Recommendation for child care services near Tiong Bahru Plaza

Hi lonerunner,

Thanks for your reply! Ya, i post on kiasuparents for Artkidz comments but no one replied me

For my CC search, i had already narrowed down to 2. Superland Montessori and Learning Vision @ Biopolis where i worked. I am still considering...i am going to view superland this sat and most likely i will make a decision after this viewing which most likely will be superland if everything goes on well.

I had been to eager beaver @ bukit merah. They are not too bad on the environment. They had separate classroom for different class and this is something which i like. But the location is a bit far off, need to take a bus.

For the CC around Tiong bahru, based on words of mouth, superland has the most votes so i din find out more on other CCs.

Hi Shin Yan,
Let me know how u find superland after going down this sat! Yeah Eager Beaver is a bit out of way too. From my hse, it'll take me 15min on foot to reach. Think I'll sure bengsan before that! hahaha! I'm looking at My Skool Hse International @ pearl bank or Bright kids at Lengkee CC now. A collegue of my hb is putting his son in Bright Kids later this mth. We're waiting to see how's the feedback like :p
Hi lonerunner,

I had just visited superland this morning. First impression: the teacher is very friendly and the environment is not too bad either. They had separate classrooms for different class (PG to N2 on 1 side and K1,K2 on the other side) with a large indoor play area in the middle. The classroom had windows which is well ventilated and they had a large outdoor area (downstairs in the basketball court with water play)

For playgroup and N1, they focus more on speech and play, so not so much on worksheet type of place, the teacher say, maybe only 20 mins dedicated to sitting on chair writing something as they are too young to sit on chair for long hours. Like wat blueydoo had said, they only teach chinese in the afternoon which is not a concern for me at this level.

We chat quite a while with the teacher and she offer me a lot of advices like asking us to go for half day CC in the initial period to get the child to get use to the environment, not pushing us to make any decision on the spot, assuring us that they still had vacancies for playgroup. Currently, no child born in 2009 had registered for next year intake. This year is full for all levels. They only take in 1 new child per month as they need time to settle the newcomer (1:1) until the child had settled down.

As for the teacher to student ratio, she say at the beginning of the year, it is usually 1:3 or 4 since some had graduated to N1 and some had not reached 18M yet. They will open another class once the ratio hit 1:8 which is usually from Aug onwards.

There are always pro and cons in every CC. Personally me and hubby both prefer learning vision @ biopolis compared to superland, not because superland is not good, is just personal feelings to the place. Unfortunately, LV @ Biopolis had a long waiting list plus no one to help me take care of my boy should he need to leave early. At least at superland, my nanny and my mum can help to fetch him home early. So superland, it shall be
Shin Yan:
Cool! So superland it will be for you! The place sounds really lovely from the way you'd described! I'll need to check the location out soon. Looks like a good 15min on foot from MRT station to the CC. Dun think I would take bus there as the interval for bus 64 is really long! I'll be late for work every morning! hahahaa! When are you deciding to start your child next year? Glad to know that it still got vacancies. My First Skool at Havelock Road is totally full for 2011 when I checked last week.
Hi ,
I am looking for a cc for my gal who is 2.5 years now. She is attending artz kids at the moment which i am pleased with except for the opening hours 9-3.30pm. THese hours are difficult for working parents. I signed her up initially as the school told me they would extend to 6pm. Unfortuantley it did not happeneds.

For those who could mangage within the hours 9-3.30pm, artz kids in in fact a good school. The teachers are friendly and very patient. Children would be very happy there. But looking at their program for K1 and K2, i am not sure if that is good enough to prepare them to Pri 1. cos it seems majority of the children are foreigners which wont have this concern.

Went to Superland today to view the center. Like the program and place. My worry is whether there would be vacany for her next year - in N1. They told me they are very full. WOuld like to see the center again on weekdays where i could see the children and teachers.

One of my friend told me she likes superland except for the no of children. She thinks it is overcrowded with over 100s kids. Would need to see.
Hi mygwentan,

Are you looking for cc or kindergarden currently? How much are you paying now for ArtsKidz? If you have someone to look after ur girl in the afternoon, maybe you can consider Chinese Kindergarden. think they have a good syllabus and program there. They are just beside Eton School Hse near ArtsKidz. But becos they dun offer cc services, I wont be able to put my girl there.
Hi Lonerunner.

Am looking for cc. Am paying $650 (after subsidary) for Artskids. The fee is same as superland.

Btw, i went down to superland yest. They do offer transport services and think the fee is reasonable $70 for both ways. In case of Artz kids, the price is $180..

Hubby likes Superland and its program. But worry whether our gal will adopt. Apparently, at Arts kidz, the program consist of art & craft, yoga, voilent and lots of play. But in superland, it seems most of the time is on study...
Whr is Superland and Artskids?

I stay at Jalan Membina and has no idea which CC to palce my boy.

Went to Surbana One Learning Vision but pricipal is not that friendly and teachers not professional (not all of course) but has a music/dnace room.

Went to Cherie Hearts at Harbourfront... like the concept of hidden room (where parents can sit inside to view their kids activities) but no music/dance room (i think)

Anyone stauing near me and has placed your kids in wonderful CC to recommend?

Has anyone of you place kids in church cc service?

I'm also looking for weekend programs as my boy is coming 18mths. Planning to place him in CC in his 24-30 months.

Pls advice.

Hi bebe,

Artskids is at tiong bahru community center.
As for Superland, it is at jalan besah TC which is along the same stretch as fomer glass hotel.

You may want to view both and decide if they fit your boy.

I called learning vision two motnhs back and they told me they have a long wait list.. seems very popular

Am keen also in Church cc but dun think there is good ones near our area?

I visited CS Montessori at tiong bahru plaza. They do have weekend playgroup classes for 18 months.

For me, i put my gal in daily 2 hours playgroup at blk 118 when she is 19 months. Purpose was to get her used to school and switched her to cc (arts kidz) when she truns 2. I would say it went well.

You can also checkout the playgroup at blk 8 - apple tree, was told place is cleaner. I intend to enrol my 2nd gal (only 10 months now) there when she is 18 months.

Hope information helps.
Hi all,

My 3-yr old girl has attended Arts Kidz for 7 mths and i(or rather she) find the curriculum very interesting and fun.

Apart from the international exposure to kids of other nationalities, I like the variety provided with arts and music and yoga classes. I've heard my daughter humming japanese songs at home, and i quite like the idea she speaks proper english and not in broken singlish... as the teachers are mostly non-locals.

I've been repeatedly been checking out Julia Gabriel classes, and all those other enrichment music/arts classes in United Square etc. Until now, i've not been able to convince myself that those enrichment schools is worth enrolling and worth the money as the output of those classes look the same as what my girl is producing from sch... Our verdict is that the school fees for Arts Kidz may not come cheap... but it's still worth the value.

On the other hand, i have to agree that the hours are awkward with the day ending by 330pm.

Also i am also wondering if their K1/K2 curriculum is sufficient to provide the basic foundation for my girl to prepare for Primary 1.

I've yet to check out Superland or Chinese Kindergarten though intend to do so.

According to other mum feedbacks from our neighbourhood with kids attending:

Chinese Kindergarten - set in a loving environment as it is run by chuch. So they also admit kids with special learning abilities or physically challenged children. The school fees is about S$300 plus (can't remember exact amount) for a term (3 mths) so quite affordale. I was told the facilities are quite new. On the curriculum, I was told it's not exactly fantastically remarkable but highly structured to prepare kids for primary school. So they stress quite a bit on learning phonics, ABCs, counting etc. There are some parents who give thumbs up for this while some give thumbs down. Very subjective. Considering teh distance and affordability, it's still worth the money.

Superland - so far i've only heard of parents who pulled out of Superland as it was very crowded.... and some felt the teachers were probably not able to pay as much attention to the kids as they shld have.

On Eager Beaver - there is a parent from my neighbourhood who sends the child to the school every day by taxi cos the poor child falls asleep on teh school bus over a 30min-45min bus ride... and it's just between Tiong Baru to Bt Merah! So word of caution for those who think school bus is a saviour.... if your child happens to be the last stop in the milk run... she probably wld already have had a nap by the time she drops off at home!!

On Bethesda Church Kindergarten off Depot Road (opp CMPB) - went there and checked it out. Church run and loving environment. Teacher turn over is low for last 6yrs since it was setup. according to Mrs Lee (principal), their vigilance over hygience goes over and beyond that of normal school and so occurrences of HFMD etc is well controlled.

Will share more once I complete my visit to the other nearby pre-schools.
Hi mummies
For a list of cc, check out this MCYS website for a cc nearby

hee ... have you decided on which cc to enroll?

hey u went LV? Got pop by MMI to check the place out? There is a cherrie heart Deport nearby too

I'm starting my child in CS montessori for weekend playgroup soon. From reviews the class seemed good, although it will take some time to see the results. lets see how my child finds it. I'm sending her to playgroup in the hope that she can slowly adapt to the idea of going to classes and prepare for cc life next year
hi mummies,

I skipped cherie hearts cos the last time i visited them in 2 other outlets (not Depot), the word "out of control" came to my mind with screaming teachers and wailing kids! ever since then... that impression stuck with me and i shun Cherie Hearts wherever i go. haha.

This week is the sept sch holidays so most of the schools i visited are closed. Will check out the schs agaikn next week when they reopen as it is difficult to judge without seeing how happy/unhappy the teachers/kids are... =)

However i did manage to speak to the Chinese Kindergarten Principal yesterday and got to take a look at the facilities. The indoor playground is really impressive...

So where is the nearest MMI?

By the way does anyone have any feedback on the INGOT pre-school which is also housed in YWCA @ Level 2? It's different and separate from the YWCA childcare centre which is located on the ground floor. The pre-sch was closed when i visited yesterday so i stood by for 15min and observed how the childcare was run instead... and am not really impressed. It was around 1130am when i visited but the teachers were somewhat nonchalent and frustrated with the kids. The vibes were not good. If the INGOT preschool and hte childcare are under the same mgt, I hope they are run differently!!

Eventually i found my way to Tiong Baru Plaza and visited CS Montessori. I hv signed up my girld for the weekly ABC Phonics class to try out their curriculum to see how good it is. I've heard good reviews as well about the program and will assess teh situation to see if my girl is suitable for their 4-6yr Playgroup program. I was told their 18mth-36mth playgroup is full already. The biggest drawback i think is the somewhat restricted/confined facility with no playground and the highly air-conditioned classrooms which reminds me of the North Pole where Nunuk (the friendly polar bear) resides... haha... but let's see how it goes.

Will love to hear from other mummies about their experiences with nearby pre-schools!!
Hi Blissful88,

Thank you for sharing your search on pre-school/cc. It's really not an easy choice and always good to hear opinions of others.

Am still struggling whether to put my gal into full time cc/kindergarten or let her remain in artz kids. I have to say the teachers are caring and my gal likes them.
Have shared my concern on the K1/K2 curriculm with thes school director, she said i could talk to the teacher and understand more on what is being taught. She claim some of her K1 student can already do primary school work???

Btw, how much is the ABC Phonics Class at CS Montessori?

I heard good reviews too on Chinese Kindergarten.
Hi Gwen,

1. CS Montessori
The Phonics class for once a week costs $140 per mth (assuming 4wks). They have twice a week classes and costs $280 (twice as much). I was told the 18mth-36mths Playgroup is all full for 2011 intake so left only the 4-6 yrs Workgroup with vacancies.

2. Arts Kidz
For 2011 intake for N2 (kids born in 2007), i think the class is full with 24 students with 50-50% local vs foreign intake. I spoke to the sch about the same concerns on whether or not focus on getting local SIN kids prepared for K1/K2 will be compromised considering there are more non-local kids... so SIN kids become the "minority". The sch reply is that they have a local teacher who is familiar with the curricumlum to head up the K1/K2 classes so local the SIN kids interests are not compromised. they are also in the process of hiring another teacher for the Kindergarten class in anticipation of bigger class next yr.

I was told next yr's N2 (and thereafter proceed on to K1) intake is quite large... though currently their K1 or K2 has less than 10 kids...

What i really like about Arts Kidz is that the teachers are qualified and gentle with the children. It's a nightmare visiting other pre-schools with screaming teachers... and my heart ache for those kids being trapped in such a unhappy environment everyday. If i were to compare teh quality of artwork that my girl brings home... it's quite creative and can tell that there are indeed some thoughts put into the sessions. But the fees are steep for non-working mums so it's a struggle.

3. Chinese Kindergarten
What have you heard about it? Can you share with me? According to the principal, their staff turnover has since stablised in 2009 and so the 2008 disruptions with teachers quitting almost every semester is over. Accroding to Mrs Wong (principal), they had a teacher getting pregnant almost every semester in 2008 and that explained for the high turnover.,... but now they are stabilising. 1 thing i didn't like is that the teachers speak in Singlish...

Side thoughts to share
I think it helps to take a mid-long term approach towards enrolling kids for N2 classes onwards... it's not easy just switching schools around if the child doesn't like it.

Since I only started my search last week for 2011 N2 enrolment...imagine my surprise when principals tell me "Why did you come so late! Most of our classes are already full"... I mean... i am 3mths ahead and it's already considered late? ok... i can understand if Singaporeans are kiasu over Primary School enrollment but thsi is Pre-sch....!

Apparently young parents these days start from Playgroup (18mths)...and they continue to progress to teh next N1/2 level then to K1/2. So for the good pre-sch/kindergartens... there's almost very slim chance to join them only from N2 onwards... cos priority given to existing students. So the only hope is to pray for dropouts. Then and again.. if the kindgergaten is so good... then there's even slimer chance of students dropping out!

So i think there is always a huge risk that if you change sch for your girl.... and she doesn't like it next year (2011)... it may be even more difficult to scout for a new pre-school once teh academic year starts.

So the struggle here is to weigh the risks of changing environment against cost savings...
Hi Blissful88,

Thanks for the information.

I agreed with your thoughts. Therefore, taking much time to consider if we should switch school for her. And if we do so, hopefully we make the right selection and she can continue till K2.

Arts Kidz
I heard too about the bigger intake next year. Wonder if they would be overcrowded. Have asked the school what they think on current layout, since there is no classroom, is it distrubing and difficult for the children to concenrate. I company my girl for one week when she first started the school. My impression is that it can be quite noisy for the older classes as they are seperated only by low partitions.

I understand at present the older classes (K1/K2) are mainly Japanese and koreans. Am sorry to say but i think they are more well behaved compared against the locals. As such, it is manageable(in terms of noise level) even when classes are sperated by low partitions. With the anticipation of more students for N2 onwards and being 50% local, i wonder if the present layout is suitable.

Chinese Kindergarten.
I visited the school early this year together with a mommy who eventually sign up his boy (from same playground as my girl) She went there as it was recommended by her neighbours. According to her, the school is good at arts and promoting creativity. The environemnt is loving as it is set up by church and like any church kindgerten, they have biblical teachings and instill good values to the kids.

Have you visited Superland? Would love to hear your opinion on the school.
Hi Gals

Thanks for your input. Been busy so took me so long to be back.

Seems like CS Montessori is good option for me now till I send my boy to CC next year.

Arts Kidz sound like a great fun learning place. Think can be my option for CC. Any school bus service link to this cc?

Where is this Bethesda Church Kindergarten off Depot Road (opp CMPB)? Any site? (cant find to view)

Hopefully i can get him in for weekend classes.

Anyone of your kids 18mths now?

Quite keen in Church CC as it tends to be cheaper and can save cost for weekend enrichment programs

Blk 118 has playgroup? Is the place clean? What's the name of the place?

Where is Chinese Kindergarden located? What are the fees?

Any comments on Apple Tree playgroup at Kim Tian?

I din't really like Art Kids being in a sch hall environment. And the toilets being at the opp end of the toddler class. Somehow the person we spoke to was not very friendly too.

I'm also looking for infant care / nanny in the tiong bahru area. Any good recommendation/comments?
Hi Bebe,

Tks for the link. I've seen but thought it'll be useful to get feekack from mummies who have been to the venues.

BB due early next year, so probably send to nanny when bb is 6mths or older. But I do not know of any nanny in the area.
Hi bebe,
The playgroup at 118 is held in the RC. They take in students from 18months to 3 years old.
my girl was there for 5 months before joining arts kidz. The place is also used during the night for adult activities such as singing for old floks etc. i think in terms of cleaniess, it is not that good though they do clean up daily before school starts. Also, they do not group class by age, so you would find 18 months and 26 month in the same class though their learning pace is totally different.

I was told Apple Tree at kim tian is better in terms of cleaniess.

Anyone been to the "I can Read System" at tiong bahru. Wonder if that is good. At some point, i like to sign up my girl for phonics and reading class.
Tulip's located ground floor of HDB flats. But have not been thr though.

I heard Bambini has infant care service.

Thanks. Think Apple Tree seems more proffesional. Just reg online. Hopfully I get a place.

Thing is I'm working mummy so diff to make time to view programs and CC. :-(

Thinking of cotinuing my nanny's service and have her to bring my boy to daily playgroup till he is 3yrs old then move him to CC.

What a headache! New to this neighbourhood and 1st time mummy can be tough. I had a hard time deicding between infant care and engaging nanny. It was so diff to get nanny in this area.
Hi Gwen,

Arts Kidz
the intake next yr for N2 (I was told) wld be 22-24 with 30%(local)/70%(foreign) breakdown. The current N1 cohort will move on to the next level and since my girl already knows majority of the local classmates it will be good to see familar faces next yr.

Agree the open air classroom concept has its pro and cons considering noise may be a distraction for young kids... I will try to reflect that to the school for them to incorporate into the layout for 2011. If they are going to take in more of the younger kids from 18mths, then it's best to segregate the young ones from older ones... it will definitely be good ot monitor how the premises' layout changes to accomodate such a big group of children to the point where it does not interfere with the learning. This is probably an important constraint.

Objectively speaking, i guess one really can't have it all... so we just have to prioritise on what's really impt as a parent.

To me, the professional and warm teachers, interesting curriculum, clean/secure/hygiene environment and good student profile are top priorities. Imagine if the child picks up undesirable languages/actions from other school mates... it will take parents triple the effort to "unlearn" those fm the child. At this tender age,I think it's impt for them to "love to learn" in a loving environment to promote their self confidence... so i am all for an all-rounded education and not one that just focuses on academic learning.

CS montessori
My girl went for the phonics class but she's too young to focus 1.5hr just on phonics. So i am switching to the SAT Chinese Montessori Playgrp to try out. It's parents accompanied so i am curious to see for myself what is the hype about Montessori learning... =)

No time so didn't visit the sch.... if anyone has any comments do look fwd to hear about it!
Hi any mom has any experience on Childcare with Moral child development center (Membina) opp tiong bahru plaza, YWCA outram, milk & honey cc?
Hi all mummies
Bambini initially had good service, however with the no of students increase. Level of service dropped. Moreover, the teachers' written english is not up to standard.
HI Roaster mum,

Really! The fee is also pretty steep, i went to check early this year and understand it was $750 after subsidary. it is now $900...
Dear all, how do we assess if the ccc teachers r good? My gal recently had a trial in a newly setup ccc with a grp of 8 new toddlers & 4 teachers. It had been 2 weeks & there r 2 kids who kept crying wholeday long & as a result all kids started to cry like symphony
only one teacher is busy trying to calm them while the other three don't bother, with 1 of them being very fierce in asking them to keep quiet! It seems to me that low student ratio is useless if teachers r not caring!
Hi GT,

U mean fees for Bambini is $900 after $300 subsidy? Their teacher-child ratio is quite acceptable and environment is very clean. As for the command of English Langugage, I can't really comment since even some uni grads these days can't really write very well.

Actually I feel that child takes time to get used to environment and teachers. After some time (about 1mth or so) if you find that child really enjoys sch then you should feel happy and at ease. Although child will still fall sick frequently until about 6mths or so in cc when their body adjust to the 'germs' in the environment.
Hi mummies,

Looking for female aged 30 to 45 years old who has at least 1 kid aged 4 to 12 years old. Any Race. White Collar/PMEBs & Housewives.

Group discussion on 24th Nov (2.45pm & 5.45pm) or 25th Nov (2.45pm & 5.45pm) depending which criteria you fit in. 2 hours. Location in Orchard Road.

$100 cash incentive. Must speak good english. Interested, please sms me at 9189-2420. Hope to hear from you!
hi duno if this thread will be still active? im having problem find childcare w available space. am staying at 82 strathmore avenue. there is a my first skool at my blk but the waiting list is 75! and there is only 15 in a class. so its not possible to get it within a yr.
the nx nearer option is dawson place montessori which is $600 after subsidy for 7am-7pm. find it abit pricy. Anyone has better option to recommend? child will b 24mths is july
Dun think there's other childcare within walking distance near yr hm, but there's 1 at at Alexandra Hospital which is quite good. Another new 1 at lengkok bahru blk 52 by carecorner tat is cheap, but new so no idea good or not, but looks less well equipped than my 1st skool at blk 82.
cos i have to send my daughter to sch myself evveryday so its gotta be near. i guess dawson montessori is the only choice... =( if $600/mth use via CDA acc, cannot last 2yrs even. think meanwhile i have to get a cheaper childcare.
My son now coming to 10 mths is in Sam's early learning center. So far, he's happy going to the IFC daily.
Ros: what happened?
Hi BBJunior,

My son is 9months now, and i am looking for a good and affordable CC. Like to ask a few questions on Sam's learning center:
- does the schl provide transport?
- how/what does your son learn/do at Sam's early learning center? Don't seem to be able to find their website.
- Are the students majority local or foreigners?
- What is the school fees like?

Ros, mind sharing what happen at Sam's?

Hi can anyone share with me more about SUPERLAND MONtESSORI?
Heard that they are good and focus in studying.
Can give me opinion especially those who has kids there currently? I'm planning o switch my kid to this FCC but just wanna be sure of the move.
I know this is an old thread and tried to om one of the members with no avial.

Can someone review Sam's early learning centre?
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