Scaling models for comprehensive support for vulnerable pre-school children in Singapore

Child building blocks with a teacher in the nursery

CEI worked with Care Corner in Singapore on its Circle of Care project, an innovative program that builds comprehensive support systems around pre-school children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Singapore. Quality early childhood intervention programs are recognised as an effective way to reduce social inequality over the long term.

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. The program mostly works with families living on a third or less of Singapore's median income.

CEI was engaged to support its continued implementation as it expands to 20 partner preschools and seven primary schools. CEI completed an initial formative evaluation to identify opportunities for refinement of the model. Barriers to the program's full implementation were identified and solutions were developed to overcome these barriers in preschools and primary schools. The findings were applied in the phased and staged scaling of Circle of Care beyond 2019.

CEI also built 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 and the use of a monitoring framework for their continual quality improvement.