Singapore's pre-school operator PAP Community Foundation (PCF) opened a mega childcare centre, its largest to date, on Sunday in Marsiling. Reports said the centre has places for about 370 children.
The PCF Sparkletots Large Childcare Centre, located at 9, Woodlands Street 12, will take in children ranging from infants to kindergarteners. PCF said a total of 196 children have already enrolled in the centre. Jeanette Ling, the principal of the centre spanning 3,000 sq m, said it expects enrolments to reach full capacity in early 2018.
It is one of the mega childcare centres that the Government is building to increase childcare places in estates with more young families, such as Punggol, Sengkang, Yishun, Jurong West and Woodlands.
The centre has been designed to give children greater access to a variety of outdoor experiences. It also plans to engage parents and seniors as volunteers to better allow children to interact with the community through projects like maintaining a vegetable garden.
Speaker of Parliament and Member of Parliament for Marsiling, Yew Tee GRC Halimah Yacob attended the opening ceremony of the centre. He said the centre was built on the concept that children require "Vitamin G", green environments and outdoor spaces to play and learn.
"With the new facilities, teachers are able to plan the curriculum beyond the classroom. Children can explore shapes as they take a nature around our environment. With our project room, they are given the opportunity to experiment with arts," Ling told Channel NewsAsia.
The executive committee chairperson of PCF Josephine Teo and PCF chief executive Victor Bay were also present at the ceremony.
Halimah viewed an exhibition titled Collaboration with Parents and Community Partners, showcasing how the pre-school integrated the outdoors into its curriculum.