April 06, 2020
Preschool Operators to Provide Fee Offsets During Circuit Breaker Period
1. On 6 April 2020, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced additional support for workers, businesses and households under the Solidarity Budget to help tide Singapore through the one month of COVID-19 major circuit breaker measures. This builds on the Government's earlier support measures in the Unity Budget and Resilience Budget.
Preschool Operators Required to Provide 50% Fee Offsets
2. Under the Solidarity Budget, the Government will enhance the Jobs Support Scheme by raising the wage subsidy for all firms to 75% of gross monthly wages, for the first $4,600 of wages paid in April 2020, for each local employee. This is an increase from the 25% wage subsidy support for all sectors (apart from Aviation, Tourism and Food Services) earlier announced in the Resilience Budget, and which would still apply for the eight remaining qualifying months.
3. Taking this into account, the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) has required all preschool operators to provide parents offsets for 50% of their nett fees for one month, for Singaporean children not attending preschool during this one-month circuit breaker period from 8 April 2020 until 4 May 2020. The offset will be effected from the May 2020 invoice for parents. For example for a 50% offset, parents who would ordinarily pay $470 per month will pay $235 for their child's preschool fees in May 2020. The preschool anchor operators and MOE Kindergartens will take the lead and announce their fee offsets later today.
4. In ordinary circumstances, preschools, KCare operators, student care centres (SCCs), special student care centres (SSCCs) and Early Intervention (EI) service providers would find it difficult to offer such fee offsets given the need to sustain wages for staff and other operating costs. However, these are exceptional times and we have reviewed the situation. With further Government support given under the latest Solidarity Budget, as well as MSF's and ECDA's continued payment of preschool and student care fee subsidies, with the automatic waiver of minimum attendance for eligibility for subsidies, all preschools, KCare, SCC and SSCC operators and EI service providers should offer fee offsets for the circuit breaker period.
5. The fee offsets will complement the additional help from the Solidarity Budget announced for families with young children. All adult Singaporeans will receive a one-off Solidarity Payment of $600 in cash. Other payments from the Resilience Budget will remain, where eligible adult Singaporeans could receive a remaining cash payout of $300 or $600. Each Singaporean parent will also receive an additional $300.
6. The ongoing COVID-19 situation requires our collective efforts to overcome the challenges ahead. MSF, MOE and ECDA continue to stand with the preschool, student care and EI community and families during this challenging period. We would like to thank our preschool operators, teachers and staff for their dedication and hard work, and the understanding and support of parents and caregivers during this extraordinary period.