Child Care Centres
Child care centres are education centres that take in children whose parents are unable to take care of them due to their busy work commitments. Parents would drop the child at the child care centre every morning before work and pick them up after work. Hence, child care centres operate a full-day or a half-day programme for children, depending on their needs.
Different from nurseries and kindergartens, the child care centre is not under the regulation of the Ministry of Education. Instead, the child care centre is under the regulation of the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports. All child care centres must be registered with the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports. Only child care centres that mean the requirements specified by the ministry would be issued licenses.
As child care centres are designed to take of children when their parents are working, their operating hours are before normal working hours and they end later than normal working hours too. This is to facilitate the picking up of children by the working parents. In addition, child care centres are closed on public holidays as it is believed that the parents would be able to care for their children on these holidays.
Child care centres admit children from 2 years old to 7 years old and charge a fee for their services. There are over 600 child care centres spread across the island.
Aims of the Child Care Centre
The child care centre is not officially an education centre for children, but instead a centre providing care to the children. Hence, the aims of the child care centre generally vary from the other education centres.
The child care centre aims to take care of the child while the parents are busy at work. It is the avenue at which parents can go to when they face difficulty in juggling their work and managing their child. With their trained employees, child care centres are able to provide for the needs of the young child, giving them adequate playtime and study time.
The child care centre is also a centre for allowing children to adjust to the demands of school life. As children in child care centres would have to leave their parents for the entire morning and afternoon, they would gradually grow to become more independent and reduce the over-dependence on their parents. These would be beneficial when they move on the primary school education, where independence is a must.
Child care centres caring for the young children would also provide them with an enriching experience. Through fun-filled activities, the young children would have the opportunity to discover more about the environment around them. Their creativity and imagination would also be developed such that they would be able to think creatively and solve difficulties in a new way.