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19 pre-schools prepare for Early Years conversion in Singapore

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by August 25, 2017 General

Sparkle Tots. — Picture by Nuria LingSparkle Tots. — Picture by Nuria LingSINGAPORE, Aug 25 — Nineteen kindergartens run by PCF Sparkletots will enrol their final batch of K1 students in 2019.

This is because these kindergartens, spread across the island, will be converting to Early Years Centres, which cater to infants from two months to four years old.

Children graduating from N2 in these centres will have places reserved for them in MOE kindergartens located nearby.

The new arrangement to reserve places in MOE kindergartens for those attending Early Year Centres run by two anchor operators — PCF Sparkletots and NTUC My First Skool — was announced in February and will be tested at four centres.

At his National Day Rally last Sunday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong expanded the programme by announcing the creation of more Early Years Centres to address the shortage of pre-school places for infants up to four years old, as well as to ramp up the number of MOE kindergartens from the 15 at present to 50 by 2023.

In response to TODAY’s queries, PCF Sparkletots offered more details of the expansion.

By 2020, it will have at least 20 Early Years Centres, comprising 19 that will be converted from pre-schools and one new centre that is scheduled to start operations next year at Edgefield Plains in Punggol North.

A spokesperson said that children who attend, or are due to attend, kindergarten in centres that will convert to Early Years Centres will not be affected.

“For these older children, PCF Sparkletots will continue to offer the K1 and K2 programmes until they graduate, although eligible children in the 2018 Nursery 2 cohort will also have the option to take on the K1 programme at MOE Kindergartens in 2019.

“These PCF Sparkletots will continue to offer K1 and K2 programmes until end 2020 for these older children who choose to remain in PCF Sparkletots.”

In other words, children enrolling in N1 in these centres next year will be the first batch to go on to MOE kindergartens in 2020. And these centres will have their last K2 cohort in 2020 if they choose to.

PCF Sparkletots added that it was in the process of informing parents of their new Early Years service, and collaboration with MOE kindergartens, “so that they are well-informed and can decide on the best option for their children”.

None of the existing pre-schools operated by NTUC My First Skool will be converting into Early Years Centres. But as announced in February, it will set up three Early Years Centres in Punggol over the next two years.

Apart from these, two more Early Years Centres are planned for Sengkang and Punggol, which will be feeder centres for MOE kindergartens opening in 2019 and 2020 respectively. The operator and exact location of these centres will be announced at a later date. — TODAY

* Details of these 25 upcoming Early Years Centres and the MOE kindergartens they will be linked with are available at www.moe.gov.sg/microsites/moekindergarten/our-partnerships/pilot-collabo….

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