Singapore steps up Covid-19 safety measures at pre-schools and early intervention centres

The rules will be implemented together with the current set of Covid-19 rules in place at pre-schools.
The rules will be implemented together with the current set of Covid-19 rules in place at pre-schools.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - There will be more entry restrictions at pre-schools and early intervention centres from Saturday (May 8), including a ban on all parents except those with newly enrolled children.

Mixing of children between different classes will also not be allowed, while field trips and other large group activities conducted outside centres will be suspended.

These are part of efforts to tighten Covid-19 measures at centres, in line with the national effort to slow viral transmission, said the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) on Wednesday.

However, children under seven will not be required to use the TraceTogether application from May 17 - the date the usage of the contact-tracing system becomes compulsory at venues.

The rules will be implemented together with the current set of Covid-19 rules in place at pre-schools, including more cleaning, temperature and health checks up to three times a day, and cohorting in centres.

From Saturday to May 30, only people who are needed to support operations within centres, those performing necessary functions such as licensing, and parents accompanying newly enrolled children will be allowed into centres.

All other parents will not be allowed in.

Pre-schools and early intervention centres are advised to conduct parent-teacher conferences online, and conduct virtual tours for prospective students, said ECDA.

Contractors providing supplementary programmes such as enrichment will only be allowed to serve up to four pre-schools during this period, to reduce the risk of transmission between centres.

However, an exception will be made for providers of the Development Support-Learning Support programme and Development Support Plus programme.

The agency also said that children will only be allowed to participate in activities within their own class and in small groups, as part of measures to tighten the movement of staff and children.

The centres will conduct these sessions for groups of five children, down from eight - in line with national guidelines.

It added that outdoor activities during this period may continue, in these smaller groups.

However, large-scale outdoor activities such as learning journeys and field trips will have to be postponed for now.

The agency has advised all centres with existing plans at external venues to push them back.

Also, all staff meetings and training must be conducted online when restrictions come into effect on Saturday.