SINGAPORE: To cater to the high demand for pre-school places in Punggol, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced on Wednesday (Feb 8) it will open another three kindergartens in the area to take in 360 children.
The new kindergartens will be co-located with Oasis Primary School, Punggol Cove Primary School and Waterway Primary School. All three kindergartens will offer a four-hour programme, with full-day care services available for children from Mondays to Fridays between 7am and 7pm.
There are currently 15 MOE-run kindergartens, including two in Punggol.
Minister for Education (Schools) Ng Chee Meng said he has received positive feedback from parents on MOE-run kindergartens.
“The opening of these three new MOE kindergartens … will help meet the rising demand of pre-school places of families with young children in growing estates like Punggol,” he said.
The registration exercise for MOE Kindergarten 1 admission in 2018 will be held over two periods – Apr 1 and 3 for 10 MOE kindergartens, and Apr 8 and 10 for the remaining eight MOE kindergartens. The registration exercise is open to Singaporean children born between Jan 2, 2013 and Jan 1, 2014.
More information is available on the MOE website at www.moe.gov.sg/moekindergarten.
MOE TO PILOT NEW PRE-SCHOOL MODEL
The ministry also announced it will pilot a new pre-school model with two anchor operators. Under the new model, eligible Singaporean children enrolled in four upcoming Early Years Centres in Punggol – operated by PAP Community Foundation and NTUC's My First Skool – will be guaranteed a place in a nearby MOE kindergarten when they turn five years old.
At the start of the Nursery 2 year, parents of eligible children will have a choice of whether to accept a place at a partner MOE kindergarten. There will also be places set aside for children not enrolled in the Early Years Centres.
A MOE spokesperson later said that the enrolment in these centres will be sized to ensure an appropriate proportion of places continues to be available for other children. "It would vary from centre to centre, with at least 20 per cent of each MOE kindergarten's planned intake set aside for K1 admission of other children who are not from the Early Years Centres."
Three of the centres will open by mid-next year and one by mid-2019. The pilot programme will start in 2019.