Mr Don Wee
MP for Choa Chu Kang GRC
To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) how many children have been enrolled under the Enhanced Pilot for Private Intervention Providers (Enhanced PPIP) in 2017 and 2018; and (b) whether the quota of children can be increased.
1. The Enhanced Pilot for Private Intervention Providers (PPIP) involves private sector operators who provide developmental and therapy services for preschool-aged children who are at risk of moderate to severe developmental delays. It serves as a complement to the Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC) run by social service agencies. Parents whose children are referred to EIPIC can choose to enrol their child in an approved PPIP programme, and children generally receive the same Early Intervention (EI) subsidies regardless of whether they enrol in PPIP or EIPIC.
2. In 2018, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) increased the number of PPIP providers from 6 to 10. In 2019, to ensure that more children are able to access PPIP, MSF also worked with the PPIP providers to increase the number of PPIP places, based on the demand in their centre(s). The number of children served in PPIP therefore doubled from an annual average of 130 children for 2017 and 2018, to 266 children in 2019.
3. MSF strives to ensure the adequate provision of EI services and to enhance our support for children with developmental needs. In addition to working with providers to maximise the current PPIP capacity, we are working on expanding the number of EIPIC places to serve children with moderate to severe developmental needs. We have also expanded the range of EI services within preschools to support more children with developmental needs. For example, we introduced the Development Support Plus (DS-Plus) programme last year, to cater to children who have made sufficient progress under EIPIC and are able to transit to receiving EI services within preschools. We have also set up the Inclusive Preschool Workgroup (IPWG) to develop recommendations on how to better support children with moderate to severe developmental needs within preschools.