- The Government is not a provider of child care services, unlike the education and healthcare sectors. The child care industry consists of private companies and community organisations. NTUC Childcare recently announced that it has taken steps to absorb the GST increase. Some of the other child care operators may want to do the same. The Government will monitor affordability and will work with the child care operators to manage cost increases if necessary. We will also ensure that affordable child care will not be at the expense of the quality of care and education provided at centres.
Since the fees are not controlled, how can parents afford the fees for child care centres?
Families that require child care services but are unable to afford the fees can apply for Child Care Financial assistance (CCFA) through the child care centres.
The Child Care Financial Assistance (CCFA) provides fee assistance to lower-income families (monthly gross household income $3,500 and below, or Per Capita Income (PCI) not exceeding $875) who enrol their child(ren) in affordable infant/child care programmes, but due to difficult family circumstances, need help with paying the monthly fees, even after receiving child care subsidies. The applicant (mother or single father) should be working. Applicants who are unable to work due to valid reasons may also apply. Valid reasons include looking for work, medically unfit for work, incarcerated, etc. Parents should check with the child care centre their child is attending for more information.
I am not sure whether my child is able to adjust to the early childhood development setting. Can he/she be enrolled on a trial basis? What is the fee payable?Early Childhood Development Centres provide trial periods for new children to enable parents to assess the suitability of the centre for their child. Many centres offer a two-week trial period. You should refer to the centre’s rules and regulations for information.
Under what circumstances do I need to obtain a doctor's certification for my child before he/she returns to centre-based care?Your child may return to the centre after the medical certificate expiry date and no longer shows any symptom of illness, even if he is still on medication. Your child may also return to the centre if a doctor has certified your child to be medically fit to attend class.
Other than feeding, napping and routine care, what kind of stimulation / programmes would infant care centres have for my baby?Infant and toddler care programmes primarily focus on routine care tasks, rituals and play. The care-giving aspect underlying these activities constitute an important part of the curriculum. At the same time, these activities also foster learning and stimulate your child’s development. As interaction and physical contact are essential to the well-being of infants and toddlers, care-givers are encouraged to hold, gently rock, talk, listen, sing, and walk the children as much as possible.
What should I look for in an infant care centre before deciding to enrol my baby in the centre?Besides considering the distance of the infant care centre from your home, you should also visit the centre to make an assessment on its physical environment, the centre’s safety, health, hygiene practices, staff to children ratio, the programme offered and the track record of the centre.
Do I have to apply for an early childhood development centre licence?Early Childhood Development Centres (ECDC) are governed by the ECDC Act and Regulations. You are required to obtain an ECDC licence to set up an ECDC. It is an offence under Section 6(1) of the ECDC Act to operate an ECDC without a licence.
How soon can my application for an early childhood development licence be processed?The normal processing time for an ECDC application is 14 working days upon the receipt of the complete application that includes clearances from relevant authorities, required documents and the site visit, whichever is later.
Do I need to fulfill any requirements before I can set up an Early Childhood Development Centre (ECDC)?
To set up an Early Childhood Development Centre (ECDC), the key appointment holders (i.e. applicants) must ensure that they meet the application requirements found on [Guide to Setting Up an Early Childhood Development Centre]
How much does the early childhood development centre licence costs and how long is it valid?The tenure of an initial early childhood development centre licence is 12 months. The application and licence fee of $500 must be made through e-payment, and the licence will be emailed to you after the application is approved.
What supporting documents do I need to submit for an early childhood development centre licence application?
You are required to submit the following documents as part of your licence application:
Approved Use of the Location from the Relevant Authorities
Approved Floor Plan with Fire Safety Certificate
Certificate of Statutory Completion or Equivalent
Please refer to the [Guide to Setting Up an Early Childhood Development Centre] for more information.
What are the clearances from relevant authorities required before I can commence operation of the child care centre?
You must obtain clearances from authorities such as Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Fire Safety & Shelter Department (FSSD) and Building and Construction Authority (BCA) before commencing operations. The details can be found in the[Guide to Setting Up an Early Childhood Development Centre]
Who can I contact for further details on application for an early childhood development centre licence?You can call our ECDA hotline at 67359213.
Are Early Childhood Development Centre staff trained in early childhood?
Child care centres are required to meet staff training requirements. The qualifications required for teachers of each age group differ. To be registered as a pre-school teacher in Singapore, you will need to fulfil the requirements specified on [ECDA's website]
What are the Early Childhood Development Centre tender sites for Social Service Agency (SSA)?
Please click [here] for the list of Early Childhood Development Centre sites for Social Service Agency (SSA).