By Lim Wee Leng | POSTED: 05 Jul 2013 11:08 PM | CNA

SINGAPORE

There has been a strong response to the tender of two childcare centre sites at Blk 22A Teban Gardens Road and Blk 168D Punggol Field.

These are the first sites to be tendered out under the revised tender framework for childcare centres.

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) said a total of 53 tender bids were received.

There were 30 bids for the site in Punggol and 23 for Teban Gardens.

Childcare operators had expected that there would be more bids for the Punggol site as it is a newer town with young couples, compared to Teban Gardens.

The government plans to build 200 more centres by 2018.

There are currently about 1,000 childcare centres across Singapore.

But some private operators are concerned that the number of centres open for tender remains low.

Jimmy New, managing director at Smiling Star Childcare, said: “If we look at the number of centres given to private operators, there are about 20. So it’s only 10 per cent given to the private operator. Currently, the private operators running childcare centres in Singapore take up about 60 per cent of the whole total market share. So if only 10 per cent is given to the private operator to tender, I believe that the tender price will still be high and then eventually the school fees will be high and all these costs will be passed down to the parents.”

– CNA/xq

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/53-tender-bids-received/735558.html