Intakes cut at 4 of 5 MPE-run kindergartens

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Education (MOE) has decided to cut by as much as half the number of new enrolments at four of its five kindergartens next year.

The only exception is its kindergarten in Punggol, where residents have long complained about a lack of pre-school facilities. It will continue to take in as many as 120 children.

However, the kindergartens in Telok Blangah, Farrer Park and Tampines will now offer just 60 places each. The one in Bukit Batok will have 80 spots.

When these MOE-run kindergartens were first announced last year, each of the four centres sited within primary schools had space for 120 kids. The Tampines kindergarten - the only one to be located in a void deck - had 80 places.

MOE explained on Thursday that the numbers were revised to "better reflect the projected demand for pre-school places in the surrounding areas". But it is prepared to increase the number of places if the need arises, said an MOE spokesman.

The Straits Times had reported last year how most centres had faced a low take-up rate, with parents complaining about the lack of childcare and school bus services. Care services will be offered at the centres in Punggol and Telok Blangah next year.

Registration for kindergarten places will be held on April 4 and 5, from 9am. The five centres will hold open houses on March 1, from 9am to 11am.

Priority will be given to siblings of children studying in the kindergartens now and those from lower-income families. The rest are for citizens, with priority for those who live nearby. If there are any places left after that, they will be allocated to permanent residents.

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