When raising childcare centre fees is justified

A teacher interacting with preschool children at a playground in Jurong.
A teacher interacting with preschool children at a playground in Jurong.PHOTO: ST FILE

It has been announced that one in five childcare centres will raise its fees next year (330 childcare centres to raise fees next year, Sept 18).

To me, what's most important is that these childcare centres are giving the best attention and curriculum to the young children to prepare them for primary school.

Are the centres providing more training and support to the teachers?

Is the food cooked in-house or catered by vendors?

There is still room for more improvements.

I feel a good childcare centre needs to:

• have experienced and qualified teachers

• have a good pupil-teacher ratio

• be affordable.

Childcare centre operators should always have their pupils' well-being as their priority by coming up with fulfilling enrichment programmes. They should also focus on building trust and fostering closer parent-teacher-children relationships.

Operators should issue regular feedback forms to parents which will give management a better understanding of how the centres can improve.

Enhanced policies, guidelines and improvements should be officially documented by the operators.

Lastly, there should always be open communication between teachers and parents to chart the progress of the children. Auditors should come in frequently to make sure the centres' accounts are in order.

With all these in place and implemented smoothly, then the raising of full-day fees slowly would be justified.

Kok Mei Hui

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 20, 2019, with the headline 'When raising childcare centre fees is justified'. Print Edition | Subscribe