Align pre-school fees with those for primary schools

The report, What the new playing field for pre-school offers (March 19), seems to deem a childcare fee of $720 a month affordable.

I question if this is really so. Surely, there are many households that cannot afford that, even for one child.

No doubt, there are subsidies for families struggling to make ends meet. But they have to go through a bureaucratic process first.

A more radical but, perhaps, more effective approach is to bring kindergartens into mainstream education financing for all citizens.

Fees should be at the level of primary school fees. The added cost for the Government could be offset by increasing fees progressively for upper primary or secondary schooling.

To build a nation with a competitive advantage in human resources, which is all Singapore has, the cultivation of inquiring minds needs to be done fully.

Children learn how to discover things best before they turn eight. Every child should have an equal opportunity to do this.

I strongly urge the Ministry of Education to re-examine pre-school fees and make them affordable to all, so as to enhance the quality of Singaporeans and help propel Singapore ahead.

Gerard Tan Boon Heng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 22, 2017, with the headline 'Align pre-school fees with those for primary schools'. Print Edition | Subscribe