Boasting an arts and craft studio, outdoor painting wall and community herb garden, a new childcare centre in Yishun is set to welcome its first intake by the middle of this year.
Yesterday afternoon, more than 200 parents turned up to register their youngsters for the Skool4Kidz Yishun Large Childcare Centre (YLCCC), which is located next to Block 415 along Yishun Avenue 11.
The centre, which will have an intake of 300, is one of five large childcare centres that anchor operators are building across the island to meet the needs of younger families in Singapore.
"These are important developments and I'm glad to report they're all on track," said Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin, who officiated the start of the registration. "We'll have four large centres coming online quickly in a few months' time and the response has been healthy."
Three such centres in Jurong West, Sengkang and Punggol launched registrations earlier this month and, so far, parents of close to 1,000 children have expressed interest in registering for the 1,300 places available.
Mr Tan assured parents that these large centres will maintain proper teacher-student ratio so standards are kept, adding that recruitment fairs have had good responses.
The two-storey, 2,000 sq m Yishun facility, which will be three times the size of an average childcare centre, will have covered and outdoor play spaces to support its curriculum of integrating botany and art in education.
Children will be taught how to harvest herbs and vegetables from a community garden, which could could be on their lunch menu.
They will also be able to observe how food is prepared and cooked through a glass panel separating the kitchen and the centre's alfresco communal dining area.
To encourage creative thinking, the centre will have a specially-designed atelier, or art studio, which will allow children to use various recycled and natural art materials to express their thoughts.
For administration executive Edmund Tan, 37, YLCCC is an ideal choice due to its location and centralised facilities.
"My five-year-old son is now at a regular childcare centre but because of space constraints, his classrooms are spread over different HDB blocks," said Mr Tan, who has also registered his younger son, aged two, at YLCCC.
"This centre will be nearer to our home and I prefer that the facilities are all in one compound."