1,065 license place early learning centre opens in Singapore
The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), a confederation of trade unions, and a network of professional associations across all industry groups in Singapore, has opened, through its NTUC First Campus (NFC) division, a 1,065 license place centre in Punggol, a community located on the north eastern shore of the city state.
The centre, which operates under the My First Skool brand, has been deliberately located next to a train station to serve commuting families and is the largest centre to date delivered by the social enterprise, which currently has 141 centres across Singapore.
Over recent years NFC has grown strongly as it aims to support the Government’s plans to create over 200,000 full day places across the nation by 2023.
Three more large centres, each catering for between 300 to 900 children from two months to four years old, are planned for development in the next two years.
Commenting on the opening, Mr Ng Chee Meng, Secretary-General of NTUC, said “The expanding network of My First Skool centres provides Singapore’s families better access to affordable and high-quality pre-school education and childcare, ensuring all children have a good start in life.”
Three floors, five unique playscapes and in-house kitchen feature in centre
The centre has been built over three floors and has 8,786 square metres of floor space for classrooms, all of which have been designed to maximise the children’s learning experience in line with My First Skool’s underlying commitment to place special emphasis on the importance of indoor learning.
Outside, the centre has five distinct playscapes in the form of an outdoor playground, water play zone, land play zone, mountain play zone and forest play zone. There are also four rock climbing mounds and a designated cycling track complete with zebra crossing to encourage traffic safety at an early age.
The commercial kitchen is staffed by an eight person full time kitchen crew and is led by an accredited Head Chef with 15 years experience. The kitchen has been specially designed to cater for large scale healthy food preparation and is without parallel in Singapore.
CEO of NTUC First Campus, Mr Chan Tee Seng said, “This state-of-the-art facility sets a new bar in terms of the quality of the pre-school experience offered. Centres like this also enable more interesting and varied learning spaces and environments to be created.”
Temperature scanners and hygiene courses to address health concerns
Concerns about health and safety have been heightened in the Singaporean community in recent weeks post a food poisoning outbreak at 13 PCF Sparkletots preschools. Given the sheer size of the new My First Skool campus, many parents have placed a focus on health, safety and hygiene when choosing to enroll at the centre.
To address parental concerns, and to ensure standards are maintained all in-house cooks and centre attendants are required to attend Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) stipulated food and hygiene courses.
In addition, the centre is piloting the use of Omnisense Systems temperature scanners to monitor the temperatures of children as they enter the ECEC service every morning. The use of this technology is expected to improve efficiency of health check processes.
Children who are unwell will not be able to enter the service to be cared for.
Centre now open with 600 enrolments to date
The newly opened centre has thus far enrolled 600 children. These children will stay at the centre until they reach four years old and then transition to Ministry of Education Kindergarten for their final year before school.
For more information on My First Skool Punggol, please click here.