Pre-schools step up to help families during pandemic

In a feature story on how pre-schools in Singapore are helping families in need amid the pandemic, Straits Times reported that NTUC First Campus' (NFC) Bright Horizons Fund has channelled about $2.4 million in 2021 to bridge the income and learning gaps made worse by the disruptions of the past two years. For instance, more than 4,200 children attending NTUC pre-schools have received a one-time top-up of $400 to the Child Development Account (CDA). Nearly 3,000 families have also received sponsored NTUC membership, which allows them to benefit from financial and employment support. 

Madam Zhu Su Qing, whose youngest daughter attends NFC's My First Skool centre in Boon Lay, and has two older children in primary school, received the sponsored NTUC membership to defray the cost of groceries. Her daughter also benefited from the one-time top-up of $400 to her CDA account this year. "The school has helped us a lot. So I only worry about their homework and meals when no one is supervising them at home," said Madam Zhu.

The article also covered upcoming initiatives that families can look forward to in 2022. Some examples include NFC's mental well-being programme for low-income families, such as counselling sessions for parents and parenting workshops in health and nutrition. NFC's team of learning support educators will also be curating digital resources such as videos and activities for parents to engage their children with learning needs at home.

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