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.


Parenthood – 1st/2nd/3rd

15 07 2008

The Evolution of Parenthood

Your Clothes –

1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.

2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.

3rd baby: Your maternity clothes are your regular clothes.

The Baby’s Name –

1st baby: You pore over baby-name books and practice pronouncing and writing combinations of all your favourites.

2nd baby: Someone has to name their kid after your great-aunt Mavis, right? It might as well be you.

3rd baby: You open a name book, close your eyes, and see where your finger falls. Bimaldo? Perfect!

Preparing for the Birth –

1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously.

2nd baby: You don’t bother practicing because you remember that last time, breathing didn’t do a thing.

3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your 8th month.

The Layette –

1st baby: You pre-wash your newborn’s clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby’s little bureau.

2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.

3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can’t they?

Pacifier –

1st baby: If the pacifier falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home and wash and boil it.

2nd baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby’s bottle.

3rd baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.

Diapering –

1st baby: You change your baby’s diapers every hour, whether they need it or not.

2nd baby: You change their diaper every 2 to 3 hours, if needed.

3rd baby: You try to change their diaper before others start to complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.

Worries –

1st baby: At the first sign of distress – a whimper, a frown – you pick up the baby.

2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.

3rd baby: You teach your 3-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.

Activities –

1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.

2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.

3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.

Going Out –

1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home 5 times.

2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.

3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.

At Home –

1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.

2nd baby: You spend a bit of every day watching to be sure your older child isn’t squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.

3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.

Source: Karen Cheng