Starting a Kindergarten School in Singapore

Staff Writer

January 8, 2022

What’s in the article?

Opening a kindergarten in Singapore can be a lucrative business as an increasing number of people value quality education for their children.

Singapore maintains strict regulations in preschool education, especially as children learn life skills, critical thinking, and other essential development. The Ministry of Education (MoE) directly regulates preschools in Singapore to ensure that every child receives quality preschool education from their kindergartens.

Schools such as the Early Learning Village, and My First Skool, prepare children for kindergarten education through their enrichment programmes. Before preschools can operate, however, they must first incorporate their preschool programme with Singapore's regulatory authorities.

How to Open a Kindergarten School

Preschool education is one of the most stringently regulated fields in Singapore. The country puts great value on early childhood education, as preschools in Singapore are responsible for the holistic development of young learners. Kindergarten is the first space where children learn practical life skills, critical thinking, and holistic development, and is thus strictly regulated.

Opening a preschool in Singapore requires multiple licences, and must meet different requirements. This comprehensive guide will show you how to start a primary school in Singapore, including the process of incorporating one.

Overview of Kindergarten in Singapore

A kindergarten is known as a school which provides a three-year formal education program for children aged between 3 to 6 years old. This form of education often offers a 5-day week program with 2 sessions per day.

A preschool curriculum may involve play-based learning, socialisation learning, and even bilingual immersion core curriculum for international preschool education. The primary purpose of kindergartens is to teach children to develop fundamental motor skills, literacy and language skills, social skills, basic number concepts, critical thinking skills, and other abilities.

Preschools in Singapore are seen as learning haven centres that enable young learners to strive not only for academic excellence, but also take ownership of their own learning experiences. Children learn through experience, and kindergartens are responsible for shaping the learning journey of each student.

Setting up a kindergarten that accommodates more than 10 children requires you to register with the Singapore Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority as a business entity before registering your company with the Ministry of Education. Kindergartens can also get funding from the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) to keep their tuition fees accessible.

Necessary Steps to Set Up a Kindergarten School in Singapore

1. Choose a Name for the School

The first thing you need to do is to choose a suitable name for the kindergarten. Keep in mind that the name of the business that you registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority must be the same as that of the primary school.

However, you can’t include the following words in the name without permission from the authority: international, conservatory, college, university, and Singapore. International preschool centres, and global preschool centres will have to get permits to use these terms in their registered names.

2. Incorporate the Business

The next step is incorporating your business. For a kindergarten, an appropriate legal entity might be a private limited or sole proprietorship company. In fact, this process is relatively quick and straightforward, even though there are a couple of statutory requirements that need to be applied.

3. Find a Premise

There are many strict regulations and rules for educational facilities in Singapore such as the student ratio or the size of the classroom. Basically, you could only use a premise which is approved by the Urban Redevelopment Authority for educational purposes.

In other words, it requires a Class XII permission before you can start using the facilities. Thus, make sure to check with the landlord before you plan to do anything to avoid losing accreditation. If the school offers a musical arts programme, you will need to check with noise pollution regulations in your area, and provide soundproofing as well.

If you want to renovate the structure, it is necessary to apply for a constructing work permit from the Singapore Building and Construction Authority. Once the building tasks have been completed, you might need to get the following licence from the BCA before occupying the space: the Temporary Occupation License and the Statutory Completion Certificate.

In addition, you might need to acquire a Certificate of Fire Safety from the Civil Defense Force of Singapore. You can only get this through a registered engineer or architect. All renovation projects must be performed by licensed or certified contractors. If you plan to place business signage on the premises, it requires a Licence of Advertisement from the BCA as well.

4. Register the Kindergarten

The last step is to register your business with the Ministry of Education. During this step, you also need to register the list of your teachers and school curriculum. Maintaining a low teacher-child ratio may offer better quality education for pre-nursery students.

In general, the curriculum should be holistic and comprehensive and should include those courses which would help children develop essential skills such as social awareness, numeric skills, literacy skills, and language skills.

Also, you need to submit an education plan which specifies the learning outcomes, materials, resources, class schedules, and teaching methodology. Every teacher needs to possess a certificate at GCE O’ level with at least 5 passes, a B4 level in English. and a license in Teaching Early Childhood Care and Education.

The average processing time is around 14 working days. The license fee is S$400. Once your kindergarten is fully-registered, the school can accept enrollees. The school will also need to comply with post-registration requirements, such as a yearly inspection of the school facilities, and the formation of a comprehensive curriculum that is updated with MoE mandates.

Register Your Kindergarten with WealthBridge

WealthBridge makes Singapore company registration simple and straightforward. Leave the incorporation work to us, and focus on preparing a primary school-ready curriculum for children to learn and shape their early years foundation stage.

With WealthBridge, starting your business is just a call away.

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