(Source: www.channelnewsasia.com)

SINGAPORE: PCF Sparkletots opened its newest childcare centre at Hillion Mall in Bukit Panjang on Saturday (Aug 12).

At over 21,500 sq ft, the operator’s second-largest childcare centre can accommodate up to 287 children. It currently has an enrolment of about 170 children.

At the opening, Foreign Affairs Minister and MP for Holland-Bukit Timah Dr Vivian Balakrishnan said there have been more childcare places in the last five years, to make sure that every Singaporean child gets the best possible start, and therefore have a bright future ahead of them.

“Our children have got specific windows of development, and it is most critical that we give them the best environment,” he said. “For instance, learning language, vision, music, social skills. These are best developed when the child is very, very young.”

This is the first time the operator has a branch in an integrated development – a move, which it says, has inspired an enhanced curriculum that is unique to PCF Sparkletots @ Cashew.

All branches carry the same curriculum, which covers language and literacy, social and emotional development and motor skills development.

On top of this, the new centre will also deliver the STEAM approach. This is short for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.

Under this approach, children get to “conduct” experiments in the baking corner, grow their own potted plants and even learn to count with the help of a robotic-based game.

PCF CEO Victor Bay said during a media briefing that this interactive hands-on approach was largely due to the nature of its location in Hillion Mall, which has tech shops, music schools and other lifestyle facilities.

“Children at this young age are very well exposed. So for all our activities, we try to introduce things like digital cameras and telescopes,” he said.

He added that with more young families taking root in Bukit Panjang, and the added accessibility with the new Downtown Line, the enhanced curriculum is timely as enrolment grows.

The new pre-school also provides both full day childcare and infant care services. Its prices are consistent with those of PCF Sparkletots’ HDB-based centres.

As an anchor operator, it is also required to fix a monthly fee cap of S$720, S$1,275 and S$160 for child care, infant care and kindergarten respectively.

Dr Balakrishnan also said that more announcements on early childhood will be made by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the next two weeks.

More Info: www.channelnewsasia.com

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