23 September 2022

Six months 100% Pre-school Fee Offset, so that children from low-income families can continue to learn and grow in school

March 2020. COVID-19 was sweeping across the world, halting global air travel.

Tengku Halid Faizal was extremely worried. With no tourists, his limousine business whittled to a trickle, and he struggled to find an alternative employment. With his savings quickly running low and bills mounting, Faizal had to decide: Should he pay for groceries and utilities first? Or his home loan? Or his handphone bill since it is a lifeline to a new job?

More importantly, can he still afford to send 6-year-old Tengku Sahfira, his middle child, to school?

I was going to take her out of school for a while, since we cannot afford it,” Faizal shared. When he received a third payment reminder for Sahfira’s school fees, he shared his situation with Ms Justine Ho, NTUC First Campus’ Learning Support Educator for Sahfira at My First Skool. Teacher Justine recommended that Faizal apply for a 100% net fee offset under the Bright Horizons Fund Care Package for COVID-19 for children from low-income families. This scheme provides a six-month net fee offset for low-income families that have experienced job loss or an involuntary reduction in income during the COVID-19 period. With the fee offset, Sahfira is able to continue attending school.

“Even during Circuit Breaker, Sahfira would have video conference sessions with her teacher and the other children once or twice a week,” Faizal shared. “She would ask, ‘Papa, why can’t we go to school now?’. But she was happy because she could meet her friends online.” During the stay-home period, Faizal spent quality time with Sahfira doing the activities in the Fun Family Time activity booklet, given by the Bright Horizons Fund.

Faizal now drives a private-hire car, and is thankful to NTUC First Campus’ Bright Horizons Fund and My First Skool for helping him tide through a difficult time. “They have been supporting us a lot,” he shared. “Sahfira has been taking extra classes in school, as part of learning support. Now, they are also helping us with the school fees. I am very grateful.”

For more information about the six months 100% Pre-school Fee Offset assistance, please click here.

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