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Advisory to Parents – Keeping Our Children Safe Against COVID-19 – Schools to suspend general services
3 April 2020
Dear Parents / Guardians
Keeping Our Children Safe Against COVID-19: Schools to suspend general services
In view of the increasing number of locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in Singapore in the past week, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce will be implementing more safe distancing measures as a circuit breaker to limit the local transmission of COVID-19. The aim is to minimise movements and interactions in public and private places, and encourage everyone to stay at home unless necessary for essential purposes.
Suspension of general services
2 The Ministry of Education (MOE) and Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) will require all preschools, MOE Kindergartens and student care centres to suspend their general services from 8 April 2020 until 4 May 2020. Parents should keep their children home during this period.
Home-based activity resources
3 During this period when preschools are suspended, your preschool will keep in touch with your child to check on his/ her general well-being. Home-based activity resources will also be shared with schools and parents to support your child’s development while at home.
Limited service provision
4 During this period, even though preschools are closed and general services suspended,preschools will remain open to serve a limited group of parents/guardians who are working in essential services and unable to find alternative care arrangements. Priority will be given to the following:
• Children of healthcare workers
• Children of low / daily wage workers employed in essential services
5 For parents/guardians working in essential services and are unable to find alternative care during this period, please inform your preschool by 6 April 2020 (Monday) if you need services.
6 In line with this, all Development Support and Learning support (DS-LS) and Development Support-Plus (DS-Plus) interventions in the preschools will be suspended. Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC) centres will remain open only to a limited group of children with higher needs that require face to face interventions, while the rest will be supported online.
Support with subsidies
7 The Early Childhood Development agency (ECDA) will continue to disburse infant/child care subsidies and KiFAS in full to applicable preschools, and automatically waive the minimum 1-day attendance and its qualifying requirements (e.g. payment of fees) for the month of April.
8 MOE and MSF will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and to review the measures. Please refer to the joint press release for details:https://www.moe.gov.sg/news/press-releases/schools-and-institutes-of-higher-learning-to-shift-to-full-home-based-learning-preschools-and-student-care-centres-to-suspend-general-services
9 We understand that many families will be affected by this measure. Since January 2020, we have steadily implemented precautionary measures in preschools to safeguard the health and wellbeing of children and staff. Despite best efforts, the rising number of local COVID-19 cases in Singapore necessitates a further tightening of our measures and for us to do more to protect our children and staff.
10 The fight against COVID-19 requires the collective effort of every single person in the preschool community. In the best interest of your child and family, we strongly advise you to keep your child at home during this period and avoid going out unnecessarily, except to purchase daily necessities, essential services, or for urgent medical needs. There should be no social gatherings; and social contact should be confined to immediate family members during this period.
11 Please monitor your child for fever (e.g. body temperature more than 37.5°C) and/or respiratory symptoms such as sore throat, runny nose, cough and breathlessness. If your child is unwell, see a doctor immediately and inform the preschool.
12 We know that this is a challenging time for many, and an unprecedented one for us all. Now more than ever, we need to come together as a community because as SG United, we can beat the virus together.
Early Childhood Development Agency