PAP Community Foundation (PCF) Sparkletots at Punggol North—the largest childcare centre in Singapore—has officially opened on 20 April. As part of the government’s promise to increase spending on preschools, this new facility is first of the 12 PCF Sparkletots early years centres (EYCs) to officially open, with two more expected to open this year.
The official opening ceremony was hosted by Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower and PCF Executive Committee Chairperson, and graced by Mr Ng Chee Meng, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Chairman of PCF Punggol North Branch with Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister, as guest of honour.
“I am glad to see PCF Sparkletots’ commitment to expanding its services in the Early Years education segment. Good preschools like PCF Sparkletots not only offer good support for working parents, but can also give young children a strong start and foundation for lifelong learning,” said Mr Teo Chee Hean.
So what can we expect from this massive learning institution?
It can accommodate over 1,000 children
The 100,000 square feet facility, with a built-up area of more than 90,000 square feet, is PCF’s largest childcare centre to date. It provides infant and childcare services for children aged two months to four years and is designed to accommodate 1,060 children at its full capacity. Currently, it has 449 students.
Deputy Prime Minister Mr Teo Chee Hean interacts with toddlers from PCF Sparkletots at the Water Play Arena. Photo credit: PCF
It follows a curriculum for holistic development
The Sparkletots Early Years Curriculum focuses on language, exposure of mother tongue languages, development of fine and gross motor skills through music and movement, early math, and arts and sensorial activities.
Under this EYC model, Singaporean and Singapore PR Nursery 2 students will have a guaranteed place in a nearby MOE Kindergarten when they turn five years old. For PCF Sparkletots @ Punggol, parents can choose from MOE Kindergarten @ Oasis Primary School, MOE Kindergarten @ Waterway Primary School, and MOE Kindergarten @ Horizon Primary School (from 2020).
It promises an ideal learning environment for your kids
PCF Sparkletots @ Punggol North prides itself of a homely and unique environment, with purpose-built play areas like Sand Play Area, Water Play Arena, Infant Play Arena, Inner Courtyard, Culinary Room, Herbs and Vegetables Farm, Adventure Park, and a Toddler Playground.
As PCF CEO Mr Victor Bay shared, “At PCF Sparkletots @ Punggol North, learning is expanded beyond the classroom through the innovative use of space that provides a creative, inspiring, and safe learning environment. The opening of our first EYC signifies an exciting phase in the development of the early years sector. With our extensive footprint, and partnership with MOE Kindergarten, we are well-placed to support the government’s efforts to provide quality preschool education for all.”
It has well-equipped staff
With that number of children under the centre’s care, parents may worry that their children will not be given the right amount of attention. This won’t be the case at PCF Sparkletots @ Punggol North with 131 Programme staff (92 Teachers, 37 Assistant Teachers, and two State Registered Nurses). Even when there’s a teacher-to-child ratio stipulated by ECDA (for infant care, 1 teacher is to 5 infants), PCF Sparkletots @ Punggol North has 1 to 2 more staff to assist the teacher in charge because of the centre’s outdoor spaces.
Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower and PCF Executive Committee Chairperson, interacting with a PCF Sparkletots child at the Culinary Room. Photo credit: PCF
Students learn from and enjoy the outdoor environment
Learning is not confined in the indoor classrooms. At PCF Sparkletots @ Punggol North, the thoughtfully designed outdoor environment is the third teacher for the students. The furniture, fixtures, and playground are carefully selected and designed for different age groups.
PCF Sparkletots @ Punggol North is located at 50 Edgefield Plains, Singapore 828717. PCF is Singapore’s largest preschool operator with close to 360 preschools and an enrolment of over 40,000 children. By 2021, PCF Sparkletots is expected to operate 38 EYCs.