3 inclusive preschools to consider
Bright Path Preschool
The latest addition to the local inclusive preschool scene, Bright Path Preschool opened this year. It is led by psychologist Angelin Chua, who has 10 years of clinical experience. This premium full-day preschool programme pairs the Busy Bees Group’s award-winning early childhood experience – 30 years across brands such as Learning Vision and Pat’s Schoolhouse – with early intervention techniques.
The advisory team comprises Busy Bees’ founding members John Woodward and Margaret Randles, and Dr Diana Lea Baranovich, an associate professor at the department of educational psychology and counselling at the University of Malaya.
At Bright Path, your kid gets to learn through an individualised, childcentred programme tailored to suit his learning style, abilities and needs. This means lessons are reviewed and refined frequently, and teachers are flexible and creative while imparting academic and life skills to your little one. The teacher to student ratio is kept low at 1:3 to ensure your child is given more personalised attention. Lessons are conducted by early childhood who work with early intervention specialists. They are further supported by therapists and a psychologist. At the same time, the team works with parents and provides strategies to help every child achieve his potential.
There are also group-based therapy programmes, such as occupational therapy, to help children with more specific learning needs. To top it all off, Bright Path Preschool also offers equine-assisted therapy – your little one gets to brush, hug, pat or ride horses! – as it is right next to the Saddle Club in Bukit Timah. The school is located amid sprawling greenery, so your child gets to learn in a quiet and serene environment.
Find out more www.brightpath.com.sg
Opened in 2016, this inclusive preschool is run by social service organisation AWWA. It allocates about 30 per cent of its places for children with special needs such as autism, Down’s syndrome and cerebral palsy. Located in Enabling Village, an inclusive community space in Redhill, Kindle Garden caters to toddlers as young as 18 months and children up to age six.
The preschool uses a whole-school approach towards inclusion and teachers here are supported by specialists and allied health professionals, including a special education trained inclusion facilitator, an occupational therapist and a speech therapist.
The environment here is the “third teacher” and it is designed to encourage and support learning for children with varying needs and abilities. For example, open spaces, flexible seating and play areas encourage little ones to socialise and provide easy access for wheelchairs and prams. It also houses a playground with a treehouse accessible with a child-sized wheelchair or buggy, and a separate garden for sensory play.
Find out more www.kindlinginclusion.sg
This homegrown centre was founded by Denise Lai, who holds a double doctorate in Education from the Institute of Education (University College London) and the National Institute of Education (Nanyang Technological University Singapore).
It runs a mainstream preschool programme alongside an early intervention service for children with learning needs. There are many options, ranging from individual therapy, a home-based programme to group therapy, playgroup and preschool programme that hone kids’ social and emotional skills.
Its preschool programme for children with special needs, First Starts, uses a modified academic curriculum to accommodate learning differences. Like all of its other programmes, First Starts curriculum encourages children to learn through experience and activities, which means no rote-drilling. It places special emphasis on social and emotional development, as well as life skills activities that encourage independence, self-help abilities, fine motor skills and develop emotional intelligence.
Find out more www.weecare.com.sg