$40m over next 5 years to boost small and mid-sized pre-schools

$40m over next 5 years to boost small and mid-sized pre-schools
Preschool educator from Just Kids Learning Place, Ms Lu Xiu Ye, with the kids at the childcare centre. The Government is setting aside $40 million over the next five years to help small and mid-sized pre-school operators setting up in high-demand areas to defray their infrastructure costs. The funds will also go to a new teaching and learning resources grant.

The Government is setting aside $40 million over the next five years to help small and mid-sized pre-school operators setting up in high-demand areas to defray their infrastructure costs. The funds will also go to a new teaching and learning resources grant.

Operators in commercial premises in high-demand areas such as Punggol will have subsidies of 30 to 60 per cent of rental costs. Rent in commercial premises is higher than in Housing Board void deck premises. Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing announced this new fund during a visit to Just Kids Learning Place at Taman Jurong on Tuesday morning.

To give kindergarten operators the flexibility to provide full-day childcare places in high demand areas, 20 to 50 per cent of the development cost will also be subsidised, to defray the conversion cost of premises.

A new teaching and learning resources grant of up to $4,000 per year, for materials and equipment which support children's holistic development, was also launched for these operators.


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Here is the press release in full:

 

Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing launched a suite of support schemes to provide infrastructure support to pre-school operators setting up centres in high demand areas and at workplaces. Designed to benefit non-Anchor Operators (non-AOPs), this is part of the government's efforts to further expand the provision of quality and affordable pre-school services, and sustain a variety of operators to meet the different needs of parents.

Complementing the support schemes for non-AOPs with a social mission announced on 14 August 2013, this suite of schemes help non-AOPs provide services where they are needed by defraying infrastructure costs. ECDA will increase its support to operators setting up or operating in areas of high demand. Operators can also have more options in setting up centres in alternative premises, such as commercial spaces, workplaces and community facilities. Building owners and parents will benefit from being able to choose from more quality and affordable preschool options.

The Infrastructure Support Schemes are estimated to cost up to $40 million over the next five years. Details on the Schemes are as follows:

1. Supporting Centres in High Demand Areas

a. Portable Rental Subsidy to defray the cost of operating in commercial non-HDB void deck premises to give centres in high demand areas the flexibility to take up alternative premises beyond HDB void decks.

b. Extension of Community / Sports Facilities Scheme (CSFS) to commercial child care centres (CCCs). The CSFS grants bonus gross floor area (GFA) to developers/owners of qualifying commercial developments to set aside spaces for community uses.

2. Supporting Centres in Workplaces

d. Enhancements to Workplace Child Care Centre Scheme to support the development cost of workplace child care centres in all buildings. This provides convenience to parents who prefer utilising child care services at or near their workplaces.

In addition, all non-AOPs who provide quality and affordable programmes may benefit from a new Teaching & Learning Resources Grant of up to $4,000 per year for materials and equipment that support children's holistic development. They will also be able to tap on ECDA's Training Award Scheme3 for their manpower needs.

In addition, all non-AOPs who provide quality and affordable programmes may benefit from a new Teaching & Learning Resources Grant of up to $4,000 per year for materials and equipment that support children's holistic development. They will also be able to tap on ECDA's Training Award Scheme3 for their manpower needs.

A summary of the Infrastructure Support Schemes can be found in Annex B. Further details are available on ECDA's website (http://www.ecda.gov.sg). Centres can apply for these schemes from 16 October 2013 via ECDA's website. ECDA will conduct briefing sessions for interested applicants on 2nd and 8th October 2013.

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