Support for preschool kids from low-income families to attend school regularly

ST VIDEO: KOK XINGHUI
Madam Sonia Dar (left) and Ms Nicole Kin  doing storytelling with pre-schoolers at My First Skool at Boon Lay Drive on Jan 3, 2017.
Madam Sonia Dar (left) and Ms Nicole Kin doing storytelling with pre-schoolers at My First Skool at Boon Lay Drive on Jan 3, 2017.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Preschool pupils from low-income families now have the support of professionals who will make sure they attend school regularly.

This enhanced support to preschools is part of the KidSTART programme piloted in July last year to make sure young children from low-income families are not disadvantaged in their education and development.

Currently, there are eight of these professionals, known as child enabling executives, who are stationed across 10 preschools in the KidSTART pilot regions.

The eight executives support 250 such children - aged 18 months to six years old - across the five KidSTART areas.

For example, at My First Skool at Boon Lay Drive, Ms Nicole Kin, 26, looks after 25 students under KidSTART. The entire centre has 93 infantcare and childcare students.

Since July last year, Ms Kin monitors these students' educational progress and attendance, and holds parenting workshops for their parents.

If the students are missing school, she will call and check in with their parents. If the family requires more financial support, Ms Kin will connect them with Government services such as the Social Service Offices.

This enhanced support for preschools will be rolled out to nine more preschools this year.

This part of the programme works together with two other KidSTART components: home visits for those under a year old, and supported playgroups for those aged one to three.

In all, the three-year KidSTART pilot will support 1,000 children from low-income families living in Kreta Ayer, Bukit Merah, Taman Jurong, Boon Lay and Geylang Serai.