MESSAGE FROM CHAIRMAN AND CEO
A second year of the COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated NTUC First Campus’ (NFC) ability to operate in a new norm where innovation and technology are key to continued growth for our business.
On the education front, we leveraged on previous insights gathered on digital learning, and launched new educational experiences for the children and families we serve, and new parents who are eager to expose their toddlers to learning ahead of formal education in pre-schools. This has allowed us to raise the bar of our educational offerings to existing children as well as new toddlers and their parents.
Fulfilling the promise of every child through the provision of high-quality pre-school education has always been at the heart of what we do. To ensure that NFC continues to uphold our mission, we have embraced digitalisation, re-designing the way we work to boost our productivity and collaboration among colleagues. This allows us to be nimble and agile, ready to take on new challenges of the future.
As we continue to grow alongside our colleagues, we remain committed to our social mission of ensuring the families whose children attend our schools are well taken care of. We offer support to them – both financial and social – ensuring that their children can continue to attend school and develop holistically.
At the same time, we recognise that our success starts with the well-being and growth of our people. Adopting a people-centric approach in all that we do, we attract passionate employees and nurture them wholeheartedly – caring for their well-being and offering plenty of opportunities for them to grow in their careers. This is the reason NFC has been able to achieve our vision and mission since we started in 1977.
Touching More Lives
Children across NFC’s centres
Children from low-income families
My First Skool (MFS) continues to provide high-quality child development and care services to working families in every Singapore neighbourhood. In 2021, MFS served 22,000 children across its 145 centres.
We have also extended our support to help low-income families tide through a second year of pandemic. A total of $4.3 million was disbursed to support 5,900 children from low-income families in 2021. Through the Bright Horizons Fund, we launched four new programmes to increase financial support for families, and bridged learning gaps worsened by the pandemic. These programmes ensured that the children under our care could continue to flourish through having an undisrupted education.
Mohamed Rafi Bin Abdul Jameel, Child Enabling Executive from NTUC First Campus’ Child Support Services Department, offers social support to Mr Roy Ng and his family through the application of grants.
Enhancing Our Pedagogy
Ang Peck Qi, English Lead Teacher at My First Skool at 51 Fernvale Link, conducts a Home Learning Programme session for our children and parents.
As a leader in the early childhood education sector, NFC is always looking for new ways to engage our children in learning – leveraging on digital technology to better our existing educational tools – and in the process, expanding new educational services to a new market of parents.
In 2020, MFS started its Home Learning Programme when pre-schools were closed, and this has since been expanded to become part of its regular pre-school experience, benefitting 22,000 children and their parents across our 145 centres.
Available and accessible through a microsite platform on parents’ computers and tablets, the programme aims to be a ‘Teacher in the Home’, providing three methods of learning for children with content produced by MFS – live sessions on Saturday mornings with our teachers or industry partners such as nutritionists and musicians; twice a week pre-recorded guided reading sessions in the evenings, and an e-Repository of thematic content available on demand. The programme addresses the needs of parents who want to be a proactive part of their child’s learning journey, to be able to engage in fun and meaningful home learning experiences together.
In August 2021, Little Skool-House (LSH) launched the Golden Window of Learning (GWL) programme, a home-based learning programme for parents who want to introduce their toddlers between 1 and 2 years old to learning in both English and Mandarin as they are confined to the home setting amid the pandemic. The programme has had an encouraging start and we will look into ways to expand it further to reach new audiences.
Parents of Marilyn and Meredith Tan bond with their two children over a Home Learning Programme session conducted by My First Skool.
Growing with Our Employees
Employees at My First Skool Business Centre using the SkoolNet 2 platform.
In 2021, NFC piloted SkoolNet 2 (SN2), an integrated platform accessible via computers, tablets and mobile phones, which enables parents to stay updated on their child’s activities at school through the posts uploaded by teachers. They can also pay school fees and sign up for enrichment classes for their child. At the same time, SN2 empowers our employees to work more efficiently, and channel more time and resources to new initiatives that create value for our children. The platform was launched across 22 MFS and all 20 LSH pre-school centres in 2021, and will be rolled out to the remaining MFS centres in 2022.
Leading the Way
Being agile, nimble and committed in our course of work allowed us to deliver and achieve more than what we set out to do.
Amid the challenges of the pandemic, our pre-schools and educators have continued to excel in providing an exceptional early childhood education for the children we serve, receiving 11 national awards in 2021.
- ECDA Awards for Excellence in Early Childhood Development 2021
- Outstanding Pre-school Mother Tongue Language Teacher Awards 2021
- Pre-school Chinese Language Storytelling Aids Competition Awards 2021
Xue Jiaojiao, Chinese Teacher at My First Skool at 51 Fernvale Link, is conducting an exploration activity with the children at a light table.
As an employer, we believe our success lies in the quality and well-being of our employees. Hence, we embrace a people-centric strategy – offering plenty of opportunities for career growth and development, while simultaneously ensuring that employees are well cared for. Acknowledging that our employees had to manage additional workload during the pandemic, we continued to roll out well-being initiatives, and listened to our employees’ feedback. These were some ways we showed that we value all our employees, and we were grateful to have been recognised as one of “HR Asia’s Best Companies to Work for in Asia” by Business Media International for the third consecutive year. NFC was also the first pre-school operator to receive the “WeCare” award, a true testament of our people-centric policy.
Children from afterschool at Alexandra Primary School enjoying outdoor sports activities.
We would like to thank the National Trades Union Congress, NTUC Enterprise, the Education Services Union, and our community and Government partners for their support and partnership.
Our successes would also not be possible without the invaluable inputs and guidance of members of the NFC Board, and the trust and partnership of the children we nurture and their parents we serve.
Most of all, we thank our staff for their agility, dedication and hard work.
Amid the challenges in 2021, we nimbly adapted and pulled together as an organisation, turning adversities into opportunities as we grew together and alongside the families we serve. As we take heart in how much we have achieved together, we will keep on innovating our pedagogy and work practices, to scale new heights in the future.