Model childcare centres to open in Serangoon and Jurong

Two children play an interactive game on a touch-screen tabletop at My First Skool at Holland Drive on Aug 18 2011. Childcare centre operator NTUC First Campus and local philanthropic organisation Lien Foundation are opening a model childcare ce
Two children play an interactive game on a touch-screen tabletop at My First Skool at Holland Drive on Aug 18 2011. Childcare centre operator NTUC First Campus and local philanthropic organisation Lien Foundation are opening a model childcare centre this December. -- ZAOBAO FILE PHOTO: TAN LAI HOCK

Parents with young children will have more than just the five Education Ministry-run model kindergartens to choose from in January next year. Childcare centre operator NTUC First Campus and local philanthropic organisation Lien Foundation are opening a model childcare centre this December. It will take in 200 children aged two months to six years.

Called My First Skool@Braddell Heights Community Hub, the centre in Serangoon Central aims to set the standard for design, curriculum and delivery of programmes for future pre-schools.

Fees are set at $630 a month but after subsidies, children from needy homes will pay as little as $3 a month.Like all other My First Skool centres, 15 per cent of the places will be set aside for children who come from lower income homes.

The two partner organisations, which held a press conference on Tuesday, also announced that they will be setting up another childcare centre in Jurong by April next year.

The centre will be a branch of The Caterpillar's Cove located at Ngee Ann Polytechnic and will provide a high-quality and innovative programme. It will employ teachers who have at least a degree in early childhood.

It will cater to 130 children, including 12 places for infants, with 10 per cent of places set aside for children from less privileged families. Financial grants, funded by The Lien Foundation, have been set aside to support these families.

Located next to Seed Institute, a unit of the National Trades Union Congress that runs diploma and degree courses on early childhood education, it will also act as a living classroom and teaching school for trainee-teachers to observe and be attached to the centre for practicum and research.

This will boost their learning experience and allow them to join the sector more practice-oriented and work-ready.

NTUC first campus and Lien Foundation, which is providing $5 million in funds for the projects, said the model heartland childcare centre is expected to redefine some parameters for the set-up of a childcare centre and lead to an evolution of a quality childcare facility.