Building a circle of care around vulnerable pre-school children

CEI is working with Care Corner in Singapore on its Circle of Care program, an innovative program that builds comprehensive support systems around pre-school children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Singapore.

Funded by the Singapore philanthropic Lien Foundation, Circle of Care brings together social work, health services and learning support in a collective support system around children, in partnership with parents.

In this child-centric model, social workers play a vital role in bringing educational therapists, health specialists, teachers and principals – professionals who usually work apart – together as a multi-disciplinary team.

Currently, the program operates in 10 preschools and two primary schools, working mostly with families living on a third or less than a third of Singapore’s median income.

CEI has been engaged to evaluate the program and to support its continued implementation as it expands to 20 partner preschools and seven primary schools by 2020.

CEI is completing an initial formative evaluation to identify opportunities for refinement of the model. This evaluation will also identify any barriers to the program’s full implementation and will develop ways to overcome these barriers in preschools and primary schools.

These findings will then be applied in the phased and staged scaling of Circle of Care from 2019.

CEI will also build staff capacity to fully deliver the program in preschools and primary schools by expanding on the existing knowledge of staff in child development, the Circle of Care intervention, counseling and parenting.

Quality early childhood intervention programs are recognised as effective ways to reduce social inequality over the long term.