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Government to build 45 new childcare centres this year

Published on Jan 2, 2014 11:26 AM
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Teacher Yang Tingting, 24, with Brandon Goh, two, and 22-month-old Claris Seow at Sparkletots centre in Punggol yesterday. -- PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Some 45 new childcare centres are expected to be built this year islandwide, said Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing on Thursday.

The Government is paying particular attention to Punggol and Sengkang where there are many young families and there is a high demand for childcare services. In Punggol, where there are 30 centres, some 17 centres will be built by end-2017. In neighbouring Sengkang, which has 73 centres, another 19 are expected to be built by end-2017.

Mr Chan said the Government is "on track" in meeting its target of 20,000 more places by 2017, or enough places for one in two children. To increase accessibility of childcare services, he said some centres have been built in existing facilities which are underutilised or integrated with new facilities.

Mr Chan was speaking to reporters at the sidelines of a visit to a PAP Community Foundation Sparkletots centre, located at a multi-storey carpark in Punggol. He later officiated the opening of an NTUC My First Skool centre at Braddell Heights Community Hub in Serangoon, which was formerly a bus interchange.