After-school care services in primary schools which offer services such as meals, homework supervision and, in some cases, tuition are likely to raise their fees when they renew or enter into new tender contracts with schools in the next few years.
A centre supervisor at a school in Yishun, who declined to give her name, said her centre raised its monthly fees by nearly 15 per cent to $250 three years ago, and is likely to increase it further when it renews its contract next year.
“We are worried because it seems that the rental rates are now closer to what centres outside the schools are charged,” said the 58-year-old, adding that the higher rents are largely a result of more operators – particularly established ones with greater financial backing – submitting higher bids for school rentals.
“At some centres, the rates have gone up drastically – by three to four times – and that eventually resulted in fee increases,” she added.
Operators also cited other cost increases for staff training, salaries and enrichment activities requested by parents, for instance.
Ms Yau Sow Shan, 45, a divisional manager with QSF The Enablers, which runs seven care centres including six school-based ones, said:
“It is tough. The cost increases are quite significant, yet we have to keep our fees affordable.”