Transcript of speech by PM Lee Hsien Loong at the PAP Community Foundation Family Day 2018.
Good morning everybody. Welcome to the PCF Family Day 2018 at Gardens by the Bay. Let me just start off with a few words in Mandarin.
各位朋友早上好！很高兴能与我们人民行动党社区基金会 (PCF) 幼儿园的学生，家人，和老师们再一次欢聚一堂.
PCF也相对的配合，增设了婴幼儿教育中心 (Early Years Centres)。让家长可以放心的把两个月大以上的孩子交给PCF的老师和团队照顾。尤其是夫妇都要工作的话，可以不用为孩子的福祉操心。
Now, let me continue in English.
Welcome to the PCF Family Day!
Pre-school education has been a major focus of this Government, especially in the last few years.
We want our kids to have a good start in life, and at the same time, to enjoy their pre-school experience and have fun.
This is why we have has greatly increased Government spending on pre-school, and enabled parents to have good quality pre-school education for their children at very affordable prices.
The PCF, as an anchor operator, is doing its part – with its new centres and facilities, and we are building some more.
Recently, I visited one of PCF’s newest centres and largest one, PCF Sparkletots @ Punggol North at Edgefield Plains. It is very beautiful, round, open and airy. It can take in up to 1,000 children. The whole campus has been thoughtfully designed to create conducive learning spaces for our young children, as well as large outdoor areas where the children can play and learn. It is very beautiful. The children have a lot of fun. There is water. There are gardens. There are equipment to exercise on. You can play games. Also, classrooms and nurseries for the very little kids. Each one at a very human scale. So you do not feel like you are in a huge hall. In fact, you are in a little cosy classroom. You go out, all the other facilities are there.
That is what preschool education is about: not just learning how to write and count, but also to learn how to interact with other children, manage your own emotions, and to be curious and explore in a safe environment.
Over the last three years, PCF Sparkletots has created nearly to 10,000 places across its child care and infant care centres. In the next five years, we are going to provide preschool for another 15,000 children, by building larger preschools and upgrading existing ones. We are also enhancing the learning and development of its educators and staff, and pushing out more initiatives to support needy students. We also have the PCF Sparkle Care Centres to provide care for old folks and to be able to bring together the old folks and the young kids. So the Sparkletots can go with the Sparkle Care. The old people can have fun with the young children. And the young children can also learn how to take care of their elders, how to look after the old folks and bring some cheer to their lives.
Providing affordable, high quality pre-school education, as well as affordable eldercare, is one important way that the Government, and the PCF, are helping young families, and families with older parents, to cope with the cost of living. Dual income families can be particularly confident that their children will be well-taken care of when they are both at work. And I hope with less to worry about, parents will consider having a few more kids, and enjoy the family time together, including during the PCF Family Day.
I would like to thank Amy (Khor) and her team for organising today’s event and for slipping in a few sustainability messages to remind us not to throw plastic bottles around the place, but it is a good occasion to have fun, and to do something meaningful. I wish all the PCF teachers a very Happy Teachers’ Day.
You are here celebrating it in a very beautiful place. It is Gardens by the Bay. This is the Flower Dome. You can see they are having a sunflower display, all around us. I come here to jalan-jalan very often. I hope you will enjoy yourselves too! Exploring, looking at the pretty flowers and interesting trees, and maybe climbing up the Supertrees! Have fun!
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