Personal Finance

How To Choose the Right Preschool For Your Child and What To Expect To Pay

Are you a new parent thinking about how best to educate the next Mozart, Picasso, or Einstein? Learn how to pick the right preschool and its cost to jump-start your next family adventure.

With roughly 1800 different preschools in Singapore to choose from and almost a dozen different learning methodologies to consider, selecting the right school can be intimidating at first. However, breaking down the task into categories will help you narrow down your search to something more manageable.

  • Location
  • Curriculum
  • Cost
  • Child to Teacher Ratio
  • Facilities

The first and easiest to check off will be the location. You may have been recommended the “next best preschool” by a friend, but if the school is on the other side of the island, you may need to see what's around you first.

Curriculum and Education Methodology

The next step is to educate yourself on the different curriculum available in Singapore. Don’t worry. You typically won’t need to choose one. Many preschools will mix multiple different education philosophies, so it is just a matter of you finding the right blend for your child.

table of early childhood methodologies and descriptions

Not all preschools will use the exact phrasing above. Still, most will advertise their core methodology on their website (if they have one). There you will be able to identify from which education philosophies they draw inspiration.


Many factors will affect price, but generally speaking, private schools will be more expensive. Additionally, expect to pay more money for exclusive and competitive preschools. Below is a graph that analyzes over 40 different preschools to show the average cost by education methodology.

graph showing average monthly cost of preschool by education methodology
The average monthly cost of preschool by education methodology

Make sure to check and see if the preschool you are interested in offers government subsidies to help ease the cost. Don't cut corners in your child’s early education to save money, but remember to take advantage of any cost savings that will not impact education outcomes. Even if you could save S$50 a month, it could result in huge savings for your child’s future college fund if put into an account that accrues compound interest.

Child To Teacher Ratio

Now that you are ready to start calling or scheduling visits to different preschools, you should list out questions you want to ask or clarify with the school. How many children per teacher should be on that list. This number can vary between schools and is not always advertised on websites.

However, don’t be too quick to rule out a preschool if the class size is larger than you expected. A study published in 2017 by Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis showed that, within reason, the size of the classroom doesn’t significantly impact cognitive and achievement effect. Only child-to-teacher ratios of 7.5 to 1 or class sizes of 15 children or fewer were linked to show benefits to children. So, if you can find a preschool that meets all your criteria and has lower class sizes, that’s great. If not, weigh your options and choose what works best for you and your child.


The last factor covered in our list is the school’s facilities. The facilities often depend on the curriculum, and the quality of the facilities can vary widely. Some schools will offer trendy and pristine classrooms, where others may provide more outdoor play areas. Is it a safe space? Does the space offer plenty of opportunities for healthy interaction with other children? Is the space comfortable (i.e. well ventilated, sunny, bright and full of color, quiet)? Take a look at what facilities are available, as this is where your child will spend most of their time learning.

Bonus Tip

Make sure to plan regular surprise visits to check on your child. After you’ve done all your homework, frequently check to ensure that the school maintains the quality of childcare. This also gives you a chance to directly observe your child, teachers, and other children, often giving not-so-obvious insights into a program’s quality.

Stephen Lee

Stephen Lee is a Senior Research Analyst at ValueChampion, specializing in insurance. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the University of Washington, and his prior work experience include risk management and underwriting for professional liability and specialty insurance at Victor Insurance. Additionally, Stephen is a former US Peace Corps Volunteer in Myanmar (serving between 2018-2020), where he continues to provide business development consulting services to HR companies in Asia Pacific.