Singapore's largest pre-school operator will continue to raise standards and quality at its pre-schools to meet the rising expectations of parents, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday.
Speaking at the PAP Community Foundation (PCF) Family Day at Resorts World Sentosa, Mr Lee said PCF would work closely with the Government to raise the quality of kindergarten education while keeping costs affordable.
His comments come amid recent changes to the Government's anchor operator scheme, which will now be extended to private operators as well as PCF, giving them access to choice HDB sites at subsidised rental.
That means PCF centres are set to face competition in the heartland, where they have held sway for years.
To raise its game, PCF has moved to revamp itself. Since 2011, it has started bringing all its kindergartens and childcare centres under a centralised system to address the issue of uneven standards at different centres.
So far, more than two-thirds of its 353 pre-schools have been consolidated, with the rest to be completed next year, said PCF executive committee chairman Lawrence Wong on Sunday, giving an update on the exercise. The restructuring is expected to standardise the quality of education, which is known to vary among PCF's different centres.
"We don't want the PCF to become a pre-school centre where people say 'I don't have anywhere to go, then I just go to PCF'," he said, acknowledging that there are people who see it as offering poorer quality education than other pre-school operators.
"I think PCF has always been committed to affordability and quality. Many people are from PCF and have done well. I am from PCF," added Mr Wong, who is also Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth.