NTUC First Campus to Expand its Childcare Centres by 50%
Expansion pace to quicken even as it reaches its 100-centre milestone today
Singapore’s biggest childcare chain NTUC First Campus Co-operative Limited (NFC) is set to get bigger. To offer quality early childhood care and education services to more families in Singapore, it will open 50 more childcare centres over the next two years – this is about one new centre every two weeks. Enrolment capacity will also increase by 50%.
NFC shared its expansion plans today in a celebration to mark its milestone of reaching 100 childcare centres. The 100 childcare centres come under NFC’s three core brands: My First Skool (MFS), The Little Skool-House International (LSH) and The Caterpillar’s Cove (TCC). The celebration was held at MFS centre at Bedok North Street 3 Block 503. Mr Lim Boon Heng, Executive Chairman of NTUC Social Enterprise Development Council (SEDC), was the Guest of Honour at the celebration.
“NTUC First Campus doubled the size of our network from 50 to 100, within a period of just three years. The NFC team is very proud of this achievement,” said Mr Chan Tee Seng, Chief Executive Officer of NTUC First Campus Co-operative Limited. He added, “We are aware that many parents are anxious about getting a place in a good quality and trustworthy childcare centre of their choice. NTUC First Campus is committed to our mission of making quality early childhood care and education services affordable and accessible to families.”
NFC’s growth plan is in line with the Government’s plan to expand the childcare sector by 200 childcare centres over five years from 2008. Since its rebranding exercise in early 2009, NFC has expanded rapidly from 50 centres to 101 centres. The number of children enrolled in its centres has also doubled from about 4,500 to 9,000 now.
NFC is committed to being not only bigger, but better. During the last three years, it set several firsts in the childcare industry, such as introducing Singapore’s first Birth-to-Three Curriculum Framework; implementing a new Chinese Language Curriculum designed by the Singapore Centre for Chinese Language for pre-schoolers; and launching Project Eureka, a teaching approach that encourages a culture of teaching innovations within the childcare network. As a testament of NFC’s commitment to provide the highest quality pre-school education, seven of its childcare centres were among the first batch of 24 childcare centres in Singapore to receive the Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework (SPARK) certification, a new quality accreditation system introduced by the Ministry of Education, in September this year.
Given the high quality curriculum and programmes offered and with the average fee of My First Skool centres pegged at below the national median, NFC offers parents excellent value for money and will continually strive to do so.
To meet the manpower needs of the new childcare centres, NFC will recruit over 700 early childhood education professionals in the next two years. The organisation will also continue its focus on lifting childcare and teaching quality. It will set aside $2.5 million for staff academic upgrading and training next year, more than double of this year’s $1.1 million. By 2013, it also expects all centres to have 95% of its teachers holding diploma qualifications or in the course of obtaining one; and 90% of principals to be degree-holders or undergraduates.