New MOE kindergardens' locations revealed

New MOE kindergardens' locations revealed
Children at the Ministry of Education (MOE) kindergarten at Dazhong Primary School in Bukit Batok.

THE next five Ministry of Education (MOE) kindergartens will be situated in Sengkang, Punggol, Sembawang, Woodlands and Jurong West.

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat revealed the locations yesterday, saying they were selected as MOE wants to have "a broad spread of pupils from different parts of Singapore".

Four of them will be within primary schools: Northoaks Primary in Sembawang, Riverside Primary in Woodlands, Springdale Primary in Punggol, and Westwood Primary in Jurong. The fifth will be located at a void deck in Block 470A, Fernvale Link.

The centres in Fernvale Link and Northoaks Primary school will have spaces for 60 pupils each, while the rest will take in 120 pupils.

Registration will begin in April.

"The five new kindergartens will give us a good sample of the profile of students, and how they are learning at the various MOE kindergartens," Mr Heng said during a visit to the MOE kindergarten in Punggol View Primary school.

The five kindergartens will open next year, bringing the total number of MOE-run kindergartens to 15.

MOE announced in 2013 that it would set up 15 pre-schools over three years to raise early childhood education standards.

There are currently about 1,000 K1 and K2 pupils enrolled in the MOE pre-schools.

Mr Heng added that the ministry is in the midst of collecting data on the kindergartens' teaching approaches, curriculum and resource development.

"Our aim is to provide a distinctive form of education that will complement what MOE is doing in our primary schools," he said.

Singapore citizens will pay $150 a month for the pre-schools, while permanent residents will pay $300.

The new centres will offer childcare services, but fees will be announced at a later date.

Currently, childcare services at the other MOE kindergartens range from $360 to $370.

The existing MOE kindergartens will conduct parenting workshops from the middle of this year for parents whose children are enrolled there.

MOE specialists and kindergarten teachers will cover topics such as a child's development and transiting to Primary 1.

Auditor Sean Kwan, 32, who lives across the road from the new Fernvale pre-school, said he will check out the kindergarten when it is ready. His three-year-old son currently attends a two-hour play group.

"I'm hoping to put him in a PCF (PAP Community Foundation) kindergarten nearby, but it is full and we have to go through balloting in May," he said.

"It will be good if there are more pre-schools here, because most of the existing ones have no vacancies."

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