80 PAP Kindergartens To Be Converted Into Childcare Centres Within Next 4 Years

To help young Singaporean couples with their childcare needs, the PAP Community Foundation (PCF), which is the country’s largest pre-school operator, will be converting 80 of its kindergartens in young estates like Punggol and Sengkang to full-day childcare centres.

This will happen over the next 4 years, said PM Lee at the PCF family day on Sunday (6 Oct), according to a report by The Straits Times.

PM Lee also added that more than 50 PCF kindergartens were turned into full-day childcare centres in 2018.

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According to the report, the PCF family day event saw over 10,000 attendees, comprising staff, students, family members and ministers.

More PCF full-day childcare in young estates

Young estates like Punggol, Sengkang, Bidadari and Tampines are very popular among young Singaporean couples. This is because they are relatively cheaper than matured estates like Bishan and Boon Keng.

Perhaps as a manner of encouraging younger couples to have babies, the government is converting more PCF kindergartens into full-day childcare centres. The centres will cater to children up to the age of 6.

In fact, Punggol is already home to the largest PCF childcare centre. It was opened on 20 Apr this year. However, this is an early-years centre which admits only children from ages 2-4.

Play area in PCF Sparkletots @ Punggol North
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PCF centres focus on 6 learning areas

PCF early education and childcare centres help nurture children in 6 areas — language and literacy, aesthetic and creative expression, discovery of the world, motor skills development, numeracy, and social and emotional development. These are all crucial to a child’s healthy development.

The centres charge different fees depending on which branch you enrol your child in. According to parenting website Babyment, the average monthly fees can range from $50 to $350. For the exact fees, you will probably have to contact the PCF centre you wish to send your child to. For the full list of PCF centres, visit here.

Hopefully, having more childcare centres will encourage young Singaporeans to have more kids. After all, our birth rates in 2018 were the lowest in 8 years at 1.14. UOB economist Francis Tan calls this free-falling of birth rates a demographic time bomb. If it continues this way and we have more elderly than working adults, healthcare costs may balloon the way it is in Japan. So young Singaporeans out there, let’s do our best.

Featured images from AsiaOne and Gov.sg.