Dr Lim Wee Kiak
MP for Sembawang GRC
To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development
(a) how many childcare operators have applied for the Partner Operator (POP) scheme; and
(b) what is being done to get more childcare operators to join the Scheme.
Mdm Speaker, the Partner Operator (POP) scheme, along with the Anchor Operator scheme, improve the availability of good quality and affordable early childhood services for parents. Over 30 childcare operators applied for the POP scheme through an open and competitive process. Out of these applicants, 23 were appointed in October 2015. Together, they run 169 POP centres offering a total of 16,500 places.
The scheme is still relatively new. We will monitor its progress and evaluate its impact at a later stage, before considering whether to have a new round of applications. Besides the one-time fee reduction from January 2016, POP centres are also required to keep fees affordable and meet certain quality targets in the next few years.