Forum: Extra caution needed because of age of pre-schoolers

We refer to Ms Quek Shiwei's letter (Allow parents to attend pre-school graduation concerts, Oct 15).

We recognise that kindergarten graduation is a milestone for parents and children. However, we have to take a careful approach when resuming activities in pre-schools, given the young age of the children and the pre-school setting.

While more economic and social activities have gradually resumed in the community, strict safe management measures have been put in place and only some activities have resumed on a pilot basis.

As pre-school premises are generally smaller and more compact, safe distancing for large groups is more challenging and this increases the risk of transmission.

Young children also tend to need more time to get used to requirements, and it may be challenging for them to adhere to the additional safe management measures required for big group activities.

Graduation ceremonies typically involve many children and parents coming together across classes, and this presents significant transmission risk.

Graduation concerts, in particular, pose a risk as the children will interact with one another on stage, and the concerts typically involve singing, which leads to a greater expulsion of respiratory droplets and potential virus particles.

To ensure the safety and well-being of children and staff, pre-schools have therefore been guided to conduct graduation ceremonies differently this year.

This is aligned to the virtual graduation ceremonies for students in schools and other institutions this year.

Although graduation ceremonies will be conducted differently, many pre-schools are exploring ways to make them special for the children and families.

We acknowledge that the arrangements for pre-school graduation ceremonies this year may cause disappointment for some parents and children.

We seek parents' understanding that the young age of the children requires us to take a more cautious stance.

Bernadette Alexander

Director, Regulation and Standards

Early Childhood Development Agency