The Ministry of Education (MOE) on Friday (4 April) announced that preschools and student care centres will suspend general services from next week 8 April, in alignment with the Multi-Ministry Taskforce’s latest efforts to further enhance safe distancing measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The agency, along with the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), said it will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation to assess if these measures need to be prolonged.
Preschools, Student Care Centres Suspended Until 4 May
From 8 April to 4 May, all preschools are to suspend their general services and to remain open only to serve a limited group of parents who are unable to find alternative care arrangements, such as those working in essential services like healthcare.
Preschools and student care centres will suspend general services from 8 April.
The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) will waive the minimum 1-day attendance requirement for preschool subsidies in April. The MSF will also waive the minimum attendance requirement for Student Care Fee Assistance (SCFA) subsidies in April.
According to MOE, home-based learning resources developed by various preschools will be progressively shared with all other preschools and parents. Preschools will also continue to keep in contact with children during this period to check on their general well-being and progress.
Gov’t, schools to provide assistance
“We understand the concerns of those who will be affected by the suspension of in-person classes in IHLs and schools, and the suspension of services in student care centres, including worries about childcare arrangements,” MOE said.
From Tuesday (7 April), all workplace premises “must shift to mandatory telecommuting,” the agency said, further urging parents “to keep their children at home during this period.”
“Those working in essential services such as healthcare, who are unable to secure alternative care arrangements, may approach their children’s primary schools and preschools for assistance,” said MOE.
Singapore will apply ‘circuit breakers for one month’: PM Lee
In an address to Singaporeans on Friday (3 April), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Singapore will apply “circuit breakers” for one month in the first instance, “to help reduce the risk of a big outbreak occurring and gradually bring our numbers down and allow us to relax some measures.”
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressing the nation on 3 April. | Image source: Prime Minister’s Office
“It will be a long fight, but if any country can see this through, it is Singapore,” Mr Lee said. “By helping one another through this, we will prevail, and emerge stronger.”
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