Pre-school free for low-income families with new OCBC-NTUC First Campus scheme
New scheme boosts aid for low-income families
Being a recipient of subsidised pre-school education has lightened her financial load.
From next year, Madam Thaneswary Sangra Narayanan, whose daughter just turned three and is attending the My First Skool centre in Boon Lay Children, will not have to pay any fees for her daughter's pre-school education.
The 34-year-old, who is five months pregnant, is one of the beneficiaries of the OCBC-NTUC First Campus Bridging Programme, which was launched yesterday by NTUC First Campus chief executive Chan Tee Seng and OCBC Bank group chief executive Samuel Tsien.
OCBC donated $1 million to the NTUC First Campus Bright Horizons Fund.
My First Skool is one of the pre-school brands under NTUC First Campus.
The programme, which offers disadvantaged families better access to financial aid, will help make pre-school education free for children from low-income families.
An NTUC First Campus spokesman told The New Paper that an estimated 500 children will benefit from the programme each year, making it a total of 2,500 children over the next five years.
To be eligible for the scheme, at least one parent has to be a union member whose child will start at My First Skool next year.
Each child will be given a one-time payout of $400 into his Child Development Account. This will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Government.
The total amount of $800 can cover the first two years of childcare fees for families earning $4,500 or less, which add up to $720 after government subsidies.
For families whose gross household income is $3,000 and below, any excess funds can be used for other education and healthcare expenses.
For Madam Thaneswary, who works as a patient service associate at the National University Hospital, the extra savings will help out with their family expenses.
Her husband, Mr Letchumanan Murugan, works odd hours as a SBS Transit bus driver.
Said Madam Thaneswary: "Education is very important to me, so this new programme has really helped us a lot by lessening our financial expenses while being able to give her an education."
She hopes to send her daughter, who loves dancing, to dance classes and to save the money for future family vacations.