SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Social and Family Development has to strike a balance between ensuring quality care and education for children, manpower requirements and the impact on fees as it reviews staff-child ratios in childcare and infant care centres.
Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing said this on Monday in a written Parliamentary reply to MP for Punggol East Lee Li Lian.
She had asked about the ministry's plans to reduce the current ratio of one staff to five children in these centres, in light of the recent announcement to create 20,000 more childcare places by 2017.
Mr Chan clarified that the ratios range from one educator to five infants, to one teacher to 25 kindergarten-age children.
The ratios are lower for younger children as they require closer supervision.
He pointed to the recent measures the ministry has implemented to attract and retain talent in the early childhood sector, such as strengthening the training pipeline for the Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education at the polytechnics.
He said the Early Childhood and Development Agency is providing teachers with more opportunities to upgrade their skills, and be recognised for their competencies.
This will be achieved through the Continuing Professional Development Masterplan that will be implemented later this year.
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