Opening remarks by Second Minister for Education, Dr Maliki Osman, at the Launch of the PCF-TF CDA Top-Up Programme

Published Date: 06 May 2021 11:00 AM

News Speeches

Dr Janil Puthucheary, EXCO Chairman of PAP Community Foundation

Mr Victor Bay, Chief Executive, PCF

Mr Richard Magnus, Deputy Chairman, Temasek Foundation

Ladies and Gentlemen

1. Good morning. I am happy to join you this morning at the PAP Community Foundation (PCF) and Temasek Foundation Child Development Account (CDA) Top-Up programme.

2. UPLIFT at MOE has been collaborating with community partners to strengthen support for disadvantaged children and their families. We believe a strong foundation in the early years is very crucial for these children.

3. I am happy to share yet another collaboration that will see PCF and Temasek Foundation working together on a CDA top-up programme which will benefit approximately 8,500 PCF Sparkletots children over three years. This initiative is facilitated by UPLIFT as part of our efforts to support preschoolers from lower-income families. This additional financial support in the CDA will also help parents to meet their child’s education and childcare needs.

4. Coupled with the Government’s dollar-for-dollar matching contributions for the top-ups, up to the child’s eligible contribution cap, eligible children will receive in their CDA up to $800 in total. These additional funds will be beneficial especially for parents to defray child-raising expenses such as preschool fees and medical bills.

5. In the current COVID-19 situation, these donations will provide much needed support to these families. In this instance, the top-ups are given to children from nursery level onwards, to encourage the lower-income families to enrol their children into preschool at an early age and maximise the Government’s CDA matching contribution. There is already generous subsidies provided by Government to make early childhood education very affordable for these children. This top up will be an added boost.

6. It is important to give every child the best possible start in life, regardless of their starting point or family background. The efforts ensure that preschoolers from lower-income families are able to beat the odds and reap the full benefits of quality preschool system, making them ready for formal primary education.

7. In addition to making it affordable for lower income families to send their children to preschool, more needs to be done at the community level to reach out to these families to encourage these parents to enrol their children to preschool centres at least from nursery level onwards.

8. We would like to encourage more like-minded community partners and corporates to step forward to adopt such causes, so that we can support more disadvantaged children and their families in future.

9. Once again, thank you to Temasek Foundation for this generous contribution.

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