Registration is now open for the new two-storey Skool4kidz large childcare centre (YLCCC) at Yishun Avenue 11, that is scheduled to start operation in the middle of the year. Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Social and Family Development, officially launched the registration on 16 January 2016 at a Carnival organised by Skool4kidz.
Parents can now register their children for the 300 places at the centre through the Registration Management System (RMS) on the website of the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA).
The kick-off for registration was witnessed by some 200 parents and their children who attended the Carnival, which featured an on-the-spot art competition, a dance performance by preschoolers from Skool4kidz Yishun Orchid Spring, as well as station games and lucky draw.
Carnival participants were also given an introduction to YLCCC’s unique facilities and programmes, at the Architecture Gallery and “Parts of the Plant” Activity Corner.
YLCCC Plethora of Learning Space and Facilities
At the Architecture Gallery, parents have a first-hand preview of the plethora of learning areas and facilities, that holistically nurtures the intellectual and social-emotional development of a child.
With a built-up area of 1,990 sqm, which is three times the size of the average childcare centre, the new two-storey Skool4kidz YLCCC will have an abundance of covered and outdoor spaces to support its Integrated Thematic Curriculum.
Play areas in the centre have been designed to stimulate exploring, experimenting and learning, including an innovative playhouse and a fun water-play area at the atrium. In addition, a community herb-garden and a rain garden will give children real-life lessons on botany and agriculture.
Skool4kidz children will be involved in harvesting herbs and vegetables, such as tomatoes and spring onions, that are usually included in the menu for their meals. At the Skool4kidz YLCCC kitchen, the interactive environment will allow children to help prepare ingredients and, through a glass panel, watch the process of how food is prepared and cooked “live”. Freshly-cooked nutritious meals will be served to the children at the al fresco dining area adjoining the kitchen.
Also in the plans are a rock climbing structure, a large sand pit, as well as a soundscape area, to further extend learning opportunities for the children.
To spur imagination and creativity, this centre will have a specially-designed Atelier inspired by the internationally renowned Reggio Emilia approach. This space will allow children to use various art materials as well as other mediums such as recycled and natural materials to express their ideas in a “hundred languages”.
“In addition, a “painting” wall just outside the Atelier will give more space for the children to indulge their senses through texture, colour and self-expression,” said Dr Jane Ching-Kwan, Director of Skool4kidz.
A stand-out feature as part of the building design is the 155 sqm Multi-Purpose Room (MPR) on the second level, which has an extra high ceiling. This provides the spatial outdoor sky like volume above running tracks, play structure and obstacle-courses,and allows large group activities to further support and complement learning and growing at Skool4kidz. The MPR has full-height glass panels, which allows children to view external activities and vice versa. This creates a transparency between internal and external spaces.
Smart Indoor-Outdoor Learning at YLCCC
Skool4kidz curriculum will be designed to provide interactive and effective lessons for its children, by leveraging the unique facilities of the centre.
Children had a teaser of the lesson during the YLCCC Carnival, at the “Parts of the Plant” activity corner. The activity showcased a “Reading Centre”, where teachers read with children under a tree, as well as a “Botany Lab”, where children experiment with real plants and seeds – using their bare hands and mobile tablets.
At YLCCC, such learning sessions will be conducted at the various indoor and outdoor botanic areas, including the herb garden and atrium. These hands-on activities will give students a unique learning experience of touching and feeling the plants, as well as seeding, cultivating and harvesting agriculture.
Furthermore, tablets will be leveraged to enhance learning, by providing a guided learning experience, where students will be fed with content as they encounter nature. For instance, when a child is at a tomato plant, the mobile tablet will push information of a tomato’s lifecycle and nutritional values, and the child will interactively “swipe through the lesson”.