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Building a great place for families and future generations

Strengthening families and support for the vulnerable.

08 Mar 2017

The Ministry of Social and Family Development shared its plans to ensure Singapore remains a great place to raise children and form stable families.

STRENGTHENING FAMILIES FROM THE VERY START

Evolving parenting skills as children become tweens and teens: To support parents during their children’s transition years, the Positive Parenting Programme (Triple P) and Signposts under the FamilyMatters! Initiative will be expanded to 175 schools by 2018.

Enhance early childhood provision and affordability for families with young children

More infant- and child- care places:  10,000 more child care places will be added in estates with high proportions of young families next year. The number of infant care places will also be increased from 4,000 infants today, to over 8,000 by 2020, in order to provide more support to families with infants.

ENSURE ADEQUATE MANPOWER TO SUPPORT EARLY CHILDHOOD PROVISION

Supporting infant care: Educarers are early childhood professionals who work with infants, toddlers and nursery-aged children. About 1,000 more infant educarers are needed over the next four years. A new job role called Allied Infant Educarers will be piloted by MSF where they will work with existing infant care staff to provide holistic care and development for infants aged two to 18 months.

New training for early childhood professionals: New entrants to the sector can look forward to a pilot training approach for Allied Infant Educarers, where aptitude and competency, rather than academic qualifications, will be emphasised. There will also be more career and development opportunities for professionals in the early childhood sector.

More structured professional and career development opportunities:  The Professional Development Programme (PDP) for Educarers will be launched this month. Educarers will undergo a structured training over three-years to deepen their skills and prepare them for larger job roles, such as team leaders and mentors to newer colleagues. Educarers can expect to receive cash awards, ranging from $3,000 to $5,000, at the end of each professional development milestone.

More support for pre-schools teachers’ education: The SkillsFuture Study Award, worth $5,000, will be extended later this year to support pre-school teachers embarking on the new Advanced Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching and Learning. With this Advanced Diploma, teachers will be better prepared to take on larger roles such as lead teachers and curriculum specialists, and thereby raise the quality of preschools.

UPDATE ON KIDSTART PROGRAMME

ECDA will partner the community to roll out more community playgroups and enhance support for preschools in KidSTART pilot areas in the near term. Up to 1,000 children will be supported over the next three years.

SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES EXPERIENCING ABUSE AND NEGLECT

Growing fostering capacity:  A third fostering agency will be set up later in the year, expanding the fostering capacity of the two agencies run by MCYC Community Services Society and Boys’ Town.

UPDATES ON VULNERABLE ADULTS ACT AND MENTAL CAPACITY ACT

The Vulnerable Adults Act (VAA) will be introduced in Parliament in 2018. MSF is gathering feedback from community-based organisations to help finalise the details of the Bill.

A framework for the professional deputy and donee scheme is currently being developed and will be launched at the end of the year. When the scheme is launched at the end of 2017, professionals such as lawyers, accountants, social workers, doctors and nurses may register to be professional deputies or donees .

The Integrated Home and Day Care Package will also be expanded to allow more seniors to have a combination of both home care and day care services, depending on their needs.

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