As of June 2017, about 470 childcare centres built in workplaces across Singapore, such as commercial grounds, government buildings, and industrial estates. These figures make up about one-third of all childcare facilities in the city state, said Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee in Parliament on Tuesday (Oct 3).
This answer was made responding to a question from Nee Soon GRC Member of Parliament Lee Bee Wah, regarding to the number of workplaces that have childcare centres on their premises. Dr Lee also wanted to know whether the ministry plan to encourage more companies with particular staff size to provide on-site childcare facilities.
Mr Lee said there are various factors that determine whether an employer would consider setting up a childcare centre on its buildings. Besides seeing from its number of employees, other factors include the profile of employees, the employees’ preferences in the location of care services, the location of the workplace, as well as the business viability of a childcare facility. He added that the ministry has set up measures that will help developers and employers build workplace-based childcare centres, Channel News Asia reports.
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For example, the Community and Sports Facilities Scheme provides bonus gross floor area for developers that set aside space in commercial buildings for childcare facilities.
The Enhanced Workplace Child Care Centre Scheme offers certain amount of grant for eligible workplace centres to purchase furnishing and equipment, as well as a development grant to cover the costs of converting work spaces for childcare use.
For new commercial developments, the Early Childhood Development Agency has collaborated with the Urban Redevelopment Authority to require developers for selected Government Land Sale sites to provide space for childcare centres.
However, Mr Lee noted that due to various reasons, many parents still prefer childcare centres to be located near their own homes. Owing to which, he continued that the Government will work to add up the number of childcare places, especially at new HDB residential developments.
Earlier on August, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced in his National Day Rally speech that an additional 40,000 pre-school places will be created over the next five years.
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