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My First Skool raises fees for 3rd year in a row

SINGAPORE — On the back of fee increases announced last week by PCF, the largest childcare operator here, NTUC’s My First Skool has followed suit, making this the third consecutive year the operator is raising fees.

My First Skool raises fees for 3rd year in a row

The increases will apply to 113 of My First Skool’s 120 centres, and letters were given to parents today. TODAY file photo

SINGAPORE — On the back of fee increases announced last week by PCF, the largest childcare operator here, NTUC’s My First Skool has followed suit, making this the third consecutive year the operator is raising fees.

In a letter addressed to parents of children enrolled with My First Skool, the anchor operator said the fee increases average S$34 per month for childcare and S$14 for infant care next year. This brings monthly fees for toddler, playgroup and nursery classes to S$743.12, inclusive of Goods and Services Tax (GST), while fees for K1 and K2 classes will increase to S$678.31. The nursery classes saw the largest fee increase of S$69.02. 

The increases will apply to 113 of their 120 centres, and letters were given to parents today (Sept 30).

Even with the increases, the fees will come in under the fee caps imposed by the Early Childhood Development Agency for such operators to keep fees affordable. For example, the fee cap for full-day childcare is S$720 before GST. 

Kinderland’s Skool4kidz and EtonHouse International’s E-bridge, which were appointed anchor operators last year, are already charging the maximum allowable fees. 

PCF, which confirmed last week that it was raising fees for most of its centres next year, will still see some centres offering fees below the cap. For example, full-day childcare at its Sparkletots Preschool @ Nanyang Block 922 will be S$674.10 next year. 

Metropolitan YMCA’s MY World Preschool, which raised fees to start at S$610 for full-day childcare this year, told TODAY earlier that it has no plans to raise fees next year. 

To help parents adjust to the fees, My First Skool will give parents a rebate on the increase from January to March. This is similar to measures by PCF, which will provide rebates for six months to affected Singaporean and permanent-resident parents. 

Launched in 2009, the anchor operator scheme provides funding to selected operators in order to provide more affordable quality early childhood care and education, especially for lower income families.  

My First Skool has said before that annual fee increases are necessary to improve the quality of their programmes and keep up with rising operating costs. 

Responding to the increases, consultant Tracy Nguen, 32, whose son is enrolled in My First Skool, said the increase is acceptable if they are used to improve facilities, although she noted her “salary is not increasing as much”.

Another parent, Mr Cheong Kai Siong, 32, a pilot whose daughter is also enrolled in My First Skool, said: “I think that it’s justifiable with the increasing cost of living, and teachers need to keep up to employ better teachers to provide a better standard of education.”

Correction: In an earlier version of this report, we stated that My First Skool reached the fee caps imposed by the Early Childhood Development Agency's after its fee increases. This is incorrect. Their fees remain below the cap. We apologise for the error.

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