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Give smaller childcare centres more funding

Pre-school teachers in Singapore have long requested equal recognition and remuneration as primary school teachers.
Pre-school teachers in Singapore have long requested equal recognition and remuneration as primary school teachers.PHOTO: ST FILE

Pre-school teachers in Singapore have long requested equal recognition and remuneration as primary school teachers ("Better pay draws better pre-school teachers"; Nov 6).

Government schemes to provide funding support to anchor operators and partner operators to ensure that good-quality and affordable childcare services are accessible to the masses are a good start. However, small private, individual and independent childcare operators, which also want to build capabilities to raise quality, miss out on these schemes.

Many of these childcare centres have the Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework (Spark) quality mark, awarded by the Early Childhood Development Agency for providing quality childcare services. Why haven't they been given access to funding support to enable them to continue their quality services and to retain effective pre-school teachers with better pay?

Lien Foundation chief executive Lee Poh Wah was right when he said that it is "not sustainable for private operators here to supplement teachers' pay".

I hope the funding sources in Singapore are more fairly distributed and accessible to childcare operators of all sizes, as long as they are Spark-accredited.

Rebecca Chan (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 20, 2016, with the headline 'Give smaller childcare centres more funding'. Print Edition | Subscribe