SINGAPORE: Five new large childcare centres will open in Sengkang and Punggol over the next two years, creating an additional 2,600 childcare and infant care places in these estates.
These large childcare centres can accommodate 300 to 1,000 children.
Social and Family Development Minister Desmond Lee announced this at the official opening of a large childcare centre, the Skool4Kidz Campus@Sengkang Riverside Park on Wednesday (Jul 25).
Four of the new centres, with about 2,000 places in total, will be located in Sengkang. The remaining centre, with about 600 places, will be in Punggol.
Sengkang and Punggol are newer estates with more young families.
Mr Lee said even as authorities continue to build more preschools, they have to make sure that the schools have better learning experiences for every child.
“We are closely working with operators to design preschools and design programmes that create more opportunities for our children to interact with the community, play and learn outdoors. For example, our centres will be designed to enable children to access the outdoors easily and safely,” said Mr Lee.
At the Skool4Kidz Campus@Sengkang Riverside Park, children are brought outdoors daily as part of their curriculum. For instance, in their school’s garden, children learn about Singapore’s biodiversity and grow plants to harvest for food.
Mr Lee said authorities will see how they can bring such outdoor learning experiences to other childcare centres, including smaller centres that are located at HDB premises.
Registration details for the five new large childcare centres will be out in the first half of 2019. The operators for those centres will also be announced then.
There are currently nine large childcare centres in Singapore, the majority of which are located in Sengkang and Punggol.