Children who miss the risk of pre-school education, the latest news in Singapore

In 2014, Shaodah Roslan tried to enroll her two older sons in a government-linked kindergarten, but was told she had to pay a $ 200 down payment for each boy

"I said," Let's go, I will not put them in school yet, & # 39; "said the 28-year-old housewife, whose husband does chores and brings home about $ 600 to $ 700 a month.

A few months later, Mrs. Sharon Eng, an advisor from the Singapore Children's Society, managed to find vacancies in a nearby PAP Community Foundation Center

Shaodah paid only $ 1.60 per month for each boy to go to kindergarten after help from the kindergarten Fee Assistance Scheme and Start-Up Grant, which includes school fees and uniforms, in addition to other expenses

A record number of children go to kindergarten, with more enrolled at a younger age.

The latest figures of the Early Childhood Development Ag ency show that about 90,000 children are older two to four are enrolled in pre-schools, an increase of 66,000 in 2012.

Ms Shaodah's eldest son, now in Primary 4, attended Kindergarten 2 for just four months before going to school. primary school went, while her second son, now in Primary 3, had more than a year of pre-school education.

"(My oldest boy) could not recognize most of the letters … He could not speak much English, compared to our neighbors," she said.

"Luckily he could figure it out and within two months he could write his name, dates and more letters," said Shaodah, who has seven children, the youngest of whom is seven months old.

Mrs. Eng also helped match three of her younger children with a nearby pre-school in 2016.

"I want my children to go to school," said Shaodah, who was in high school at the age of 16 left.

She and her husband, 32, who after their work as a warehouse employee started to work primary school, live in a rental apartment in Yishun.

Experts say that children from underprivileged families run the risk of lagging behind with their peers if they do not get quality experiences from an early age – at home or at school

Dr Joanna Tay-Lim, a lecturer from the Academic Group Early Childhood and Special Needs Education from the National Institute of Education, said: "Vulnerable families are often at a disadvantage due to their circumstances to need the type of care and environment for the optimal growth of their child."

These families may miss out on resources or knowledge to meet the needs of their children in the field of learning or nutrition and health issues, and research has shown that such children are often at risk of developmental delay, and poorer cognitive and physical outcomes.

"This group of families needs special care and attention … to reduce the chance of an unfavorable development for their child."


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