Singapore, 9 October 2015 – The Temasek Cares KIDS 0-3 Centre puts under one roof, health, social and educational services for vulnerable children aged 0 to three, and their mothers from the Temasek Cares Kids Integrated Development Service 0-3 ("Temasek Cares KIDS 0-3") programme. The unique Temasek Cares KIDS 0-3 programme aims to provide a comprehensive spectrum of care through a multi-layered and integrated community health and social care support system.
The Temasek Cares KIDS 0-3 Centre has now been set up at block 643, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5, to provide this wide range of care. Temasek Cares, KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) and AMKFSC Community Services Ltd (AMKFSC) officially launched the Temasek Cares KIDS 0-3 Centre this morning, at an opening ceremony attended by President Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam. The Centre is also a beneficiary of President's Challenge 2014.
The Centre is supported by a team of professionals from KKH and AMKFSC. Through centre-based services and home visitations, they will regularly assess the development of the children and ensure that vaccinations are up to date. Expectant mothers are provided with pre- and post-natal care and taught how to care for, and interact with the child, including proper nutrition, lifestyle adjustments, breast-feeding, and providing stimulating environment for early childhood learning. Families are also provided with psychosocial support where needed, such as financial assistance, employment and mental health services. Other than attending programmes, mothers and children may also drop by the Centre for a snack and drink, and for social interaction.
Mr Richard Magnus, Chairman, Temasek Cares, said: "Children need the right start in life to reach their full potential. The critical window for development is from age 0 to 3. We initiated the Temasek Cares KIDS 0-3 programme to provide children from vulnerable families with the same start as all other children – good nutrition, early stimulation, cognitive development and emotional security. This will help them close the development gap by the time they enter pre-school. The new Temasek Cares KIDS 0-3 Centre brings many of the needed services under one roof in the neighbourhood. Children and their mothers can visit the Centre and get help from doctors and specialists from KKH, social workers from AMKFSC, and other professionals. Or they can just drop in to have some food or play with other children. This is the first time that such a dedicated centre is available in Singapore."
More than 110 families enrolled in the Temasek Cares KIDS 0-3 programme are expected to benefit from the new Centre. These families come from Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Toa Payoh and surrounding areas. The programme also receives referrals from government agencies, health agencies, child development and education centres, voluntary welfare organisations, family service centres and neighbourhood organisations.
Professor Chay Oh Moh, Programme Director, Temasek Cares KIDS 0-3 and Senior Consultant, Respiratory Medicine Service and Campus Director, Education Office, KK Women's and Children's Hospital, said: "Over the last one year, we have reached out to more than 110 vulnerable families under Temasek Cares KIDS 0-3. We are also delighted to have received positive feedback from the families on how the programme has greatly benefitted them. As this community-based model of care strives to promote the child's development and learning through home visitation, centre-based services and community partnerships, we have set up the Temasek Cares KIDS 0-3 Centre, dedicated for mothers and families who are enrolled in the programme to come together and support one another."
Dr Vincent Ng, Chief Executive Officer, AMKFSC Community Services Ltd, said: "In our work with vulnerable segments of our population, we noticed that often times, health and social care needs are closely intertwined. KIDS 0-3 is an excellent programme that bridges the developmental and psychosocial care needs of both the mother and her young child.
With early identification, comprehensive assessment and a continuum of targeted interventions offered by KIDS 0-3 Centre, our social workers work hand in hand with our healthcare counterparts from KKH to ensure that the beneficiaries receive the right support. We are confident that such form of holistic care will lead to positive outcomes and is the way to go for the future."
The pilot Temasek Cares KIDS 0-3 programme expects to serve a total of 600 mothers and children from diverse backgrounds over a three-year period, with funding of $8.7 million by Temasek Cares.