The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) on Monday (6 April) has ordered a PAP Community Foundation (PCF) Sparkletots centre in Hougang to close until 15 April after a teacher was confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.
PCF Sparkletots Centre in Hougang
In a statement on Monday, ECDA said the “non-PCF para-educator who provides intervention programmes for the children at the PCF Sparkletots centre at Block 414 Hougang Avenue 10 was last in the centre on Wednesday (April 1) and had developed symptoms the next day.”
The preschool centre’s closure will cover the 14-day incubation period of COVID-19, starting from the day the teacher was last in the centre. Contact tracing is ongoing.
All affected staff and children will be placed on a Leave of Absence during the closure period, ECDA said.
In March, some 40,000 preschool children were affected by a 4-day closure as the ECDA orders the operator to review its precautionary measures and to clean and disinfect all its premises. | Image source: Facebook
According to the agency, the PCF Sparkletots Centre in Hougang will resume limited service provision on Thursday, 16 April—barring any new developments—to serve the group of parents who are working in essential services and are unable to extend their alternative care arrangements beyond the closure period.
“The centre will conduct a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the preschool premises and is closely monitoring its staff and parents on the health of their children. This is in addition to earlier precautionary measures that were implemented in accordance [with] MOH’s and ECDA’s guidelines,” the agency said.
“Preschools are reminded to be vigilant when conducting health checks, and to observe high standards of personal and environmental hygiene,” it added.
Preschools, Care Centres To Be Suspended Amid COVID-19 Outbreak
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the Ministry of Education (MOE) on 4 April announced that from 8 April to 4 May, all preschools are also to suspend their general services and to remain open only to serve a limited group of parents who are unable to find alternative care arrangements, such as those working in essential services like healthcare.
Preschools and student care centres will suspend general services from 8 April.
The agency said it will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation to assess if these measures need to be prolonged.
ECDA will waive the minimum 1-day attendance requirement for preschool subsidies in April. The Ministry of Social And Family Development (MSF) will also waive the minimum attendance requirement for Student Care Fee Assistance (SCFA) subsidies in April.
According to MOE, home-based learning resources developed by various preschools will be progressively shared with all other preschools and parents.
Preschools will also continue to keep in contact with children during this period to check on their general well-being and progress.