OCBC's facility a hit with staff

This facility, at OCBC Centre in Boat Quay, is run by the bank in partnership with NTUC First Campus, which manages The Little Skool-House childcare centre. Unlike most other such pre-schools, it provides dinner for the children and closes at 7.30pm.
This facility, at OCBC Centre in Boat Quay, is run by the bank in partnership with NTUC First Campus, which manages The Little Skool-House childcare centre. Unlike most other such pre-schools, it provides dinner for the children and closes at 7.30pm.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Ten years ago, OCBC was the first bank in Singapore to offer an in-house childcare facility but just 30 per cent to 50 per cent of the places were taken up initially.

But after three years, all 110 places were filled and today, there are 70 people on its waiting list.

The facility, at OCBC Centre in Boat Quay, is run by the bank in partnership with NTUC First Campus, which manages The Little Skool-House childcare centre. Unlike most other such pre-schools, the OCBC facility provides dinner for the children and closes at 7.30pm. Others tend to shut their doors at 7pm.

Ms Jacinta Low, OCBC's head of human resource planning, told The Straits Times the initial low enrolment may be due to parents wanting to wait and see or not wishing to move their child from another centre.

The bank's partnership with NTUC First Campus has also expanded. In 2010, a similar centre was set up near the bank's Tampines office. Later this year, another will open at One Marina Boulevard.

Staff of OCBC get priority and receive a fee discount of about $500 a month. Ms Low said the childcare support allows mothers to return to work and improves employees' engagement with the bank.

Mr Kenny Ng, 40, an assistant vice-president at the bank who has two children, aged three and six, enrolled at the pre-school, said: "The slightly longer opening hours gives me greater flexibility...I also get to join them during their breakfast at the centre."

Priscilla Goy

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 29, 2017, with the headline 'OCBC's facility a hit with staff'. Print Edition | Subscribe