SINGAPORE - Low-income families with children attending NTUC First Campus (NFC) My First Skool pre-schools will have school fees fully covered for six months if they have had a reduction in household income or job loss.
NFC's Bright Horizons Fund has come up with a $500,000 package to offset the net fees payable for such families with a household income of up to $4,500 a month.
The Bright Horizons Fund Care Package for Covid -19 will cover the remaining amount a family has to pay after government subsidies and the existing 50 per cent fee offset during the circuit breaker period.
Applications for the 100 per cent fee offset are open till end-2020, said a statement by NFC on Friday (May 1).
NFC chief executive officer Chan Tee Seng said: "We understand that our low-income families are struggling to support their children's pre-school education due to a reduction in income or loss of job during this Covid-19 period," he said.
"Our goal is to help working parents so that the children do not lose out on their educational experience even if their parents are affected by financial hardship."
One family that will benefit is Mr Tengku Halid Faizal Tengku Mohd Yusoff's. He and his wife have two young children aged two and six, one of whom is a Kindergarten 2 pupil at My First Skool.
Due to the Covid-19 crisis, he has lost his job as a limousine driver fetching tourists from the airport. His wife is a housewife.
"It has been a very challenging time for us as we have no income now. We were looking at withdrawing our child from pre-school because we really cannot afford it any more," said Mr Tengku Halid, 43.
He added that the family was very happy to receive the timely financial support so his elder daughter could continue to learn before she starts Primary 1 next year.
NFC said it will also extend its partial fee offset of 50 per cent for Singaporean pre-schoolers at its 167 pre-schools to cover the extended circuit breaker period in May. The operator had previously announced the offset for April.
More than 20,000 children enrolled at My First Skool, The Little Skool-House and The Caterpillar's Cove who are not attending pre-school during the extended circuit breaker period will benefit, said NFC.
This comes after a statement on Thursday by the Early Childhood Development Agency calling for childcare centres to continue providing a 50 per cent fee offset for the month of May for Singaporean children who are not attending pre-school during the circuit breaker period.