As you are weighing your options for the best childcare, you might be wondering if a half-day or full-day programme is more suitable for your child. The main difference between each programme is the length of time spent in school and the types of activities your child will participate in.
While this decision is ultimately based on the needs of your child and your family, the fact remains that a full-day programme allows more hours and opportunities for children to learn, explore, and engage with their peers in a preschool environment. Here are a few reasons why a full-day childcare programme is more beneficial.
1. Convenience & Peace of Mind for Working Parents
Half-day programmes usually end in the afternoon. For those who get to work from home or are stay-at-home parents, this arrangement may suit your schedule better as it allows you to have the first part of the day to yourselves while having the rest of the day for your child. However, it really depends on the workload, especially for parents who work from home, as some days can get busier than the rest and having only half a day to work may be difficult.
In this day and age, it’s more often that both parents are working adults. While some parents may have shifted to a work-from-home or hybrid work situation, there are still many parents who have to work full-time in their offices. As such, a half-day programme is not as feasible unless they have a trustworthy caregiver at home to take over after school.
Full-day programmes are the best option for working parents as it allows them to have convenience and peace of mind when dropping off their children at their preferred childcare. As part of the childcare program, children get to participate in a full day of activities that support their age-appropriate development while having dedicated teachers to meet their needs. They also get to spend more time with their peers, build positive relationships, and develop their social skills.
2. Full Range of Activities to Educate the Whole Child
While the curriculum is similar, a full-day programme offers more opportunities for a variety of activities that a half-day programme simply cannot achieve due to time constraints. Even with a structured routine, children may not be able to accomplish as much with only a few hours spent at school.
Half-day programmes usually run from 7 am to 1 pm, just before nap time kicks in for the rest of the children who are staying on for their full-day programme. While nap time is feasible at home, they will be missing out on the opportunity to learn routines through nap time in school. Life skills such as washing up, getting their mattress and blanket, feeding themselves milk, and making their ‘bed’, are all taught during their nap time routine. Other than giving their bodies and minds time to rest, nap time also allows children to build a clear transition between different activities.
When your child attends a full-day programme, there is enough time for the core lessons as well as for play and other enrichment activities. In some schools, enrichment activities such as hands-on learning, group projects, and free play activities, happen during the latter half of the day after recharging from nap time. Your child will stand to benefit more from a full-day programme of specially curated activities that nurtures them more holistically in a range of subjects like arts and crafts, music and movement, literacy and numeracy.
3. More Opportunities to Build Primary School Readiness
Research has shown that for most children, full-day programmes can help increase academic achievement that facilitates a more seamless transition to primary school. While half-day programmes can also provide a high-quality preschool experience, full-day programmes offer more opportunities and experiences in preparation for primary school.
In a preschool setting, children are encouraged to step out of their comfort zones to socialize and interact with their peers. This allows them to boost their confidence and bring out the best in their abilities. Especially for children who are more reserved, attending a full-day programme provides more time and opportunities that may help to better develop their self-esteem and improve their social skills.
Other than playing with their peers, children in full-day programmes get to spend more time with their teachers as well. This enables them to receive more attention and guidance from their teachers. With more time spent together, teachers can better understand each child’s behaviour, identify their areas of improvement, and help them strengthen their skills. They can also design more developmentally appropriate academic and social activities to prepare children for the demands of primary school.
Choosing the right programme for your child depends on a variety of factors related to both you and your child. A quality preschool education provides children with a safe and nurturing preschool environment that builds their cognitive, behavioural and social skills beyond what is taught at home.
Raffles Kidz is an established, reliable, and multi-award-winning childcare centre in Singapore that offers holistic full-day programmes. With a comprehensive bilingual curriculum, we are committed to educating the whole child and helping them acquire important skills and knowledge. Book a tour with us today to learn more about our full-day programmes!