The Setting Up of Anglican Preschool Services

The Setting Up of Anglican Preschool Services

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2 June 2021

The Setting Up of Anglican Preschool Services

The idea of setting up a common entity within the Diocese of Singapore to integrate all Anglican preschools was mooted as far back as 2016. By then, St James’ Church had already registered a company known as St James’ Preschool Services (Anglican) Ltd (SJPS), so it was decided that instead of re-inventing the wheel, a more practical approach would be to morph SJPS to Anglican Preschool Services (APS) with a name change to cast the net wider and embrace all preschools within the Diocese. To this end, a task force was set up to work on integrating all Anglican preschools under the banner of a common entity to be called Anglican Preschool Services (APS).

This project gained momentum in 2019 when ECDA (Early Childhood Development Agency), the government-backed agency that oversees the development of preschool education in Singapore, invited childcare centres to apply for government subsidies through the C-POP (Partner Operator) Scheme. As one of the criteria for eligibility was a single entity with more than 300 childcare places, all the five Anglican Childcare Centres agreed to band together to apply for C-POP under the banner of SJPS while the application for name change to APS was being processed.

While the main objective of APS was to enhance the quality of early childhood education based on Christian values, the benefits of integration are many. By banding all our preschools together, we can build a strong group identity. By pooling our human and financial resources among our preschools, we encourage mutual support, exchange of ideas as well as sharing of experiences and expertise. Besides the advantage of economies of scale through sharing of resources, banding our preschools together can also create pathways for professional development as well as career advancement for our preschool educators within and across preschools.

The application for C-POP was submitted on 1 January 2020. The results were announced in November and we were happy to learn that all the ten childcare centres included in the application were granted C-POP status. The ten centres include all five childcare centres from within the Diocese, four from The Salvation Army and one from Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church which had joined SJPS prior to the announcement of C-POP and were included in the application. All five non-Anglican childcare centres have transferred their licence to APS and are now fully owned by APS.

NAME OF PRESCHOOL

CHURCH

Little Seeds Preschool (Ascension)

Church of the Ascension

Little Seeds Preschool (Kiddy Ark)

All Saints’ Church (English congregation)

Little Seeds Preschool (Praiseland)

Yishun Christian Church (Anglican)

Little Seeds Preschool (Sonshine)

Chapel of the Resurrection

Little Seeds Preschool (St Andrew’s)

St Andrew’s Cathedral

Little Seeds Preschool  (TSA-Tampines)

The Salvation Army

Little Seeds Preschool (TSA-Ang Mo Kio)

The Salvation Army

Little Seeds Preschool (TSA-Bukit Batok East)

The Salvation Army

Little Seeds Preschool (TSA-Bukit Panjang)

The Salvation Army

Little Seeds Preschool (Capstone)

Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church

By banding all our preschools together, we can build a strong group identity. By pooling our human and financial resources among our preschools, we encourage mutual support, exchange of ideas as well as sharing of experiences and expertise.

Our successful bid for C-POP status meant that from January 2021, all ten childcare centres started to receive grants from the government to help keep school fees low. The government will also provide subsidies to facilitate the recruitment and retention of good quality staff.

We received the good news in January 2021 that MOE had approved the change of name from St James Preschool Services (SJPS) to Anglican Preschool Services (APS). The new name was registered with ACRA and ECDA was duly informed. Thus with effect from 23 January 2021, APS officially came into existence. The HQ of APS is located within the Diocesan Centre Building at Francis Thomas Drive. A new APS Board was set up with a wider representation from parishes within the Diocese and Mr Andrew Tay was appointed the new Chief Executive Officer.

We praise and thank God for two positive outcomes in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic – the smooth morphing of SJPS to APS and our successful application to C-POP. The next step is to integrate the kindergartens under the banner of APS and our family of Anglican preschools will be fully integrated.

Accolades for our Early Childhood Educators
We have close to 500 staff in our preschools and all have worked very hard. Many went beyond their call of duty to ensure that their young charges grow and learn in a safe environment during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Their efforts did not go unnoticed and we congratulate the following who have received awards and accolades from the authorities in 2020. Congratulations to all our award winners.  They have done us proud and we thank God for their dedication and commitment.

Update on Principals' Movement
We are sad to bid farewell to two preschool principals who have left our service.

Ms Michele Koh from St Paul's Church Kindergarten had served as principal for 11 years.  During her tenure the preschool obtained SPARK status in 2018 and set up the 1st Explorers' Company, a preschool uniform group by Boy's Brigade and Girl's Brigade.

Mrs Jacqueline Jason was at the helm of Christ Church Kindergarten for six years before moving to St Hilda’s Kindergarten for another four years. The focus of her leadership was to create a positive school culture where staff, students and parents feel valued and experience the mighty love of our Lord.

We thank both Ms Koh and Mrs Jason for their faithful service in the past years and wish them God’s guidance and blessings in their future endeavours.

Conclusion
The journey to set up Anglican Preschool Services through integration of the preschools was not always smooth sailing, but whenever we encountered challenges and obstacles, God was always there to show the way and provide a solution.  APS is a reality now and all the childcare centres have been integrated under its banner.  We thank God for His goodness and faithfulness and pray for His continuous guidance as we embark on the next and final phase of our project – the integration of all the Anglican kindergartens.

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