Singapore pre-schools, nursery schools and kindergartens recommended by expat parents, compiled by expert expat Donna Brereton - thanks to much personal experience.
NB We don't necessarily visit playschools, nurseries or kindergartens and definitely don't look at them as thoroughly as we do primary and secondary schools. We only include them as a section of a full GSGI write-up if they are part of a primary or K-12 school (Schools with basic entries or full write-ups are highlighted below in red).
However, these are amongst the ones in Singapore recommended or mentioned by parents. We list them here just to give you a place to start, to help you make up your own short list.
We always appreciate any feedback from parents (contact us), and we'll remove schools or add them as we hear about them or receive updates, even from this informal list.
There is an abundance of nurseries in Singapore but they vary enormously, in terms of cost and philosophy. Pre-schools that cater for mainly local children often have more formal “lessons” and more emphasis on learning Mandarin. Pre-schools or nurseries that have predominantly expat students tend to be more play-based but can also be more expensive. Many of the schools listed below will offer bus services, supervised by bus aunties, at extra cost.
Where a school has several locations across the island, we have put just one address (some have 6-10 campuses) but the school's (provided at bottom of address) will give more detail on the other locations.
Eton House International School and Pre-school (Broadrick Campus)
51 Broadrick Road
Located on the East Coast, Eton House Broadrick Road offers a half day programme for children aged 2 – 5 years, and a full day programme for children aged 5 – 11 years. It is an IB PYP school. There are six other campuses island-wide which cater for children from 18 months to 6 years. Cost varies from campus to campus.
Julia Gabriel Centre for Learning
583 Orchard Road
Providing a pre-school curriculum for children 6 months – 4 years as well as after-school classes in drama, reading and writing for older children. Julia Gabriel has popular bilingual and Mandarin classes for children as young as 6 months, as well as classes conducted entirely in English. Half-day and full-day childcare is provided for children aged 2 - 6 years at their five Chiltern House locations which include Orchard Road (central) and the East Coast. Children who need learning support are well catered for.
The Blue House Nursery
2 Turf Club Road
A Reggio-Emilio inspired school where pre-school children from 18 months onwards are encouraged to learn through play. Set up in 2007 by a well-respected British nursery nurse and nanny, this preschool is a popular choice amongst centrally-located expats.
30 One Tree Hill
Little Hands offers a 2 hour programme for 2 year-olds and a choice of 2 or 3 hour programmes for 3 and 4 year olds. Located centrally, close to Orchard Road, it has a good teacher to student ratio and appeals to local and expat families.
Little Oaks Montessori Playgroup
98 Farrer Road
Tel: (65) 64633720
Fax: (65) 64633721
Nothing special to look at but obviously loved by students and their parents as it is extremely hard to get into. You can view the school and put your child’s name on the waitlist at the twice-yearly open days. Run by expats for local and expat children aged 2 – 6 years.
Lock Road Kindergarten
60 Kheam Hock Road
Exclusively for expat children aged 2 ½ - 6 years. A good staff to student ratio and a lovely outside play area.
Pat’s School House
11 Claymore Road
Pat’s is a big organisation with 12 preschools/nurseries across Singapore including one just off Orchard Road. One of the few places that caters for babies as young as 2 months, Pat’s also offers half and full day programmes for children up to the age of 6. It has many local students as well as some expats.
Pibo’s Garden Playschool
1 Dunearn Close
Tel: (65) 6466 2639
7 Hua Guan Crescent
Predominantly expat children with a mix of expat and local staff, Pibo's caters for children aged 18 months to 5 1/2 years.
The Preparatory Place
40 Fernhill Rd
Tel: (65) 6737 6427
Fax: (65) 6737 6431
Another expat favourite, centrally located in a popular residential area. Children are expected to attend 5 mornings a week.
Pre-School by the Park
63 Shelford Road
Pre-School by the Park offers full and half-day programmes to children from 2 months – 6 years. The school has a varied curriculum which includes Mandarin, Local and expat children are encouraged to learn through play. Pre-School by the Park has four campuses.
25 Ettrick Terrace
A pre-school and international school on the East Coast catering for children aged 2 to 7 years. Half and full-day programmes are on offer, 2 – 5 days a week. Rosemount also organises playgroups for babies/children and their parents to attend.
39 Linden Drive
Tel: (65) 6468 8846
Fax: (65) 6762 0215
First established in 1999, White Lodge has expanded from its original Linden Drive location to 4 other locations across Singapore. A very large majority of students are expats, though no single nationality dominates. Two of the five White Lodge Schools offer parent and child programmes for babies/toddlers 6 – 30 months. All White Lodge Schools offer full and half- day drop off programmes for children age 18 months to 6 years.