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Parents of preschoolers will have to raise prices in 2023, with major chains planning to raise monthly fees by up to 11%.

Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse, which has eight centers, charges at least $1,600 pre-GST ($80 more) and $1,800 per day ($100 more) for half-day programs starting January 1st.

In his September 1 letter to parents, he cited inflation and rising operating costs.

Sherry Hearts, which has 7 centres, sees an 11% increase in fares from $1,316 to $1,461 (including GST).

Charis Montessori, with 4 distributors, increased prices for all-day programs by 10% from $1,500 to $1,650; MindChamps, with nearly 40 distributors, increased pre-GST prices by 7% from $2,055 to $2,195 To do.

However, pre-primary institutions that receive government subsidies to promote access to early education need to keep fees affordable, especially for children from low-income and disadvantaged backgrounds.

Anchor operator preschool institutions designated by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) currently have a pre-GST fee cap of $720. These include PCF Sparkletots Preschool, My First Skool, MY World Preschool, Skool4Kidz and E-Bridge Pre-School.

ECDA designated partner operators such as Star Learners Child Care and Little Skool House have a fee cap of $760 before GST.

According to the agency, the anchor operator’s kindergarten rate cap has not changed since 2014, while the partner operator’s kindergarten rate cap has been reduced in 2021.

This has reduced the median fee for the preschool sector from $800 for one-day care in 2016 to $760 in 2021, before subsidies, he added.

Straits Times understands that PCF Sparkletots, the largest preschool provider with more than 360 centers serving more than 40,000 children, is in discussions with ECDA about fees. The full day program costs him $770.40 (including GST) excluding subsidies.

Star Learners, which currently charges $760 for the full-day program, said it has no plans to increase the price.

MY World, which currently charges $720, told ST it was committed to “ensuring that we continue to evolve our curriculum to meet the interests of today’s children,” but has raised the price. It didn’t say if it would.

Prices for K1 and K2 half-day programs remain at $160 across 43 centers.

The last $10 price increase was in 2018, according to the Department of Education. The MOE Kindergarten program was launched in 2014 to provide affordable pre-primary education for Singaporeans.

Fee increases are on top of the current high costs of many other goods and services due to inflation.

Mark Lee, who has two children, ages 3 and 5, enrolled at My First School and has a 1-year-old on the waiting list, is concerned about possible increases in preschool fees.

“It’s going to be expensive and definitely feel the pinch as food, gas and utility bills are soaring,” he said.

“Governments should consider subsidizing or absorbing increases in government-supported pre-primary education, as private pre-primary institutions already charge a premium for their curriculum. , can bear most of the increase.”

Mr. Lee, who is in his 30s and works in business development, said switching to a cheaper kindergarten was not an easy task, adding: (element). “

According to ECDA, more than 60% of preschool children are enrolled in government-supported preschools.

ECDA offers basic and supplemental means-tested subsidies, $300 for working mothers and $150 for other mothers.

In 2020, ECDA increased the total monthly income limit for means-tested grants from $7,500 to $12,000 and increased the amount of grants.

About 92,000 families now receive means-tested preschool grants, up from about 48,000 children in 2019, according to ECDA. Some of the leading preschools to raise fees in 2023, latest Singapore news

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