Website offering tips on how to care for young kids turns one

Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee interacting with young children from The Little Skool-House yesterday.
Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee interacting with young children from The Little Skool-House yesterday.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

When her youngest daughter suffered an inflammation of the brain last year, Ms Geraldine Teo Swee Imm turned to an online portal to find out what could be done apart from medical treatment.

Although doctors helped alleviate her daughter's condition, Ms Teo wanted to do her part to aid her child's recovery and development.

She surfed the Baby Bonus Parenting Resources portal to look for tips and help.

"The online portal helped me make sense of some of the things that I could do to help her. It helped me to figure out milestones to set for my child. For example, she had lost part of her muscle memory and needed to learn how to write her name again," said the senior education development specialist.

Her five-year-old child is now in a pre-school and coping well.

Ms Teo, 42, is among a growing number of people using the portal, which celebrated its first anniversary yesterday.

The website, an initiative by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), aims to equip users such as parents and pre-schools with parenting and child development information. It provides localised, research-backed resource materials such as videos, articles and guides. Resources are categorised by the various stages of children - from birth to six years old.

The topics covered by the portal include pregnancy and tips on maintaining well-being as a parent or caregiver.

Last year, the most viewed articles were about how to respond to tantrums, encouraging good behaviour and toilet training.

MSF said the portal has been well received, with 142,000 site visitors and 52,000 followers on Facebook.

One of its users is The Little Skool-House International, which regularly incorporates information from the portal into activities for pre-schoolers such as storytelling.

Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee, who was at the pre-school to celebrate the portal's anniversary, said: "The Baby Bonus Parenting Resources portal is our latest addition to strengthen the ecosystem of support for parents.

 

"We hope more parents will make use of the portal to pick up knowledge and skills to parent confidently and raise creative, happy, healthy children."

MSF has partnered local and international experts to develop content and curate the portal.

Dr Shefaly Shorey, an assistant professor from the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies at National University of Singapore, developed a series of "how to" videos for first-time parents, covering topics like how to position babies in the cot. She said: "Babies don't come with manuals, and many young parents I know wonder if they are doing what is best for their children or are unsure if resources online are credible."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 15, 2019, with the headline 'Website offering tips on how to care for young kids turns one'. Print Edition | Subscribe