An intervention centre for special needs children in Sengkang has a water fountain, ball pits and a large slide of about 4m in height.
"All these have been built to be very similar to (play facilities) found in the community, parks and shopping centres - and we have a reason for doing this," said Ms Tan Peng Chian, assistant director for education and development at charity Awwa.
The Awwa Early Intervention Centre in Fernvale Link is a two-storey standalone building with a floor area of 1,422 sq m, making it the largest of 22 Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (Eipic) centres here. It can serve 300 children.
Awwa has two other Eipic centres, in Kim Keat and Hougang. Such centres provide therapy and educational support services for infants and young children, aged up to six years, who have special needs.
Said Ms Tan: "Children with developmental challenges often find it difficult to access play areas... They may have physical disabilities or have difficulty in regulating their emotions - they may be too anxious or fearful... or their social behaviour may make others find it difficult to accept them."
Awwa wanted to offer them a "safe environment" to play in, learn and practise using such play areas, she said. "Having a large centre has its benefits. With economies of scale, we can build more extensive facilities," she added.
Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin, who officiated the opening of the centre yesterday, said it was timely as Health Ministry figures released last year show that 4,000 children were diagnosed with developmental delays in 2015, up from 2,500 in 2010.
Awwa's three Eipic centres have about 800 places in total and currently serve about 540 children.