SINGAPORE - A new childcare registration system has been set up by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), with the aim of giving parents more convenience.
Parents can go online to search for childcare centres and register their interest in up to five centres. Centres will then get email notifications, and can offer places if there are vacancies. If a parent has been offered a childcare place, he can accept this offer or choose to remain in other centres' waitlists.
It is not mandatory for parents or operators to use the system, available online at www.childcarelink.gov.sg. But ECDA said that as more people use the system, the agency will have more comprehensive demand and supply information to help in its plans to provide childcare places.
Speaking on the sidelines of a visit to a Skool4Kidz childcare centre in Woodlands on Friday, Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing said: "The new system will help parents... indicate interest to register in their preferred centres with ease. It will provide parents greater convenience and peace of mind. I encourage parents and centres to use the system."
He also announced that another 16 childcare centres will be set up over the next few months, providing 1,600 more childcare places. Run by anchor operators which are required to keep fees affordable in return for government subsidies, the centres are expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2015.
The building of childcare centres has been ramped up following a pledge by the Government last year to add 20,000 childcare places - or about 200 centres - by 2017 to meet demand. These will provide enough places for one in two children in Singapore, up from one in three last year.