MOE focused on providing 'good quality and affordable kindergarten education'

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat says his ministry is not chasing after numbers insofar as the take-up rate for the Government-run kindergartens is concerned.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an Our Singapore Conversation dialogue on Wednesday, Mr Heng said the Ministry of Education (MOE) is focused on providing "good quality and affordable kindergarten education".

It was recently announced that five MOE-run kindergartens, which will take in a total of 560 children, will open next year. A third of the places will be set aside for children from households with incomes less than $3,500 per month or per capita income not exceeding $875 a month.

The MOE kindergarten sited at Punggol View Primary has 140 applicants vying for the 120 spots. But only 56 applications were received for the kindergarten sited at Dazhong Primary in Bukit Batok, which also has 120 places up for grabs.

Registration for the other three kindergartens- at Blangah Rise Primary, Farrer Park Primary and a void deck in Tampines Street 45- will close on Friday.

Pre-school education observers said the lukewarm response to the MOE kindergartens could be down to the fact that these centres do not provide childcare services.