Xavier is currently in an infant-care near our place. The main reason for choosing that infant care is due to convenience (since its just across the road), the flexible opening hours (up to 9pm at night) and its very reasonably priced.
I had known this infant-care center was a basic needs center where they will feed the baby, change his diaper when its full and put him to bed. I also thought since the baby is still young, he would not be needing to learn much anyway. Well I was totally wrong. Xavier seems to be very bored at the center with little stimulation. In fact, I suspect he is on the bouncer from the time we bring him there to the time we pick him up. That center is so small he doesn’t even have the space to crawl and explore. The only time he gets to practice crawling is when he is at home with his playmat.
Hence we decided to look for another infant-care center that has the space for him to crawl and move around and where the teachers would stimulate the little minds (be is singing, story-telling, flash cards, exercise, massage, what have you).
So we went to check out four infant-care centers during one of the days we were on leave. On the list are Sunflower Baby House, Cherie Hearts, Babies Inc. and Pat’s School House Baby Haven. We were unimpressed by Babies Inc. and Cherie Hearts but Cherie Hearts is a franchise so different centers might different in experience.
Sunflower Baby House came highly recommended by Eric and Elsie as their son is in there. And needless to say we were equally impressed by the facilities in the center and by Angela (the business manager). She is very detailed in her explaination of the facilities and the programs the baby would go through, she was also very willing to share with us her knowledge as a parents of three kids. Xavier had just caught the cough then and she told us of the clapping method to help loosen the phlegm which was what the physiotherapist did when Xavier went for his Chest Therapy at Mt Alvenia. This center ranks top on our list and the only reason why Xavier is not going there is because of the location. Its located at Turf City. Believe me I have spent a few nights thinking of the best logistics solution to put Xavier there but in the end, its just not feasible.
Pat’s School House Baby Haven is a branded center. Many parent who have considered infant care or child care center would have heard of them. They have set a high standard in terms of facilities and programs as well as price. The center has facilities for activities for both indoors and outdoors and the programs seems very engaging. We seen a teacher telling a story to a few infants and was pretty impressed. The location is definitely more manageable than Sunflower since its beside KK Hospital. We had somewhat set our mind on this center when my colleague suggested we have a look at Learning Vision.
We checked out Learning Vision on a Saturday. The facility is pretty big (for a CBD area center) but the programs ain’t as impressive as Sunflower or Pat’s. It was a Saturday so we didn’t see the teachers in action. The whole place is centralised air-con so it might not be such a good thing for babies (I mean letting babies be in air-con room for half a day almost everyday is not such a good thing right?). But in the end, we decided to put Xavier here. The main reason is to balance the need for Xavier to be stimulated and engaged in activities in a center which has the space and the facilities for him to move about and explore, and the convenience and sanity of the parents.
We hope the center would be a good choice for him. I will update again when he starts in the new center. For now, I will be working on sleeping earlier and waking up earlier as soon I would need to drive the whole family to CBD and park, all before 7am every day (my car is a off-peak car).