The next four years will see Singapore’s largest preschool operator, PAP Community Foundation (PCF), convert 80 of its kindergartens into childcare centres. Last year, more than 50 PCF kindergartens have already been converted into childcare centres.
According to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the younger residential estates in Singapore, such as Punggol and Choa Chu Kang, has yet to see much childcare spaces. This conversion is part of the government’s plan to boost the number of full-day childcare centres in the young estates.
PCF is a charitable agency, established by People’s Action Party, that also operates Sparkletots preschools. Currently, PCF is revamping its curriculum to incorporate concepts of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, innovation and entrepreneurship, into it.
This learning approach has already been adopted by 12 preschools as of now, with more preschools to come on board next year. In addition, two new Sparkletots centres opening in Joo Chiat and Radin Mas estates have introduced an increased focus on outdoor learning, with the Radin Mas preschool having included a nursing home in its grounds.
PM Lee stated that the interaction between the young in preschool and the old in the nursing home will be beneficial for both generations when the children cheer up the elderly, who will look out for the children while engaging them.
The Prime Minister was addressing more than 10,000 PCF staff, students and their families, as well as various Cabinet ministers and MPs, at the annual PCF family day event held on Sunday morning (Oct 6) at the Victoria Theatre.
More than 200 artworks, depicting Singapore’s past, present and future, by children studying in PCF Sparkletots were displayed at Victoria Theatre and the Asian Civilisations Museum. Event goers also got to participate in an activity trail around historical landmarks in the area.