More Support To Enable Operators To Expand Childcare Places In High Demand Areas And At Workplaces FAQS


A. GENERAL QUESTIONS

1. What are the Support Schemes?

The Support Schemes are a suite of measures introduced to support good quality and affordable operator who, together with the anchor operators and partner operators, will provide a diverse range of good pre-school centres to meet the overall pre-school demand in Singapore, and cater to parents and children with differing needs.

Operators may refer to the factsheet on Support Scheme here.

 

2. Who will qualify for the Support Schemes?

Operators which are not supported under the Anchor Operator Scheme and Partner Operator Scheme, and which meet the respective eligibility criteria set out for the Support Schemes, can qualify. This includes both commercial and VWO operators. Anchor operators receive funding under the Anchor Operator Scheme and thus will not be eligible for further support under the Support Schemes.

Partner operators receive funding under the Partner Operator Scheme and thus will not be eligible for further support for Portable Rental Subsidy and Teaching and Learning Resources Grant.


3. When can I apply for the Support Schemes? How do I apply?

Support Schemes are currently open for application. The Support Schemes application form is available on ECDA’s website (https://www.ecda.gov.sg/Operators/Pages/Support-Schemes-for-Non-Anchor-Operators.aspx). 


4. Will there be a cap/quota on applications for each of the Support Schemes?

There will not be any specific quota for the number of successful applicants for each scheme. The number of successful operators depends on the quality of the proposals submitted for each of the schemes.

 

5. Will there be another tranche of Support Schemes?

ECDA will review the impact of the current suite of Support Schemes on operators and parents, and take into consideration the sector’s needs over time. 


B. QUESTIONS ON AFFORDABILITY AND QUALITY CRITERIA

6. Will the fee caps change over time?

Supported child care centres (including infant care service) and kindergartens have to commit to keep their fees affordable and adhere to the fee caps. ECDA will periodically review the fee caps to ensure they remain affordable for parents.

 

7. How can centres find out if they are ready for SPARK? What support is available for them to attain SPARK?

ECDA conducts regular workshops and training on SPARK to help centres learn more about the Quality Rating Scale – Updated (QRS-U) and use it to guide them on management practices and quality improvements. Centres may conduct self-assessment using the QRS-U to benchmark the quality of their centres and programmes.

Centres can also apply to attend Engagement session via Outreach Efforts to help them work towards meeting the standards outlined in SPARK. Through the coaching conducted by ECDA officers, centres will be guided in improving the quality of their structures and processes, and prepare for SPARK assessment. 

More information on SPARK can be found on http://www.ecda.gov.sg/SPARKinfo.

 

C. QUESTIONS ON INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORT SCHEMES

8. How does ECDA determine which are “high demand areas”?

High demand areas are ones where the pre-schools within the area experience high enrolment rates (e.g. 90% or more for child care services) and where the provision of places for children of pre-school age in the area is insufficient. ECDA will only advice if a site is in a high demand area after applicants have put in an application for PRS with details of the childcare site, floor area and the tenancy agreement. 

 

D. QUESTIONS ON PORTABLE RENTAL SUBSIDY

9. Would a pre-school operator be able to benefit from the Portable Rental Subsidy if he owns the child care or kindergarten premises?

Centres would be eligible for the Portable Rental Subsidy if they have a valid lease agreement for the premises and is assessed to be in the high demand area. and is paying rent for its use. The subsidy would not be extended where no rental is payable (e.g. where the premises are owned by the operator).

 

E. QUESTIONS ON EXTENSION OF COMMUNITY & SPORTS FACILITIES SCHEME (CSFS)

10. How does CSFS benefit developers and child care operators?

Under the CSFS, developers / owners of qualifying commercial properties may apply to the URA for bonus gross floor area (GFA) for the equivalent amount of space set aside for approved community/sports facilities. Previously the scheme was only open to non-profit child care centres (e.g. VWOs and Anchor Operators) in high demand areas. ECDA has worked with URA to open the scheme to commercial child care centres who meet ECDA’s quality and affordability criteria.

 

F. QUESTIONS ON KINDERGARTEN CONVERSION GRANT

11. What would happen to children enrolled in kindergartens that are converting to child care centres?

Kindergartens supported through the Kindergarten Conversion Grant must consult parents and inform them of the conversion one year in advance, to allow them adequate time to make alternative arrangements if necessary. After conversion, centres should also offer children currently enrolled in the kindergarten programme the option to enrol in half-day or flexi-care child care programmes if it suits their needs.

 

G. QUESTIONS ON ENHANCEMENTS TO WORKPLACE CCC SCHEME

12. Why is the workplace CCC scheme not open to kindergartens?

The scheme is intended to cater to the needs of working parents, and through feedback we understand that full-day child care needs are greater in such localities due to parents’ working hours.

 

H. QUESTIONS ON TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES GRANT 

13. Is there a limit to the number of Teaching and Learning Resources that a centre can apply for through the Grant?

There is no limit to the number of items purchased under the Teaching and Learning Resources Grant, subject to the cap of $4,000 per year (inclusive of GST1). Centres should take into consideration the developmental needs of children and create a spread of opportunities to develop the children holistically, in the different areas of motor skills experiences, creative and aesthetics experiences, social and emotional experiences, and cognitive and language experiences. Examples of eligible resources (non-exhaustive) are listed here for reference. ECDA will assess items not on the list on a case-by-case basis, but will exclude consumables (e.g. stationary, toner, paper) or general furniture and fittings (e.g. tables, chairs, storage units).​​​


1For GST-registered companies, the reimbursed amount will exclude GST, as the GST incurred on the purchases may be claimed from IRAS.

Information updated as at January 2019
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