Message From Chairman And CEO
2022 marked another milestone for NTUC First Campus (NFC) as we celebrated our 45th anniversary with a refreshed brand logo and look. We also re-emphasised our commitment to serve and support young children and their families by aligning all our services behind our refreshed purpose statement: Bright Futures for every child and their family.
Our Role In The Community
As an NTUC social enterprise, our mission extends beyond providing quality infant and childcare services. We want to provide the opportunity for every child to reach his/her full potential, regardless of familial circumstances. That means that we will actively seek to level up the playing field by providing more support to those who need it more.
In 2022, we focused on three broad areas to fulfil our this mission.
Creating More Places To Meet Demand
We launched more than 1,500 new places and opened three new centres during the year, bringing the total places available at NFC to more than 29,000. A significant addition was the My First Skool (MFS) mega-centre at 6 New Punggol Road. This specially-designed centre can accommodate more than 60 infants and 500 children, with vast spaces designed for new activities and learning experiences for the children. For example, we created a ‘Makerspace’ in classrooms to encourage children to tinker around with materials and build solutions to real world problems.
As one of only five Anchor Operators appointed by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) and the second largest operator in Singapore, MFS continues to ensure that its services remain accessible, and that low-income families are provided support.
Providing More Support For Those In Need
Our Child Support Model, which offers integrated support to vulnerable children and families across diverse needs, has benefitted over 5,000 children annually. Our Model is distinctive in that it takes a holistic approach to serve not only the learning needs of the children but also the needs of the family across financial, social, learning and health dimensions. A three-year study by the National Institute of Education validated that the Model has helped children from low-income families narrow the gap and keep pace with their peers in learning and well-being.
In addition, two MFS centres were included under ECDA’s Inclusive Support Programme (InSP) last year. Under this programme, children with mild to medium developmental and learning needs receive intervention support at the centres.
Our charity fund, Bright Horizons Fund (BHF), disbursed more than $2.7 million in 2022, supporting children with childcare fees, school uniforms, field trips, schooling essentials and more. We are grateful to everyone who has contributed to the Fund, including our corporate partners, staff volunteers and the BHF Board.
Equipping Every Child With Vital Skills For The Future
Our unique pedagogy and innovative teaching methods continue to win recognition in the industry. In 2022, our teachers received 18 national teaching awards.
In addition to our core maths and literacy programmes, we enhanced our curricula in 2022 to develop and equip our children with three vital skills for the future: relational skills, global citizenship and digital intelligence. Programmes in these areas will be progressively rolled out to various centres across our network.
Nurturing Our People
At NFC, we believe that nurturing our talent is crucial for our business to thrive and succeed and we are pleased to share that our human resource practices and development programmes have made us one of the Best Companies to Work for in Asia for the fourth consecutive year.
To ensure our educators are kept abreast of the latest practices in the sector, more than 100 staff took part in overseas learning journeys and prominent international conferences. At the PECERA Annual Conference in July 2022, our NFC team of researchers and curriculum specialists also contributed to the sector by presenting their research findings on how our infant care practices have positively impacted infants’ well-being.
We also invested in streamlining teachers’ work processes so that our teachers have more time to focus on engaging children and parents.
To meet growing demand, we plan to increase total preschool places offered to over 30,000 across MFS and Little Skool-House by 2024. We are also planning to offer more outdoor and enrichment programmes to extend our children’s learning experiences beyond the classroom.
At the same time, we will expand our Child Support Model to benefit 7,000 children by 2025, up from the current 5,000.
As the sector evolves, we will continue to stay dynamic and look for new and better ways to fulfil our purpose of enabling bright futures for every child and their family.
Our achievements would not be possible without the support of all who work with us. We would like to express our gratitude to the NTUC Family, the Education Services Union, and our many community and Government partners for their support and partnership.
We would also like to acknowledge the contributions and guidance of our NFC Board members, and the confidence and collaboration of the children and parents we serve.
Above all, we thank our staff for their commitment and labour of love.