More Childcare centres

21 08 2008

200 more childcare centres

COMING to a HDB estate near you: a childcare centre.

It will become far easier for parents to find one for their kids, as 200 new childcare centres will be built in the next five years.

This ramps up the existing number by one third to nearly 1,000, with a total of 83,380 places.

At the same time, the quality will also go up, with the adoption of an integrated curriculum structure and better-trained teachers, said Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports.

These measures will make it easier for mothers to go to work.

But they may mean that fees will go up too.

Asked about this possibilty, Dr Balakrishnan said: ‘We expect that salaries will have to go up. I think the cost of the childcare centres will also increase.

‘If you want better services, you want more convenient services, there will be inevitably some increase in cost, which the operators will also have to cope with. Let’s be practical about it.’

At the same time, he stressed, the Government is giving significant increases in subsidies to offset the fees.

‘So I don’t think you should be worried that affordability is going to go down.’

From next year, childcare centre subsidies for working mothers will double from $150 per child per month to $300.

Infant care subsidies will go up from $400 to $600.

MCYS said the average monthly fee for full-day care is now $1,165, nearly 10 per cent more than the $1,063 four years ago.

The fees are higher than those at full-day childcare centres, which charge an average of $672 a month now, up from $588 in 2004.


More NTUC childcare centres

By Tessa Wong

NTUC Childcare on Wednesday said that it plans to double the number its centres over the next three years.

Its announcement comes on the heel of the Government’s decision to raise childcare subsidies for working mothers and to encourage parenthood.

NTUC is currently the largest operator of childcare facilities in Singapore, with 39 centres catering to over 3,700 children and 69 infants.

Chief executive Ms Adeline Sum said that NTUC Childcare plans to add up to 40 more centres in the next three years.

Five centres are already in the works, and will open in Woodlands, Sengkang, Jurong Point and Hougang within the next six months.





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