ECONOMY, HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

30,000 households to benefit from lower preschool fees

The government is also increasing college bursaries by up to 95%.

Over 30,000 households will benefit from lower early education fees as the government moves to knock off a third of their preschool-related income expenses, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his National Day Rally speech.

The government plans to raise the income ceiling to $12,000 monthly from the current maximum income of $7,500. Meanwhile, the enhanced subsidy will decrease preschool expenses for qualified middle-income families to $370 monthly from approximately $560 currently.

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PM Lee also shared plans to boost the number of preschools supported by the government to 80%. The move will double government spending on early childhood education over the next few years.30,000 households to benefit from lower preschool fees

The government also gave updates on its pilot programme, KidSTART. In the programme, experts from the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and the Early Childhood Development Agency will visit the homes of children aged up to six years old in low-income families.

Accordingly, parents will receive support in skills and practical knowledge about child growth, health and nutrition. Children will also undergo regular screening to monitor their development and maternal well-being across the antenatal and postnatal stages for the early detection and treatment of issues.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Education will lower full-time general degree school fees in the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) from the current $8,000 to $7,500.

PM Lee also said that the government will enhance bursaries for university courses by up to 75% for general degree fees from around 50% currently.

Polytechnic diploma programmes can expect its bursaries increased by up to 95%, from 80% previously. This is expected to decrease eligible polytechnic students’ fees from $600 currently to around $150.

PM Lee also revealed plans to encourage students to take medicine by increasing government support which will allow low income medicine students to pay only $5,000 from the current school fees estimated at almost $29,000 o $35,000 annually.

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