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PCF aims to add about 2,500 pre-school places by end-2023

02:43 Min
PAP Community Foundation (PCF) will aim to add about 2,500 more pre-school places by the end of next year, it said on Sunday (Sep 11). Lauren Ong tells us more. 

SINGAPORE: PAP Community Foundation (PCF) will aim to add about 2,500 more pre-school places by the end of next year, it said on Sunday (Sep 11).

PCF, a charitable foundation, provides pre-school services through PCF Sparkletots, which is the largest pre-school operator in Singapore. It has about 360 pre-schools that cater to more than 40,000 children.

In addition to the new spaces, PCF said more will be done to advance inclusive practices at PCF pre-schools to ensure children receive the same learning opportunities.

“By early 2023, 260 pre-schools will also be equipped with an inclusion coordinator among existing staff who will be trained to identify children with potential developmental needs and connect teachers and parents to the Inclusive Education Team to receive targeted assistance,” it said in a media release.

The foundation announced the move on Sunday during its Family Day event, which was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo, and Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment and Transport Amy Khor.

PCF’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths, Invention and Entrepreneurship Approach (STEMIE) programme will also be rolled out to all 320 centres that offer kindergarten services by 2024, benefiting close to 50,000 children. It is currently available to up to 13,500 children.

“The STEMIE programme challenges preschoolers to create practical solutions for real-world problems, instilling resilience and cultivating essential skills in critical thinking and problem-solving,” said PCF.

PCF’s chief executive officer Victor Bay said: “PCF remains dedicated to providing access to affordable and quality education for every child and we take pride in our continued efforts to create more inclusive preschools and to equip our children with essential skills for the future.

“We received great feedback from parents and children alike for our STEMIE programme that challenges little ones to be innovative, resilient and entrepreneurial, and we are excited to expand the programme to more centres.

“We also believe that every child deserves a good start with quality preschool education, despite their diverse learning abilities. Our efforts to advance inclusive practices in our preschools will go a long way to ensure that no child gets left behind.”

Earlier this year, it was announced that Punggol would get seven new pre-schools as parents struggled to secure childcare places.

The Early Childhood Development Agency said the new pre-schools would be developed by the end of the year and will provide an additional 220 infant care places and 1,700 childcare places.


PCF also operates senior care centres through PCF Sparkle Care.

The foundation plans to expand its eldercare facilities in the next few years. The development of an eighth PCF Sparkle Care centre will start in 2024, and it aims to set up more senior care centres in the next five years.

This is in line with the Ministry of Health's (MOH) target to expand eldercare services to meet the needs of an ageing population, said PCF.

The seven senior care centres currently serve 440 people in day care services and 430 people who are undergoing rehabilitation therapy.

"PCF also aims to set up eldercare centre services in selected senior care centres to expand its scope of services for the elderly. These eldercare centre services include active ageing programmes, befriending programmes, and referral services," it added.

Source: CNA/mi


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