Mr Png Eng Huat
MP for Hougang
To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development for the past five years (a) what is the amount of subsidies, including renovation costs, given to anchor operators of childcare centres and kindergartens; (b) who are the top three anchor operator grant recipients and how much subsidies did each of them receive in the same period.
The Government is committed to enhancing access to affordable and quality preschools. To achieve this, the Government funds operators through the Anchor Operator and Partner Operator schemes, and runs MOE Kindergartens.
The Anchor Operator scheme was introduced in 2009. Government grants are provided to Anchor Operators in return for them adhering to fee caps1
for the preschool places they provide, plus significant demands on efforts to improve quality and invest in teacher development. In addition, Anchor Operators offer Malay and Tamil language instruction, and support enrolment of children from low-income families.
There are currently five Anchor Operators. As at end 2018, the Anchor Operators operated about 570 centres, and enrolled 60,300 Singapore Citizen children.
As the size of Anchor Operators varies substantially, it is more meaningful to look at the amount of government grants provided for each child. For 2018, the Government provided about $6,000 of grants (on average) for each Singapore Citizen child enrolled in Anchor Operator centres. The highest grant per child was provided for children in MY World Preschool, E-Bridge Preschool, and Skool4Kidz.
For example, the fee for full-day childcare programmes run by Anchor Operators has been capped at $720 (before GST) since Jan 2014.