NTUC First Campus partners NUH to raise infant care service quality

SINGAPORE: Raising the quality of infant care services — that’s what NTUC First Campus, Singapore’s biggest player in the industry, has committed to doing.

It is partnering the National University Hospital (NUH) to develop a new programme and enhance the training for infant care teachers islandwide.

Babies may be in short supply in Singapore. But that’s certainly not reflected in the number of infant care centres, which are mushrooming islandwide.

Currently there are 150 centres throughout Singapore, of which 27 are operated by NTUC First Campus. At least 23 more will open by year end.

So NTUC First Campus is upping its game by raising the quality of its services.

Together with the NUH, the child care service provider will develop a new infant care programme. It will cover areas such as the health, nutrition, and language and mental development of the child.

NTUC First Campus will also work with NUH to enhance the certificate course for all infant care teachers in Singapore, including those not from NTUC. Among other things, the course aims to help infant care teachers to better understand childhood diseases.

Dr Melinda Eng, senior adviser for curriculum at NTUC First Campus, said: "With the collaboration, I think the medical experts will give our teachers very specific things to observe about the children’s developmental milestones and be very specific in terms of what is the immediate action, if they’ve observed any deviation from the normal development of the infants."

NTUC First Campus’ tie—up with NUH is the first partnership involving an early childhood institution and a major health care institution to be formalised in Singapore.

Associate Professor Daniel Goh, head of paediatrics department at NUH, said: "The infancy period is the age where the child develops the most, lots of changes occur from day to day and good or bad habits are inculcated as well. Also diseases in adulthood do often have their roots in childhood and even in early infancy, so when we do it right in the beginning, things get better in future."

NTUC First Campus will also tap on a pool of retired nurses to care for the infants. These nurses will help evaluate and put in place best practices in health, safety and care.

— CNA/ir