On Saturday (October 16), a S$4 million award was announced to assist pre-schools in lowering the cost of implementing pre-approved digital solutions over the next three years.
E-payment and e-enrolment systems, data analytics to analyze and automate processes, and virtual training for pre-school educators are among the digital options.
According to the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), these are covered by a three-stage industry digital plan, which identifies the solutions pre-schools can embrace at each level of growth.
The Business Grants Portal currently accepts grant applications from operators.
The ECDA will also expand its development and learning assistance programme to include more pre-schools. The programme allows children who require only a limited amount of early intervention support to receive it in their pre-schools.
From the second half of 2023, every pre-school is expected to appoint one of its employees as an inclusion coordinator. According to the ECDA, they would collaborate with early childhood educators to identify children with “potential developmental needs” for early assessment.
According to ECDA’s media release, the initiative will reach 60% of pre-schoolers aged five to six by 2025, and 80% of them in the long run.
MSF will also test a new Inclusive Help Program for children who require medium levels of early intervention support at a number of pre-schools, with more information to come later.
As part of the Growing Together with KidSTART initiative, yearly top-ups to child development accounts will be offered for children from low-income families.
According to an ECDA representative, each KidSTART child will get S$100 for each year of regular attendance until they reach the age of six.
When children enroll in pre-school, they will also be eligible for a one-time bonus.
If kids enroll between the ages of three and four, the one-time top-up will be S$200, compared to S$100 for those who enter after that age.
The government has provided a S$200 boost to all Singaporean children aged six and under’s Child Development Accounts (CDA).
Families who enroll their children in pre-school between the ages of three and four will receive a bigger top-up sum, according to the statement.
In 2019, the Growing Together with KidSTART initiative was started to increase community support for low-income children. According to ECDA, it has received S$4 million in monetary donations and sponsorships from businesses and individuals.