By the end of next year, approximately 2,500 additional locations will be added to kindergartens operated by the PAP Community Foundation (PCF) in areas of high demand such as Bidadari and Tampines North.
By 2024, more than 36,000 children will also be able to learn critical thinking and problem-solving skills as part of a special program that will be rolled out to all 320 PCF Sparkletots centers serving kindergarten here. .
In a statement on Sunday (September 11), the PCF said the expansion of the Stemmy program announced in January will benefit nearly 50,000 children, compared to 13,500 children today. rice field.
Stemie stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Invention and Entrepreneurship. The program was piloted in 12 PCF Sparkletots preschools in 2018 and has since been adopted by 175 PCF preschools.
The PCF, the social and philanthropic arm of the People’s Action Party, also aims to set up more elderly care centers here over the next five years.
It has not disclosed how many more such centers it will build, but the foundation said it plans to open an eighth elderly care facility in the Bukit Panjang area in 2024 or 2025.
PCF is Singapore’s largest pre-primary institution, with 40,000 children enrolled in 360 pre-primary facilities across the island.
It also operates seven senior care centers that currently serve approximately 870 seniors.
The PCF did not disclose whether future expansion plans will affect rates for both preschool and aged care services.
Marini Kamis, senior director of PCF’s preschool division, said demand for preschool locations is usually high in new towns and public housing projects, where many families with small children are.
“As part of our expansion plan, we will (add) an additional 2,500 preschool spaces in areas with high demand for preschool space, either by establishing new centers or expanding capacity at existing locations. I will,” she added.
Last June, PCF said it plans to expand its preschool services to an additional 4,000 full-days by 2023.
“We will continue to work closely with the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) to monitor demand and trends, adjust preschool services to support families and ensure young children have a good start in life,” Hamis said. “
Meanwhile, to ensure that children with different learning abilities have access to the same educational opportunities, the PCF said at least one staff member in 260 kindergartens will be trained to be an inclusion coordinator by early next year. said.
This is part of a sector-wide initiative announced in parliament last year.
These staff members identify children with potential developmental needs and connect teachers and parents with PCF’s comprehensive educational team to ensure that children receive targeted support. can.
This commitment to inclusion has enabled visually impaired 2-year-old Elliott Coe to attend kindergarten at the PCF Sparklet Center in Tampines Central since last October.
He was diagnosed with Leber congenital amaurosis at 4 months of age.
Elliott’s parents, Eric Koh, 33, and Ko Wei Shi, 32, began looking for kindergarten when Elliot was just eight months old.
Koh, who works as a consultant, said he was initially quite depressed when he was rejected by the kindergarten saying he couldn’t accept his son because he didn’t have the necessary experience.
So it was a relief when ECDA was able to connect the couple with PCF Sparkletots and their inclusive education team, he said.
“They helped us, guided us through the next steps, and helped us find the right school for us. ‘, said Coe.
A textured surface helps people with visual impairments navigate safely.
“What we really appreciate is that he can have fun, learn and do the same things in the same space as other children,” added Koe, a civil servant.
The Koh family was among more than 1,000 people at the Singapore Zoo on Sunday for the PCF’s annual Family Day. The event was held for the first time since his Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020.
At the event, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, who led the PCF from 2016 to June this year, said that as an example of how the PCF has been an advocate of inclusivity and a pioneer in innovation and service delivery, I gave the case of Elliott.
Mr. Wong said, making the audience laugh. , I know PCF will always be there for me. ”