PCF Infant Care to PlayGroup/Toddler

Jes 4 Comments

Previously, I debated whether to go with infant care or a nanny. I decided on infant care and sought out a centre that I found the most comfortable with my own set of criteria.  That was when my daughter was 4 months old but you can actually start infant care from 2 months old onward.

I realised not much information is shared online to give new parents and idea of the schedule and activities. Thus, I thought to write this so that more people can know more about what to expect from Infant Care. Do take note that my daughter is in PCF Sparkletots and different branches have different systems. The principals and teachers ultimately form the culture which is why if you don't feel so happy in one branch, you may want to give another branch/centres a try.

What to expect in Infant Care (From 2 to 18 months)
1) Sickness
During my baby's first 3 months there, there were occasional bouts of illnesses, happening around once every fortnight. Most are pretty minor, like runny nose, diarrhea, flu and they go away on its own. A few episodes of major scare was like fever for a few days, or diarrhea that does not subsides after 3 days. After 6 months there, she was pretty immune and thankfully, healthy after which. I have heard of some parents withdrawing their children because they became too sick too frequently, but not many of such instances.

Let your children adjust and keep an open mind towards infant care because that does not happen to everyone. Similar, maid or nanny abuse is due to a handful of bad examples so don't based your decision on such one-off incidents. Rather, I would encourage you to go down to the centres and have a look, speak to the other parents. For nannies, see how they handle themselves and their family, it gives pretty good indication.

2) Infant activities
Hand painting
Playing balls, colours, cars

3) Daily Logbook
The babies can drink milk and sleep whenever they like and there is no uniforms for infant class. So there is a need for a logbook, so that parents will know what time they feed, sleep, poop, bathe and change diapers. Every 3 months, there are progress reports and Meet-the-teachers sessions to be updated on their development and learning, even when they get promoted. It's quite structured and well organised actually.

4) What to bring to Infant Care
1 bedsheet
1 blanket
1 towel
1 water bottle
2 sets of clothes (1 set as spare in case of diarrhea)
Pacifier (optional)
Diapers, wet wipes and formula milk can be brought to leave there in bulk and tins
Diaper rash cream, milk bottle, ruyi oil, soap and shampoo can also be left there

What to expect in PlayGroup/Toddler Care (18 - 30 months)
First of all, different organisation have different definitions for 18 to 30 months toddlers. NTUC My First Skool / PCF term them as Toddler classes while ECDA term them as Playgroup. I will just follow PCF for the definitions. Your baby has to buy uniforms to start school here. For PCF, JeepSing is the appointed tailor. My daughter weighs around 11kg at 18 months and I bought 4 sets of S size uniforms for her. They take around 2 weeks to deliver. For My First Skool, you can check out Asencio.

1) Lessons
Some activities that I manage to catch a glimpse of include:
Throwing of balls
Mass Dance and singing
Going to the playground
Jumping on trampoline
Pulling on a large multi-coloured cloth
Story telling
Stacking and other toys

2) Time Table
As there is no more logbook for parents, the toddlers have to follow a curriculum:
7 - 10am: Activities
10 - 1030am: Breakfast
1030am - 12pm: Bathe and Drink milk
12 - 3pm: Nap
3 - 330pm: Lunch
330 - 5pm: Activities
5 - 530pm: Tea Break
530 - 7pm: Activities

3) What to bring to PlayGroup/Toddler Care
1 bedsheet
1 blanket
1 towel
1 water bottle
1 set of uniform (1 set of casual wear as spare)
4 - 5 diapers
1 milk bottle
1 serving of milk powder (which is 180 - 240ml)
Pacifier (optional)
As there are less available space to store their things in bulk, you would have to replenish them everyday.

4) The transition
The change from infant care to toddler is actually quite drastic. A few of the parents I know spoke of their children crying during the transition. That's mostly for toddler girls, guys seem to be more independent and easily adjustable to the change. My daughter cried when she went for her toddler class and when we picked her up to voice her displeasure for a month. There are more kids per teacher ratio, so I guess the attention towards them would be lesser. They also can't drink milk as and when they like and have to follow the timetable so there might be some adjustment for new toddlers. Usually, she is starving when she reach home in the evening. I think this is a good way for the toddlers to wean off milk and take more solid food but it takes quite a while for them to get used to it.

My thoughts
I feel that PCF is doing a good job in terms of curriculum. The daily logbook and Meet-the-teachers sessions are helpful. What I don't get is why the transition is so drastic. I think they could prepare the toddlers who are turning 18 months in a better way such as removing the bottles of milk one-by-one and getting them used to the toddlers' timetable beforehand.

However, I understand how hard it is to manage with a big group. Definitely things can be improved although I am pretty impressed with how things work currently.


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  1. Hi Jes,

    This is something which I'm never aware of - about children. After reading, Wow. I'm astonished. Looks like the kids are having some fun from the lessons and well taken care of! There's even a logbook to keep track on when they're shitting!

    PS: Pardon me for my lack of knowledge here! Haha

    1. Hi Sleepydevil,

      Hahaha, you made me laughed out loud! So amusing, most people would not read the articles not remotely linked with them. I think you are ready to settle down and be a daddy, oops! So happy you even read my parenthood articles, too bored? =P

      Hehe, enjoy and travel more. Remember without love, a lot of money also pointless =P