Multi-generational fun at new childcare centre in Kallang

ST VIDEO: MELODY ZACCHEUSST VIDEO: MELODY ZACCHEUS
Children listening to a story-telling session at the PCF Sparkletots Preschool in Kolam Ayer yesterday, with Dr Yaacob looking on.
Children listening to a story-telling session at the PCF Sparkletots Preschool in Kolam Ayer yesterday, with Dr Yaacob looking on.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

A new childcare centre in Kallang will be tapping the expertise of elderly residents in the neighbourhood to run activities and classes such as calligraphy for its young pupils.

The newly opened PAP Community Foundation Sparkletots Preschool at Kolam Ayer Block 8 is one of the few local childcare centres with multi-generational activities.

It is close to eldercare centre Adventist Active Centre, and different generations will get to interact over activities such as arts and crafts lessons and exercise sessions.

Resident Ang Poh Hua, 65, was at the pre-school's open house yesterday. "It's a good chance for elderly folk to impart values to our young to shape a new generation," she said.

The centre was built to meet the demand for infant and childcare services in the newly built Kallang Trivista estate.

GREAT OPPORTUNITY

We are very fortuitous that over at this centre, we have a senior activity centre next door, and so there is a great opportunity for the young to interact with the old to understand what ageing is all about. It helps our kids to start from a young age to learn kindness and to learn to work with people from all sort of ages.

DR YAACOB IBRAHIM, on the multi-generational initiative at the newly opened PAP Community Foundation Sparkletots Preschool at Kolam Ayer Block 8. Under the programme, elderly residents will help to run activities such as calligraphy for children at the childcare centre.

It can cater to 10 infants and 111 pre-schoolers.

Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim, who is also an MP in the Jalan Besar GRC, yesterday officially opened the centre, which has been in operation since January. He noted that such arrangements are important as Singapore transitions to an ageing society.

"We are very fortuitous that over at this centre, we have a senior activity centre next door, and so there is a great opportunity for the young to interact with the old to understand what ageing is all about.

"It helps our kids to start from a young age to learn kindness and to learn to work with people from all sort of ages," he said.

Dr Yaacob said he hopes more centres will do the same. The initiative, called Learning And Bonding With Families And Pioneers, is in collaboration with Early Childhood Development Agency's Start Small Dream Big projects for the year.

Dr Yaacob also helped to launch a children's book, called The Runaway Who Became President: S R Nathan's Journey Of Hope, at the opening yesterday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 26, 2017, with the headline 'Multi-generational fun at new childcare centre in Kallang'. Print Edition | Subscribe