Photo of Tan Chuan Jin from CNA

According to the parliamentary response by Singapore Ministers, Singapore is facing severe shortage in childcare and special education places. Minister of State for Education Janil Puthucheary said that the waiting time for a place requiring special education for autistic children will need at least 3 months to a year. The Minister however is quick to deny that there are shortages, and instead claimed that “over all, there are sufficient places”. Minister Janil Puthucheary fault parents for their preference as a factor that led to the long waiting period.

Over in childcare, Minister for Social and Family Affairs (MSF) Tan Chuan Jin revealed that there are 13,800 children on the waiting list in February alone. This figure is approximately 10% of the 130,000 places this year. Minister Tan Chuan Jin however blame parents for wanting to get “preferred centres”, claiming that 40% of the 13,800 on the waiting list already have a place but they do not want it.

The current waiting period for childcare places is at least “a few weeks to a few months”. Minister Tan Chuan Jin said that he will get HDB to include childcare centres as part of new HDB suburb planning and the MOE to increase early childhood diploma places in polytechnics.

Minister for National Development (MND) Lawrence Wong proposed to opening up the floodgate to allow foreign architects to practice in Singapore. The move is likely to reduce business costs by depressing salaries of professional architects. There is no mention if there has been a shortage of architects in Singapore, especially in today’s slowing economy where the construction sector is in a recline.