    tamarind New Member

    handydog, POoH,
    Their contact number is 63970444, ask for the teacher-in-charge, Emma.
    You can choose to go 1x, 2x, 3x or 5x a week. 3x a week is $175 a month, 5x is $240.
    For 18 months to 2.5 years old, the class is 11am - 1pm. For 3 years old, it is 9am - 11am.
  36. lault

    lault New Member

    Hi Mommies,

    I'm also looking around for some musical lessons for my son, 15mths. Saw kindermusik (www.kindermusik.com.sg), head office in Tanglin Mall. Have anyone heard of that? Good or not?

    My son now will "dance" and clap hands when we play songs to him. So wolud like to enrol him to develop him further.
  37. pooh_the_bear

    pooh_the_bear Active Member


    thx for ur useful info. ;)
  38. ngcaramilo

    ngcaramilo New Member

    hi all
    my son starts playgroup last week. he is 27mth old. he was behaving fine and seems enjoying schooling for the first week but this week onwards, he keep crying on and off, telling his teacher he wanna wear shoes, go home. sigh!!

    he might be frighten. how can i help him thru' this initial stage?

    any expreience mummies with school going children? pls help to advice
  39. giggler

    giggler Active Member

    tamarind, I shd have checked out the playgp at JP. I enrolled my gal at TalentPlus (Gek Poh CC)and I dun like the teachers leh. [​IMG]
  40. faithks

    faithks New Member

    I send my kids to Amazing Star. has been there since my son is 2plus. Has graduated from there. Maybe you can call and check with them
  41. yingzi

    yingzi New Member

    Hi faith, u are referring to the one at Jelapang? can share more as I'm thinking of this school as well. Tks!
  42. faithks

    faithks New Member


    I send my child to the one at serangoon Garden, they are all under the same management. Looj for the principal. She will be able to help you
  43. genmom

    genmom New Member

    Hi, does anyone has any recommendation of a good playgroup for a 18mth old around Singapre General Hospital (Jalan Bt Merah)?

    Is there a need to register early, like when the kid is 15 or 16 mths old? Thanks
  44. babycutie

    babycutie Active Member

    Hi all,
    I am planning to send my girl to MMI at Woodlands but the centre is only given a 12mth licence compared to other branch which is pretty far from my place. Should I or should I not send my girl there? We have visited the place and my girl is so excited seeing so many kids. What do u think?

    We hv re-visit Carpe Diem with our girl too and she is equally excited. But its the curriculum that we r concerned. MMI is a Montessori child care while Carpe Diem is not. Any advise?
  45. mum05

    mum05 Active Member

    hi all, is it really necessary to send our kids to 'schools' at such early age? I'm really wondering as my girl has juz turned 1 yr old and if it is, then we'll need to think abt it soon.
    However, I've heard from many people that the earlier the kid starts school, the sooner they'll be sick of learning...
  46. sj_ong

    sj_ong New Member

    Hi Mummies... Both my children(now my girl 4yrs & my boy 2yrs) started tumble tots lessons(once a wk)when they r abt 8/9mths old. Both enjoyed it and me too! Cos some of us meet up for coffee after lesson, dicussing/confiding with each other. That's how I build my circle of mummies friend. All of us have our 2nd child around the same time! Best of all, we even send our children to the same childcare. Personally, I like to send my children to playgroups. This way, they have a chance to mix w kids their age and also a chance for me to mix ard w other mummies...
  47. tamarind

    tamarind New Member

    "Schools" for 1 year old are mostly just playing and singing, don't expect sitting down and learning ABC's.

    Personally I don't think it is necessary for children 2 years or younger to attend any schools. Unless the child is very lonely at home, and wants to play with other children the same age.
  48. leoleo18

    leoleo18 New Member

    Any recommendations on play group or enrichment class in Clementi areas. Any comment on the Apple Tree at Clementi West St1?
  49. cloud9mummy

    cloud9mummy New Member

    Audrey, Babycutie,

    What does MMI stands for? Do you have the contact #s?
  50. lanichua

    lanichua New Member

    MMI stands for Modern Montesorri International. Here is the website: http://www.modern-montessori.com/index.htm There are many many branches in S'pore, so you may find one near your place. Where do you stay?

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