Er Dr Lee Bee Wah
MP for Nee Soon GRC
To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) what is the total capacity of infant care centres in Yishun; (b) how many applicants are currently in the wait list; (c) how long do they normally have to wait; and (d) what plans are there to meet the demand.
1 As of February 2019, there are about 30 childcare centres in Yishun estate with a licensed capacity of 430 infant care places.
2 While we do not have the wait lists of individual centres, through the Registration Management System under the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), about 100 parents in Yishun have registered interest in an infant care place for their child. This constitutes 2% of all parents with infants living in Yishun.
3 Often, parents may register their interest early without an immediate need for infant care places as they have alternative arrangements, such as home-based care, or have registered interest for specific centres. Nevertheless, about 10 centres have immediate vacancies, and another 10 have vacancies within the next six months. Parents may have to wait longer if they prefer to send their infants to specific centres.
4 Providing access to quality, affordable infant and childcare remains a key priority for the Government. We will continue to increase capacity where needed to meet demand for early childhood services, including infant care. By 2022, we plan to develop another six centres to provide 130 more infant care places in Yishun. They will be built in tandem with future new Build-To-Order (BTO) the housing development, so that they can be operational in time to meet parents' needs.