MindChamps ventures into Malaysia, aims for 20 pre-school centres by 2024

(From left) Victoria Education CEO Jeffrey Lai, MindChamps PreSchool founder David Chiem and Victoria Education managing director Edwin Tan at the signing ceremony. PHOTO: MINDCHAMPS

SINGAPORE - MindChamps PreSchool has signed Malaysian education group Victoria Education as a master franchisee, marking the Singapore early education group's first expansion across the Causeway.

With the deal in place, MindChamps plans to launch 20 international pre-schools in Malaysia by 2024, the company announced on Wednesday (Oct 10). MindChamps already has franchise deals in the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, the Philippines and Myanmar, and owns and operates 10 centres in Australia.

MindChamps said in a media statement that the 20 Malaysian campuses will be "styled as a learning village, where classrooms are clustered in community groupings around common collaborative spaces, allowing children from different ages to interact and learn in a social setting".

Construction of the first of these schools is expected to begin within a year, with plans to open the first campus in June 2019.

There are also plans for a flagship 10,000 sq m campus in Kuala Lumpur for about 1,000 children, expected to be ready in 2021. MindChamps also plans to open a campus in Johor Bahru by 2019, which is expected to cater to 650 children.

These two campuses will feature a multi-level sensory garden and a 20m indoor swimming pool among its facilities.

Victoria Education chief executive Jeffrey Lai Jiun Jye said in the statement: "We were instinctively drawn towards MindChamps' breakthrough pre-school curriculum which has a proven track record of success in the competitive Singapore market."

Singapore Press Holdings, which publishes The Straits Times, owns a 20 per cent stake in MindChamps.

MindChamps shares were trading at 62.5 cents as at 3.11pm on Wednesday after the announcement, down 0.5 cent or 0.8 per cent.

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