Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang MP for Nee Soon GRC
To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development whether the Ministry has plans to provide or to encourage the provision of night-time childcare beyond the three night-care centers run by the Morning Star charity, for low-income parents who have to work night shifts.
1. To cater to the needs of working parents, child care centres are required to operate full-day services from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Child care centres have the discretion to extend their services beyond the standard operating hours, taking into consideration demand and resources. Currently, around 50 child care centres (or about 4% of centres) operate beyond 7 p.m. on weekdays.
2. The current arrangement meets the needs of most parents. For those working shifts or on weekends, many of them arrange for other caregivers, such as grandparents and relatives, to help out. However, we understand that some families may face difficulties in making alternate caregiving arrangements.
3. We will assess the need and demand for night-time childcare, and the possibility of offering such programmes, particularly in areas where low-income families reside.