After-school Student Care

Published Date: 05 February 2018 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Desmond Choo, Tampines GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Education (Schools) (a) what is the current capacity and take-up rate of after-school student care centres; (b) how does the Ministry continuously ensure that student care remains affordable; and (c) whether there are plans to set minimum operating standards for after-school care.

Response

1. Over the last six years, the Ministry of Education has increased the number of school-based Student Care Centres (SCCs) from 50 to 162, and enrolment has increased from 3,000 in 2012 to 21,000 today, or 9% of all primary school students. Where there is demand for school-based student care services, schools will work closely with the service providers to expand their capacity, at a pace that does not compromise quality. MOE is on track to have SCCs in all primary schools by end 2020.

2. There are also SCCs outside of schools that provide after-school care for students. Currently, there are 261 community-based SCCs registered with the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), with a total enrolment of about 11,000 students, and some spare capacity. Together, MOE and MSF monitor the capacities and enrolment of both school-based and community-based SCCs closely.

3. To ensure affordability for children from lower income families, the ComCare Student Care Fee Assistance (SCFA) scheme provides needy families with assistance to offset their monthly SCC fees. With the assistance, eligible students can pay as little as $5 per month. MSF regularly reviews the ComCare SCFA scheme to ensure that student care remains affordable for lower income families.

4. All registered SCCs are required to comply with requirements covering areas like supervision, safety, health and hygiene. In addition, for school-based SCCs, the service providers are selected via a stringent and competitive procurement process, and have to meet contractual requirements for quality in areas such as programmes, staff training, level of care, and environment. Schools maintain close oversight of SCC operations, to ensure that quality is maintained.

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