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MCYS MEDIA RELEASE NO: 35/2005

DATE OF ISSUE: 30/12/2005

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

NEW PROMOTION DRIVE TO ENCOURAGE PROVISION


OF TAMIL LANGUAGE IN CHILD CARE CENTRES

The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) in


collaboration with the Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) have
launched a new but important initiative to promote the provision of Tamil Language
(TL) in child care centres. MCYS and SINDA are confident that by providing Indian
parents with more language choices, the enrolment of Indian children in child care
centres will increase.

Current Situation

2 Currently, about 5% of the 49,000 children attending child care centres are
Indians but only 14 of the 709 (about 2%) child care centres provide TL as a second
language. Under this promotion drive, we had aimed to train at least 30 TL teachers
and increase the number of centres providing TL programme to 28 centres (i.e. 100%
increase). The increase in the number of centres providing TL would provide Indian
parents with more choices to enrol their children in child care centres.

Another 18 Centres to offer TL in 2006

3 With this pilot project by MCYS and SINDA to train preschool teachers in the
teaching of TL language and the planning of age-appropriate programmes for pre-
schoolers, another 18 child care centres will offer TL as a second language from Jan
2006. This will bring the total number of centres offering TL as a second language to
32 centres − exceeding our initial target of 28. With more centres offering TL, parents
will have more choices in selecting a child care centre for their children. This will also
boost the enrolment of Indian children in child care centres.

4 Mr S. Vivakanandan, Chief Executive Officer of SINDA, said, “SINDA believes


very strongly in giving children a strong foundation in education, especially in pre-
school education. Child care centres are key in providing children a conducive learning
environment and giving them a head-start. One of the barriers preventing more Indian
parents from enrolling their children into child care centres is the shortage of TL
teachers. With this initiative, we are sure that more Indian parents will send their
children to child care centres.”

Background

5 In May 2005, MCYS conducted an online survey with child care centres to
determine the number of Indian teachers and children whose mother tongue is Tamil.
MCYS received responses from 390 centres (55.3%). Out of the 404 teachers who
responded, 289 (72%) were able to speak and write Tamil. 139 (34%) indicated
interest in undergoing TL training for teaching in child care centres. A sizeable
proportion of Tamil-speaking parents (523 out of 780, i.e. 67%) wanted their children to
learn Tamil as a second language in child care centres.

6 Over the subsequent months, MCYS, in collaboration with SINDA, conducted 3


training sessions for a total of 92 child care and kindergarten teachers as well as some
TL teachers recruited by SINDA. Teachers attended the 30-hour TL teacher-training
course and were taught to plan age-appropriate programme for pre-schoolers. This is
in line with the Ministry of Education’s curriculum framework for mother tongue which
emphasises oral speaking rather than writing. Most teachers who completed the
course were enthusiastic and confident on their ability to teach TL in their centres.
Today’s batch of 41 graduands is the third and final cohort of teachers that have
completed the training programme.

Provision of TL Teachers

7 Centres which do not have TL teachers and would like to provide TL classes for
their children can tap on the pool of TL teachers recruited by SINDA. This list will be
posted in MCYS’ Child Care Link website (www.childcarelink.gov.sg). The list of
centres providing TL will be posted in Child Care Link website as well as SINDA’s
website for the reference of child care practitioners, parents and the public.

Financial Assistance / Bursary Scheme

8 SINDA has pre-school bursaries for children from low-income families. This is to
help them build a strong foundation before entering Primary 1. SINDA’s pre-school
bursary complements the subsidies provided by MCYS and CFAC. In 2004, 281
children benefited from SINDA’s pre-school bursary. This year, some 350 children
received the pre-school bursary.

Issued by:
Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports and
Singapore Indian Development Association

30 December 2005
Annex A

CHILD CARE CENTRES CURRENTLY PROVIDING TAMIL LANGUAGE


PROGRAMME

No Name of Centre Address Tel No.


1 Kidsville Child Care Development Blk 201 Yishun St 21, 67556557
Centre Pte Ltd (Blk 201) #01-55 S(760201)

2 Kidsville Child Care Development Blk 217 Yishun St 21, 67539556


Centre Pte Ltd (Blk 217) #01-333 S(760217)

3 Kidszone Child care and Blk 480 Sembawang Drive, 67532422


Development Centre #01-455 S(750480)

4 Ang Mo Kio Social Service Child Blk 229 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3 64595672
and Development Centre #01-1272 S(560229)

5 Child at Street 11 Blk 102 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3 64553681


#01-1429 S(560102)

6 Montessori @ Graceland Pte Ltd Blk 7 Phoenix Walk S(668111) 67620117

7 MBA Angels Pte Ltd Blk 19 Toh Tuck Drive 64639240


S(596883)

8 Jollytots Preschool 1 Tamarind Road S(806011) 64816252

9 Joyland Childcare and Development Blk 936 Jurong West St. 91 67915697
Centre #01-361 S(640936)

10 Perform @ Junior 558A Sembawang Road 67553626


S(758419)

11 Wonder Kids Childcare and Blk 317 Bedok Road 64450902


Development Centre (Bedok) S(469483)

12 Sam’s Early Learning Centre Blk 17 Jalan Mutiara 67361037


S(249196)

13 Learning Vision @ Work (TTSH) Blk 11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, 63543346
4th level, Tan Tock Seng
Hospital
S(308433)
14 Jamiyah Child Care Centre Blk 124 Ang Mo Kio Ave 6 64574458
#01-4055 S(560124)
Annex B

CHILD CARE CENTRES PROVIDING TAMIL LANGUAGE PROGRAMME FROM


JAN 2006

No Name of Centre Name of Centre Tel No.


1 Bumble Bee Child Care Blk 369 Woodlands Ave 1 63630234
#01-853 S(730369)

2 Bright Child Educare Centre Blk 128 Marsiling Rise 63630916


#01-256 S(730128)

3 Presbyterian Community Services Blk 442 Ang Mo Kio St 43 64570714


(Ang Mo Kio) #01-1205 S(560442)

4 Just Kids Learning Place Pte Ltd Blk 159 Bukit Batok St. 11 65690159
#01-180 S(650159)

5 Red Schoolhouse 104 Pemimpin Place S(576101) 63533200

6 SGM Murni Child Development Blk 411 Tampines St. 41 62601894


Centre #01-241 S(520411)

7 Ascension Kindercare Blk 105 Potong Pasir Ave 1 62818434


#01-436 S(350105)

8 Modern Montessori Preschool 12 West Coast Walk, #01-05 West 67744146


Centre (Westcoast) Coast Recreation Centre
S(127157)
9 Modern Montessori Child Care and 9 Yio Chu Kang Road #02-17-25 62898133
Development Centre (Kovan) Kovan Centre S(545523)

10 Chrysalis Child Care Centre 23 Jalan Teliti S(537319) 68580168

11 BG Child Care Pte Ltd 399 Yung Sheng Road #01-48, 62644337
Taman Jurong Shopping Centre,
S(610399)

12 Kids’ Star Child Development Blk 565 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3, 64520231
Centre (S) Pte Ltd #01-3431 S(560565)

13 Brightsun Child Care Centre Blk 635 Jurong West St 65, #01- 68618745
334 S(640635)

14 Praiseland Childcare and Learning Blk 662 Yishun Ave 4 #01-235 68522922
Centre S(760662)

15 PCF Twinkle Tots Yuhua Child Care Blk 264 Jurong East St 24, #01- 65632427
523 S(600264)
No Name of Centre Name of Centre Tel No.
16 The Children’s Discovery Centre Blk 184C Rivervale Crescent 68522922
#01-199 S(540184)

17 Chummy Child Care Centre 27/27A Hougang Ave 1 S(538875) 62823630

18 Learning Vision @ Work 5 Ang Mo Kio St 62 #04-04 NCS 64811708


Hub, Block C S(569141)