By Terry Xu
It is reported by Channel News Asia that eager parents to register their kids for places at two EtonHouse International’s E-Bridge Pre-School centres in the Rivervale area, had queued overnight to secure their kids' registration. The school said that some parents were in the area queuing as earlier as 6.30pm the day before.
E-Bridge Pre-School is one of five preschool anchor operators selected by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) to be part of the Anchor Operator (AOP) Scheme. The school is offering about 300 vacancies in total at three locations allocated by the Early Childhood Development Agency. All three centers will open in the third quarter of this year.
As an anchor operator, the school will have to keep fees below $720 a month for full-day childcare.
Speaking to the media, the school shared that about 100 children were registered within the first hour and over 170 applications have been recieved for the two centres in the Rivervale area by its closing time at 3pm.
“People have been queuing since 6.30pm the night before,” said Mrs Ng Gim Choo, Group Managing Director of EtonHouse International said to CNA yesterday. “There were already more than 100 people queuing at 7.30 this morning; I suppose it’s very encouraging for us. “I think there are a lot of young families in this area, and there are not sufficient childcare centres to cater to their needs"
Earlier last week, Singapore Democratic Party announced its Education policy paper and among one of the issues brought out is the lack of childcare services and the inequality in early childhood education.
The policy paper wrote, "The lack of a state-funded early childhood education programme is the starting point of an education system that perpetuates class division in Singapore." In its alternative proposal, the party proposed that pre-school centres should be run by MOE instead of outsourcing to 3rd party operators to ensure accessibility to all children especially those who cannot afford the more expensive pre-school classes. (SDP's policy paper)
(Image credit - Channel News Asia)