SINGAPORE: Pre-school operator PAP Community Foundation (PCF) on Saturday (May 20) opened a mega childcare centre – its largest to date – in Marsiling, with places for about 370 children.
Spanning 3,000 sq m, the PCF Sparkletots Large Childcare Centre at 9, Woodlands Street 12 will take in children ranging from infants to kindergarteners.
A total of 196 children have already enrolled in the centre, PCF said. The centre's principal Jeanette Ling said it expects enrolments to reach full capacity in early 2018.
It is one of the mega childcare centres that the Government is building to increase childcare places in estates with more young families, such as Punggol, Sengkang, Yishun, Jurong West and Woodlands.
Located within walking distance to Woodlands Park and Woodlands Sports Stadium, the centre is designed to give children greater access to a variety of outdoor experiences. It also plans to engage parents and seniors as volunteers to better allow children to interact with the community through projects like maintaining a vegetable garden.
The opening ceremony was attended by Speaker of Parliament and Member of Parliament for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC Halimah Yacob, who said the centre was built on the concept that children require “Vitamin G” – green environments and outdoor spaces to play and learn.
"With the new facilities, teachers are able to plan the curriculum beyond the classroom. Children can explore shapes as they take a nature around our environment. With our project room, they are given the opportunity to experiment with arts," said Ms Ling.
PCF executive committee chairperson Josephine Teo and PCF chief executive Victor Bay were also present.
During a tour of the centre, Madam Halimah viewed an exhibition titled Collaboration with Parents and Community Partners, showcasing how the pre-school integrated the outdoors into its curriculum.