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NTUC First Campus: Empowering Children and Families as a Social Enterprise

PUBLISHED

04 June 2024

Little Skool House

NTUC Enterprise is a collective of social enterprises that actively works to positively impact the lives of Singaporeans through various sectors, including healthcare, childcare, daily essentials, food, and financial services. This network includes NTUC FairPrice, NTUC First Campus, NTUC Foodfare, NTUC Health, Income Insurance, Kopitiam, NTUC LearningHub, NTUC Link, and Mercatus – each committed to meeting the community’s diverse needs.

Among these social enterprises, NTUC First Campus has been a leader in the early childhood sector since 1977. NTUC First Campus’s mission is to ensure that every child and their families, including the underprivileged and underserved, have access to quality, affordable childcare and education in Singapore.

NTUC First Campus’s Preschool Brands

NTUC First Campus operates two key preschool brands, My First Skool and Little Skool-House. These preschools are designed to foster holistic development in children, equipping them with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for success in school and life.

Curriculum

My First Skool understands how vital play is for a child’s development, especially in preschool. They employ the PETAL approach—Playing, Exploring, Thinking, and Applying Learning—which provides facilitated play experiences that encourage active exploration, critical thinking, and meaningful discoveries. 

Little Skool-House’s curriculum is carefully crafted to foster cognitive, physical, social, and emotional growth, emphasising language, bilingualism, and literacy development. Little Skool-House provides many activities that promote active learning, problem-solving skills, creativity, and character development. 

Locations

NTUC First Campus operates over 150 My First Skool centres and 20 Little Skool-House preschool centres across Singapore. Additionally, Little Skool-House provides convenient childcare solutions within several company premises, aiding working parents. This extensive network allows NTUC First Campus to deliver accessible, high-quality early childhood education and care to families throughout Singapore. (See all our preschool locations on our Locations page.)

Fees

As an Anchor-Operator, full-day childcare fees at My First Skool are capped at $680 per month (excluding subsidies) to keep preschool education affordable for all. Fees at Little Skool-House start at $1,230 a month for non Partner-Operators and are capped at $720 (excluding subsidies) for Partner-Operators. (Learn more about Subsidies here.)

The dedication of NTUC First Campus’s educators to high-quality education has been recognised through numerous prestigious awards such as The ECDA Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Development, the Ministry of Education Award (Individuals), the Leading Foundation Teacher Award, and the Singapore Preschool Chinese Language Storytelling Aids Competition.

Supporting Families Beyond the Classroom

Beyond providing quality education, NTUC First Campus supports underserved children and their families through the Child Support Model. This inclusive and comprehensive program is structured around four key pillars designed to offer essential support to families in need.

Financial Support

NTUC First Campus operates the Bright Horizons Fund. This charity fund is a lifeline for low-income families, disbursing approximately $2 million annually to support over 5,000 preschool children*. The financial support provided by the Bright Horizons Fund aims to ensure that every child, regardless of their socio-economic background, has access to quality early childhood education.

Over three thousand families receive sponsored NTUC Memberships to offset grocery costs, over one thousand children receive subsidies for school fees and schooling essentials from the Bright Horizons Fund, and over five hundred children receive a $400 top-up to their Child Development Accounts (CDA) every year*.

Learn more about our Financial Support initiatives.

Learning and Development Support

NTUC First Campus is dedicated to ensuring no child is left behind in their learning journey. When children with learning or development needs are identified, NTUC First Campus’s in-house learning support educators, learning facilitators and therapists offer targeted support through intervention programmes to empower them to keep pace with their peers.

Over seven hundred children receive in-class support for varying levels of learning needs through the Classroom Support Programme (CSP), Development Support-Learning Support Programme (DS-LS) and the Inclusive Support Programme (InSP) every year. 

Over nine hundred children receive learning support and therapy packages, such as iPad loans for eligible N2 to K2 My First Skool children under the Digital Kampung programme, every year. Over three hundred children also benefit from language and literacy support programmes like the Read-to-Reach Programme (RTR) and Focused Literacy Assistance in Reading Programme (FLAiR)*.

Learn more about our Learning and Development Support initiatives.

Health and Wellbeing Support

NTUC First Campus prioritises children’s physical and mental well-being, recognising its importance for a positive start in life. Hence, NTUC First Campus aids low-income families by providing practical necessities such as school bags and essentials, food packs, groceries and infant nutrition products

Mental health support, such as health workshops and stress management workshops, is also provided for parents and guardians. The You Are Special programme provides birthday gift packs to children from low-income families on their special days.

To enable greater learning exposure and holistic development, NTUC First Campus offers various well-being programmes, such as sports and arts enrichment programmes, through its You’ve Got Talent (YGT) initiative. Family excursions under the Family and School Together Programme (FAST) allow families to bond, enhancing their overall wellness. Over five thousand children receive a carefully designed Family and Child Activity Kit for families to bond at home through fun activities, and over eight hundred children receive food packs with essential groceries annually*.

Learn more about our Health and Wellbeing Support initiatives.

Social Support

The KidSTART program is designed to help children aged 0 to 6 from low-income families in Singapore get a strong start in life. It supports their parents and caregivers in understanding and promoting early childhood development. The programme assists pregnant mothers and tracks children’s developmental milestones from birth, coordinating comprehensive services for families as required.

KidSTART equips parents and caregivers with the necessary skills to:

  • Establish nurturing relationships with their children;
  • Support their children’s development appropriate to their age;
  • Look after their children’s health and social well-being during their early years.

NTUC First Campus has been involved with KidSTART since its beginning in 2016, implementing the program in selected My First Skool centres. Here, families benefit from the guidance of Child Enabling Executives (CEEs), who provide advice on child development, health, and nutrition. CEEs also work closely with teachers from My First Skool, social workers, and community stakeholders to ensure children receive tailored support and interventions for their well-being.

Learn more about our Social Support initiatives.

Summary

In its pursuit of empowering children and families, NTUC First Campus goes beyond the traditional educational scope. NTUC First Campus adopts a comprehensive approach to its initiatives, ensuring they contribute not only to children’s educational needs but also to the broader empowerment of families. By addressing the evolving needs of families and staying abreast of the latest developments, NFC exemplifies how a Social Enterprise model can be a catalyst for positive change within the education sector.

By committing to the empowerment of children and families, NFC is not only shaping young minds but also contributing to the creation of a stronger and more resilient community. As the educational landscape evolves, NFC continues to lead by example, demonstrating the lasting impact Social Enterprises can have on the lives they touch.

Find out more about NFC’s initiatives here.

*All figures provided in this article are accurate as of 5 March 2024. Please refer to NTUC First Campus’s Child Support Model website for updated information.

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