Good quality, affordable preschool options for all Singaporean children (National Day Rally 2019)

Recently several PAP women MPs led by SPS Sun Xueling surveyed young parents on preschool. Understandably the parents were concerned about affordability. The MPs made an important point that preschool should be like housing and healthcare, where we have a good and affordable government-funded option for all Singaporeans. There’s a private option everyone but for many Singaporeans, in fact the majority, the government-supported funded option is high-quality and more than satisfactory I agree with them. For housing we have HDB; for healthcare we have the restructured hospitals. Similarly for preschool, we should have good quality government-supported choices available to all Singaporeans. This is in fact our policy. Today just over half of all preschool places are government-supported. Over time we will bring this up to 80%, just like HDB, and we are putting a lot of resources towards this. Already the government spends about 1 billion dollars a year on early childhood education and this will more than double over the next few years. Hopefully with all these improvements, parents will no longer think of preschool as an expensive phase of bringing up their children.

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