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Rebuilt Sparkletots Joo Chiat provides accessible pre-school option in private estate

SINGAPORE - A rebuilt PAP Community Foundation (PCF) Sparkletots centre in Joo Chiat will make early childhood education more accessible to those living in Marine Parade, said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong on April 28.


Speaking to parents and teachers at the official launch of the new Sparkletots campus at 15 Lorong K Telok Kurau, Mr Tong announced a new bursary so that children from needy households in the region can get their best start on their educational journey.


“I think there is no other way of breaking the cycle of the less privileged, the lower income, and those that don’t have the opportunity, than through education,” said Mr Tong, who is also Second Minister for Law. 


In the 2010s, Joo Chiat became Singapore’s first all-private property constituency after its last remaining Housing Board blocks were acquired under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme.


This meant that while the estate has a range of kindergartens, they are largely privately run, with monthly fees of between $800 and $3,000 before subsidies. For PCF Sparkletots @ Joo Chiat, monthly fees for citizens before subsidies range from $163.50 for kindergarten, to $741.20 for childcare.


The new bursary for Marine Parade GRC residents will hopefully encourage more lower-income families to send their children to pre-school, including to the newly expanded Sparkletots @ Joo Chiat, said Mr Tong, who is the MP for Joo Chiat ward in Marine Parade.

“There are also other factors (that affect enrolment) which include practical or logistical ones like transportation,” he added. “We will be studying to see how we can best support such families and help get their young children in pre-school.”


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