Understanding Singapore’s Child Care Curriculum and What It Offers

Preschool plays a vital role in shaping the development of young children, providing them with a solid foundation for their future growth and learning. A well-structured curriculum is crucial in this process, as it sets the stage for fostering various aspects of a child’s development. In Singapore, be it child care or kindergarten, every preschool programme is provided with a comprehensive set of guidelines outlined in the National Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA)’s Nurturing Early Learners (NEL) framework. While not all preschools in Singapore are required to follow the NEL framework, it provides guidelines and recommendations for preschool educators and centres to create developmentally appropriate and effective learning experiences for young children. 

Covering various aspects of early childhood development, including language and literacy, numeracy, social-emotional development, motor skills, and more, here’s how the NEL framework prepares children for lifelong learning.

Developing Social and Emotional Competencies

Social and emotional competencies help children understand themselves and develop a positive sense of themselves in relation to their peers, family and the community. This is crucial for children’s personal and social well-being as it impacts their behaviours, attitudes, and academic performance. A few key competencies include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship management, and responsible decision-making. These competencies allow children to understand their thoughts, values, and personal goals while identifying and regulating their emotions and behaviours. It helps them develop empathy, understand different perspectives and respect the diversity of their peers. Through group activities facilitated by teachers, children are also given opportunities to recognise that they are part of a socio-cultural group and establish and maintain friendships and positive relationships with others.

Fostering Learning Dispositions

Fostering learning dispositions is essential for children’s lifelong learning journey, as it goes beyond mere knowledge and skills acquisition. Positive learning dispositions enable children to approach learning with enthusiasm and resilience, applying what they’ve learned in various situations despite challenges. To cultivate these behaviours and attitudes, teachers can focus on six key learning dispositions: perseverance, reflectiveness, appreciation, inventiveness, a sense of wonder and curiosity, and engagement. With these dispositions, children are encouraged to learn from their experiences and develop innovative problem-solving skills while maintaining a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world around them. By integrating these dispositions into their daily routine and learning activities, teachers can help children make it a habit to display these dispositions in all learning situations and set the foundation for children’s holistic development.


Building Healthy Habits and Motor Skills

As an essential aspect of children’s holistic development, cultivating healthy habits, developing safety awareness and building fine motor skills are crucial in helping children enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle. Preschool teachers are equipped to guide children in understanding the importance of maintaining good hygiene practices, healthy habits, and body safety awareness. This includes recognizing safe and unsafe touch and seeking help from adults when needed. A diverse range of indoor and outdoor physical activities are usually conducted to help children boost their confidence in body movements, while also enhancing body coordination, strength, and endurance. Age-appropriate fine motor activities are also provided to enhance fine motor skills, encouraging children to learn with various tools and objects while gaining a better sense of their body and spatial awareness These activities not only promote motor skills but also contribute to cognitive and social development.


Enhancing Language and Literacy Skills

Enhancing language and literacy skills in children is crucial for their overall development and communication abilities. It involves fostering the capacity to listen attentively, increasing their understanding of language, and expanding their knowledge about themselves and the world around them. With the aid of their teachers, children get to become confident communicators through reading, writing and speaking. By providing a wide range of reading materials, children are encouraged to read with enjoyment and understanding, enabling them to develop early reading skills which are key to their overall development. They are also given opportunities to engage in conversations with their teachers and peers to develop their conversational skills and to write and communicate their thoughts and ideas. Ultimately, these foundational language and literacy skills empower children to interact effectively with family members, friends, and the community, enabling them to become excellent communicators. 



In conclusion, the NEL framework in Singapore plays a crucial role in helping child care and kindergarten prepare children for lifelong learning by focusing on various aspects of their development. At Raffles Kidz, we recognize the effectiveness of the framework and how important it is to prioritise socio-emotional competencies, learning dispositions, motor skills, and literacy development. We believe in educating the whole child with our well-rounded curriculum and instilling a love for learning in our children. What sets us apart is our inquiry-based/Montessori approach that is adopted to foster creativity, critical thinking and independent learning, allowing children to learn at their own pace and achieve their fullest potential. Our childcare centres are also fully equipped with age-appropriate learning spaces to foster their curiosity and let them learn through meaningful and purposeful play, cultivating them into lifelong learners. 

If you want to understand how our Raffles Kidz curriculum can provide your child with the best head start, book a school tour and find out more!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp