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Care programme for preschoolers extended to two primary schools

TODAY reports: The Circle Of Care initiative, first rolled out in preschools in 2013, aims to provide children including those from low-income families with an integrated model of support for families and children with learning issues outside the traditional classroom environment. 

SINGAPORE: An integrated care model, which was first rolled out in preschools in 2013, will be piloted this year at Lakeside Primary and Gan Eng Seng Primary, Lien Foundation and Care Corner Singapore announced on Wednesday (Mar 2). 

The Circle Of Care initiative aims to provide children, including those from low-income families, with an integrated model of support for families and children with learning issues outside the traditional classroom environment. 

Under the programme, social workers, educational therapists and educators will provide support for a child and his family until he or she is in Primary 3.

Another seven preschools will also be joining the programme, bringing the total preschools to nine. The new participating preschools are three MY World Preschool centres, two People's Action Party Community Foundation preschools at Taman Jurong, and two centres run by PPIS (Singapore’s Muslim Women’s Association). By 2018, the programme is expected to be implemented in at least 15 preschools.

Lien Foundation and Care Corner Singapore said the programme has brought positive results so far, and has helped 76 children-at-risk by providing them with social work support and educational therapy, among other things. Significant improvements were also seen among the children in terms of their literacy and numeracy skills, they said.

The organisations added that parental involvement has gone up over the course of the programme. For instance, at MY World Preschool's Leng Kee branch, average parent participation rate increased to over 50 per cent last year, from 32 per cent in 2013.

The extension of the programme to primary schools will see social workers working closely with the schools’ counsellors. Information gathered by the participating preschools about a child, including family details and educational needs, will be shared with the primary schools to ease the transition process and allow primary school teachers to provide intervention earlier if necessary. 


Read the original TODAY report here