5,000 pre-school children to take part in community service projects as part of SG50

SINGAPORE - Some 5,000 children from 150 pre-schools will take part in community service projects this year, as part of the "Start Small Dream Big" initiative by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA).

The aim is to encourage pre-school children to contribute to the community and help the less fortunate under their teachers' guidance, and also build social awareness and compassion in the children.

Under the initiative, the children will take part in six-month-long community service projects with their pre-schools, which will offer platforms for children to innovate, solve problems and tap on their unique strengths to help others.

ECDA said the initiative is also "a gift from the early childhood sector to Singapore" as part of SG50 and the 15th anniversary of President's Challenge, an annual series of fund-raising and volunteer activities.

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, who also chairs the SG50 Steering Committee, launched the initiative at the Science Centre Singapore on Wednesday morning. At the event, 1,000 pre-school children and 200 teachers pledged their commitment to make a positive impact on the community by completing individual dot drawings.

An exhibition of completed community projects will be held at ECDA's Early Childhood Conference and Carnival in September. An e-book documenting these projects will also be launched.

The ECDA was set up in 2013 to raise the quality of pre-school programmes. The autonomous agency oversees the regulation and development of kindergarten, infant and childcare programmes for children below the age of six.

More information on the projects can be found at:

www.ecda.gov.sg/growatbeanstalk/Pages/Start Small Dream Big/PreschoolsStartSmallDreamBig.aspx.