All new bus and MRT interchanges to have nursing rooms: Khaw Boon Wan

All new bus and MRT interchanges to have nursing rooms: Khaw Boon Wan

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File photo of a mother feeding milk to her baby. (Photo: AFP/Peter Parks)

SINGAPORE: The Goverment will provide nursing rooms at all new bus interchanges and integrated transport hubs, as well as new MRT interchange stations, said Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan on Thursday (Mar 26), in a written answer to parliamentary questions by Member of Parliament Louis Ng. 

Mr Ng had asked how many of the MRT stations and bus interchanges in Singapore are equipped with at least one lactation room and breastfeeding room, and if the transport ministry could make it compulsory for at least one to be made available at such facilities. 

"There are nursing rooms at 50 per cent of our bus interchanges," said Mr Khaw. 

"We will provide nursing rooms at all new bus interchanges and integrated transport hubs. 

"For the MRT network, we will provide nursing rooms at all interchange stations. We will also explore providing such facilities when MRT stations undergo upgrading," he added. 

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However, not all MRT stations and bus interchanges need to be provided with nursing rooms as many are adjacent to major developments with nursing rooms, such as shopping centres and libraries, the minister said. 

"This is a balanced approach, to avoid duplication while meeting the needs of nursing mothers," he said. 

Mr Ng had also proposed that all pre-schools be equipped with at least one lactation room. 

In his written answer, Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee said that the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) "does not require all pre-schools to have a lactation room within their premises". 

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"Pre-schools have the flexibility to manage the use of their space, depending on the needs of their children, staff and parents. 

"For pre-schools with older children (for example kindergartens) and pre-schools with more working mothers, the need for a lactation room within the centre itself may be less pressing.

"For others, we encourage pre-schools to consider setting up a lactation room or making space arrangements for breastfeeding, as and when the need arises," said Mr Lee. 

Source: CNA/hs(mn)

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