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Singapore Government

New Support Scheme for Non-Anchor Pre-School Operators

New Support Scheme for Non-Anchor Pre-School Operators

Acting Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing outlined ECDA’s plans to launch a suite of Support Schemes for non-anchor operator (non-AOP) pre-school centres today.

The Support Schemes aim to help non-AOP centres raise quality while remaining affordable, and provide services where they are needed most. For example, some non-AOP centres have developed innovative teaching methods and practices, while others have a social mission to help less advantaged children in the community. By setting up new centres in accessible locations, they can also help to meet the rising demand for quality and affordable early childhood services.

ECDA will roll out the suite of Support Schemes for non-AOPs over the coming months, beginning today with schemes to support operators with a social mission to help the less advantaged children in the community. ECDA has set aside $25 million over the next 5 years for the following two schemes:

(i) To support operators with a social mission, ECDA will increase the development grant for new childcare centres operated by Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) from the current 20% of development cost to 50%. The enhanced grant will go to good quality VWO centres that offer affordable childcare programmes and cater to the community at large. The first sites eligible for the enhanced grant will be new HDB sites to be released for the development of VWO-run childcare centres in Tampines and Jurong West. More information can be found at Annex A. Interested VWOs may access ECDA’s website (www.ecda.gov.sg) for details on the sites.

(ii) In addition, ECDA will introduce a Pre-School Opportunity Fund to support kindergartens and childcare centres to implement projects that assist children from less advantaged backgrounds. These projects should promote children’s holistic development. More details on this scheme can be found in Annex B

Other Support Schemes for non-AOPs to be introduced over the next few months will include efforts to raise the quality of teaching resources in pre-schools, and to improve accessibility to pre-school services in areas of high demand.  Together with the enhanced Anchor Operator Scheme, the suite of Support Schemes will give parents access to more quality and affordable early childhood options and better cater to the diverse needs of parents with young children.

***

ANNEX A

Enhanced Development Grant for VWO Child Care Centre Operators

At present, VWOs awarded child care centre sites in HDB void decks through the Open Selection Process (OSP) are provided a development grant quantum of 20% of the norm cost at $527 psm; or the actual cost incurred, whichever is lower. 

With the enhanced development grant, VWOs, will see the level of funding support increase from the current 20% of development cost support to 50%; or the actual cost incurred, whichever is lower. The norm cost has also been revised to $665 psm. 

VWOs applying to operate new child care centres in HDB void deck spaces, through the OSP, must commit to offering quality and affordable services. These centres will be eligible for the enhanced development grant, which supports start-up costs involving infrastructure development of the centre.

A comparison of the current level of funding support and enhanced development grant for VWOs is depicted in the following table:

Current Enhanced

Development Grant Support:

Equivalent to 20% of $527 per m2 (based on floor area); OR the actual cost incurred, whichever is lower.

Interested VWOs submit proposals to demonstrate the quality and affordability of their child care services, assessed through the OSP.

Development Grant Support:

Equivalent to 50% of $665 per m2 (based on floor area); OR the actual cost incurred, whichever is lower.

Interested VWOs submit proposals to demonstrate the quality and affordability of their child care services, assessed through the OSP. In addition, successful applicants must commit to attain SPARK certification within two years of operations.

Example:

  • Area of Child Care Centre : 500sqm
  • 20% x $527 x 500 = $52,700

OR actual cost, whichever is lower

Example:

  • Area of Child Care Centre : 500sqm
  • 50% x $665 x 500 = $166,250

OR actual cost, whichever is lower

 

Furnishings & Equipment grant (remains unchanged):

The licensed capacity of the centre, up to $27,000 for the first 30 places and $300 for each additional place; OR the total sum of the approved invoices submitted, whichever is lower.

Example:

For a CCC with 100 children:
$27,000 (first 30 children) + ($300 x 70) (remaining capacity of children)
= $48,000

The enhanced development grant for VWO child care centre operators will be applicable with effect from 14 August 2013. VWOs who would like to participate in the OSP to operate a child care centre may refer to the following for more information on the sites that are open for the OSP.

https://www.ecda.gov.sg/Operators/Pages/Sites-for-Tender.aspx

https://www.ecda.gov.sg/Documents/Operators/OSP%20Evaluation%20Criteria%202020.pdf

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ANNEX B

Pre-School Opportunity Fund

The Pre-School Opportunity Fund supports projects organised by pre-schools that promote the holistic development of pre-school children from less advantaged or at-risk backgrounds. These projects may include learning and development programmes, partnerships with external stakeholders or customised in-house initiatives.

Details on the beneficiaries, eligibility criteria, funding amount and application windows can be found in the table below. The application forms may be found on ECDA’s website (www.ecda.gov.sg).

No. Item Details

1.

Eligibility Criteria (Centres)

  • All pre-school operators (i.e. child care centres and kindergartens) licensed or registered with ECDA
  • Anchor Operator centres are not eligible as they receive separate funding support.

2.

Eligibility Crteria (Children) 
  • Must be Singapore Citizens
  • Currently enrolled in kindergartens or child care centres
  • From less advantaged backgrounds. As a guideline:

    - From the bottom 40% of households in terms of gross household income of $4,500 or below, or per capita income of $1,125 or below; OR

    - At risk or potentially at risk as identified by their teachers or social services.

    - If children identified by the pre-school operator differ from the guidelines, they may explain why qualify for the Fund, subject to approval by ECDA.

3

Funding Amount

  • Projects will be funded for a duration of up to one year. Renewal of support will be subject to ECDA's assessment of project outcomes.
  • Successful applicants can be given a grant of up to $1,300 per qualifying child for each project.
  • Projects funded under other schemes administered by ECDA (e.g. Innovation Grant) and other sources will not qualify for the Fund. 

4

Application Window

  • There will be two application windows per year.
  • The first application window will commence from 15 August to 15 October 2013.
  • The next window will be in March 2014. 

 

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