Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim asked the Minister for Social and Family Development whether ECDA will consider implementing fee rebates for households who voluntarily choose to keep their preschool children at home during the Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) period.
1. Under Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), from 16 May to 13 June 2021, preschools had remained open to support parents who need to work. Parents were encouraged to keep their children at home during this period where possible. As preschools continued to incur costs for service provision and the situation varied from centre to centre, we had encouraged centres and parents to work out suitable arrangements for children who did not attend preschool. For families who had chosen to keep their children at home during Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) and who might have faced difficulties, preschools might consider in-kind support, such as home-based activity resources, fee offsets/discounts, or financial assistance.
2. To support preschools and parents keeping their children at home during Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), MSF and ECDA waived the minimum attendance requirement to ensure that preschool subsidies and Child Care Financial Assistance (CCFA) continued to flow fully to parents. ECDA also shared home-based activity resources developed by the sector with preschools and parents, which they could make use of to engage their children at home. These resources are available on ECDA’s website and more will be provided over time.