More Childcare Centres Fine Parents Who’re Late; Up to $10 Per 5 Min


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I‘m not a mum just yet so this implementation may not concern me. But talk about money and suddenly, it becomes every Singaporean’s concern.

And this is what’s happening in sunny Singapore – fines for parents who are late in picking up their child from school.

Just so you know, these fines are not regulated by the Ministry of Social and Family Development. They are merely “commercial arrangements” between the centers and parents.

1 in 10 of some 1,400 childcare centers have a late-pickup fine policy

So these fine policy really differ from centre to centre.

Some may give verbal warnings before enforcing the penalties while others may opt for a grace period of 5 to 10 minutes.

Madam Zaiton Mohd Ali, head of Iyad Perdaus Child Development, has had this fine system in place since some 20 years back. But before enforcement, parents are given at least one chance.

Image: straitstimes.com

If parents still do not show up after a five-minute grace period, they are charged $10 for the next five minutes and $5 for every subsequent five minutes.

Since most childcare centres close at 7 pm on weekdays and 2 pm on Saturdays, we will use this for analogy sake.

Example, if parent A comes to pick up her child at 7.30pm, she will be charged:

$0 (5-minute grace period) $10 (next 5 minutes) + $20 (subsequent 20 minutes) = $30

Machiam paying for parking fees like that.


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But it’s also because of these ‘park-your-child’ fees at the centre that situations have improved over the years. According to Madam Zaiton, late pickups now happen 1 to 3 times a month and do not exceed 30 minutes.

(I mean, that’s a given right? Who wants to pay extra $30 every day? Think donation meh?)

On the other hand, the supervisor of a centre in Ang Mo Kio, who declined to be named, said: “We have to be fair to the teachers, who may have plans after work, such as having dinner with their families.”

The centre first introduced the surcharge last year because a handful of parents would deliberately arrive later since they knew that teachers would still be around even after operating hours.

Response from parents

This is the interesting part. Of course, you will hear some ‘noise’ from parents who are affected.

“Sometimes, my wife and I can’t get off work on time. It is also not nice to keep requesting to leave work earlier. The centre’s intention is good, but it can be a costly lesson if we turn up minutes late,” a parent who did not give his name said.

Definitely agree with the above. I can resonate with the “can’t get off work on time” part. Probably there are a few of us who can understand the pain of having to OT.

But not all parents are viewing this negatively.

Business manager, Jody Wong, 35, who has a four-year-old daughter, said the fine system encourages parents to be punctual.

“Children look to their parents as role models. Many would be disappointed if they have to wait a long time for their parents to pick them up.”


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Thoughts

Now we know why the government’s giving us $20,000 grant to buy a resale flat near to our parent’s place.

Image: glee.wikia.com

And honestly, it’s a little tough to come to a compromise for this.

I guess the best childcare centres could do is to give some chances for repeatedly late parents. While for parents who are constantly late, one might need some adjustments.

And let’s pray that the MRT wouldn’t break down anymore during peak hours.

Always quarrel with your bae? Then you need to watch this video and learn this trick on how to resolve arguments without any compromise or apology (and also subscribe to Goody Feed YouTube channel):

This article was first published on goodyfeed.com


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Featured image: Straits Times