The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) has been informed that four preschools under Friedrich Frobel Holding will close with effect from 12 October 2017. They are Buttercups Kindergarten (Pasir Panjang) Buttercups Kindergarten (Rochester), Frobel Preschool Woodlands and School House ByTheGarden @ AMK.
This follows the recent closure of three other preschools under Friedrich Frobel - Buttercups Montessori Kindergarten, Happy Brainy Kidz in Wonderland and Frobel Lilac.
The report stated that in support of families and centre staff who have been affected by these closures, relevant agencies and various community partners have been working closely together on the following:
- ECDA has facilitated alternative placement for all children in the three preschools that had closed by linking parents up with available preschools in the vicinity. For children in the four preschools that are closing soon, ECDA is reaching out to affected parents to provide assistance with preschool placement. Given the circumstances, we understand that some operators are supporting parents with the initial enrolment costs.
- Parents or caregivers who need help or clarifications with alternative placement can contact the ECDA officer in charge of their preschools or contact ECDA.
- Some Grassroots Advisors and a volunteer lawyer have also stepped up to assist in guiding affected parents on matters pertaining to deposits and fees.
- And for the affected staff, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Central Provident Fund Board (CPF) and the Education Services Union (ESU) will assist those who are owed salaries and CPF contributions. ESU will also assist affected staff in finding alternative employment.
According to the release, the closure of these preschools under Friedrich Frobel Holding is complicated by the many stakeholders involved, as well as the ongoing law suit between various shareholders of Friedrich Frobel Holding.
In fact, one shareholder is currently in prison for contempt of court for failing to comply with a court order. Separately, the Singapore Police Force has initiated criminal investigations following the filing of several police reports. The Insolvency and Public Trustee's Office is also monitoring the company's status closely.
Additionally, ECDA's priority is to safeguard the safety and well-being of the children in preschools. ECDA will continue to closely monitor the situation and coordinate with relevant agencies to minimise disruption to children and parents as far as possible.
This article was first published in HumanResources.