Forum: Pre-school programmes being resumed cautiously

We thank Dr Joel Gwynne for his feedback (Why stop pre-school kids from using outdoor facilities during school hours?, June 23).

Since the start of the Covid-19 crisis in January, the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) has put in place stringent requirements for pre-schools to safeguard the health of our young children.

With the end of the circuit breaker, we have similarly adopted a cautious approach for pre-schools to resume programmes in a phased manner.

This gives younger children more time to understand and follow the safe management measures, and for pre-schools to ensure that all necessary precautionary measures are properly observed.

It is important for children's development that they go outdoors and are exposed to sunlight. While facilities such as public playgrounds are open to families and their children, we must take a more cautious approach for pre-schools.

In the early part of phase two of Singapore's reopening, ECDA has encouraged pre-schools to take children outdoors, in small groups, to public spaces in the immediate vicinity of the pre-school for walks, subject to safe management measures being met. This helps the children get accustomed to wearing masks or face shields and practising safe distancing outdoors.

We understand Dr Gwynne's desire for children in pre-schools to use the playgrounds during their outdoor programmes. As our pre-school children get used to the safe management measures, we will resume more outdoor activities progressively.

ECDA continues to conduct visits to pre-schools to monitor adherence to safe management measures and is working towards more outdoor activities for pre-schools in the coming weeks.

Bernadette Alexander
Director, Regulation & Standards
Early Childhood Development Agency

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