An increased number of children from lower-income families will find themselves benefiting from financial and social aid, as Singapore’s second-largest preschool operator, NTUC First Campus, extends support for needy families.
Gross monthly household income ceiling for financial support will be increased from $3,500 to $4,500, starting from January next year. More than 10,000 children who come from disadvantaged families will benefit from this initiative, in addition to being prioritised for admission into My First Skool centres.
NTUC First Campus chief executive Chan Tee Seng, claimed that the company will put in around $8.6 million on the financial, social or developmental needs of children.
Moreover, OCBC Bank has come forth to provide free preschool education for about 500 children by giving $1 million annually from 2020 to 2024. These children come from households with incomes $4,500 and less.
This scheme ensures that a payout of $400 will be deposited into the child’s Child Development Account, and the government will match this dollar-for-dollar. The total amount will be able to finance the initial two years of childcare fees, which will add up to $720 after government subsidies. For children who come from households with incomes less than $3,000 can use the extra allowance to fund any other educational and healthcare expenses.
OCBC also has plans to organise regular financial literacy workshops for parents, starting next year. Since about 330 preschool centres will be increasing their school fees next year, OCBC has taken on this initiative to educate local parents on financial literacy to help them better manage their finances.
However, the increase in childcare fees will not trump the recently announced subsidies.
These increased financial aid are part of the government’s initiative to boost the preschool sector to ensure affordable and excellent education preschool programme for children.