Dear A.S.S. Editor
The first inclusive pre-school in Singapore, where special needs children are enrolled in the same classes as other children, have shocked parents when they announced that they will have a fee hike of about twice the current amount. This comes just two years after the centre was opened.
The centre did announce that they will also adopt a tiered-fee model, with low-income families charged less. However, the fee hike is unprecedented, as usually when pre-schools raise fees, most do so by 5 per cent to 10 per cent. Kindle Garden told parents last week that it would raise fees from $980 to $1,880 a month for full-day childcare from January next year. This is before factoring in the goods and services tax, and subsidies from charity Awwa, which runs the centre, and the Government. The median fee for full-day childcare is $867 as of the end of June.
Depending on their incomes, parents could receive Awwa subsidies of up to $900, the Government’s basic subsidy of $300 for working mothers, and the Government’s additional subsidies of up to $440. The centre has 83 children enrolled, of whom 30 per cent have special needs and learn alongside other children.