SINGAPORE - Parents can look forward to better-quality, lower-cost preschool services with new initiatives that are being introduced to improve the affordability and quality of child care services.
This was revealed by Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing told Parliament on Friday, during the debate on his ministry's budget.
Under the Partner Operator (POP) scheme, child care operators will receive government funding to cap fees at $800 for full-day child care services, invest in improving centre quality through attaining certification, and enhance professional development and career progression opportunities for centre leaders, teachers and educarers.
Operators offering 300 child care places or more can participate in the POP scheme.
The POP scheme will complement the existing Anchor Operator (AOP) scheme, which requires operators to charge fees of up to $720 a month. Together, the AOP and POP schemes are expected to serve about half of all pre-school students by 2020.
Mr Chan also announced a new three-year Professional Development Programme (PDP), that aims to deepen early childhood professionals' skill and develop their careers.
The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) will provide support including new certifiable courses and cash incentives.
He also said that a proposed Early Childhood Development Centres Act (ECDCA) was planned to be introduced in the second half of the year.
The ECDCA aims to raise the overall quality of early childhood care and education through a harmonised regulatory framework.