More care centres opening in primary schools

Mrs Rachael Teng with her seven-year-old son Samuel, who goes to the Kids’ Nook student care centre in Opera Estate Primary. She says it is better for him to be there than under the care of a domestic helper. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Mrs Rachael Teng with her seven-year-old son Samuel, who goes to the Kids’ Nook student care centre in Opera Estate Primary. She says it is better for him to be there than under the care of a domestic helper. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Opera Estate Primary officially opened its own student care centre Kids' Nook yesterday.

The Bedok school is one of 14 to have started student care centres within their premises this year.

Currently 80 such centres operate in schools with an enrolment of more than 6,500 children.

Kids' Nook is operated by City Community Services, set up by the Anglican St Andrew's Cathedral, and caters to pupils from the school aged between seven and 12.

The operator also runs student care centres in North View Primary and Townsville Primary.

All are run independently from the schools they are based in and provide homework supervision for children plus activities such as holiday camps.

Senior Minister of State for Education Indranee Rajah, who attended the opening of the centre, said: "Student care centres provide a safe environment. But it's not that the child is sitting there doing nothing - the time spent in the centre is used for a valuable purpose, that is, learning."

Mrs Rachael Teng, 44, pays $280 a month for her seven-year-old son Samuel to attend Kids' Nook.

She added: "Attending a student care centre is better for him than being under the care of a domestic helper."

The school's principal Dennis Yap carried out a survey among parents and found the majority supported the opening of a student care centre.

Kids' Nook can take in a total of 60 students but currently has 48 enrolled.

The Ministry of Education has worked with the Ministry of Social and Family Development since 2008 to develop student care centres within schools.

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