Singapore, 6 November 2020 – Young children from 800 families will get a healthier start in life with the support of an early childhood nutrition programme, Healthy with KidSTART.
Launched today, Healthy with KidSTART is a collaboration between the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) and Prudential Singapore (“Prudential”), to support families in the KidSTART programme. The KidSTART programme provides child development, health and social support to low-income families with children below the age of seven.
Under Healthy with KidSTART, families will receive healthy food and resources on early childhood nutrition to help them prepare nutritious meals for their children. As part of the Growing Together with KidSTART effort, Prudential is one of the community partners that ECDA works with to provide such added support to KidSTART families.
Prudential Singapore’s CEO Dennis Tan said the company is committed to help the community live well for longer, and that starts with helping the very young build a strong foundation.
“Early childhood is a period of rapid development, so having good nutrition at a young age is important as it sets the foundation for how children develop, grow and learn. Children who eat well and grow well are more likely to achieve better outcomes in life. That is why we are pleased to be partnering ECDA to kickstart healthy eating habits among the young.”
The 800 families will each receive a care pack of healthy food items, including food for babies and preschool-aged children such as multi-grain baby puffs, multi-vitamins and milk. 120 of these families with more food security needs will get an additional supply of fresh produce for three months between October and December 2020.
To support these families in their health journey, families will be connected to Pulse Communities, a digital community platform, where they can obtain information on health and nutrition, and even videos of simple recipes and tips on buying the right food for young children. Pulse Communities will be integrated into Prudential’s digital health and wellness app, Pulse by Prudential, next year.
Through Pulse Communities, parents can also engage with volunteers from Prudential who are supporting KidSTART, share ideas on healthy living and encourage one another to cook and to eat well. The volunteers from Prudential have been trained in the basics of early childhood nutrition as part of the Healthy with KidSTART programme.
Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State for Social and Family Development, was present at the launch of Healthy with KidSTART held at Prudential’s Marina One office and took part in a cook-off session. She said: “KidSTART was launched to give our young children a good start in life, and Healthy with KidSTART is an apt extension of what we want to achieve. This programme not only provides tangible benefits such as healthy food, but also builds up the ‘heart-ware’ through a social platform for KidSTART families and the community to come together and support one another. I am especially heartened that Healthy with KidSTART is developed through the Growing Together with KidSTART initiative. This is a clear demonstration of the value of volunteerism and partnerships by corporates and individuals to help each other in the community. This is the kind of caring and inclusive society we want to build in Singapore.”
Prudential employee, Mr William Hewell, is a regular volunteer and has participated in various community investment activities organised by the company. He is among the 300 Prudential volunteers who have signed up to develop content for Pulse Communities, and put together and distribute the care packs to the families.
“As the father of two young daughters, this programme is close to my heart. As a community, all of us have a part to play in helping children have the best possible head start in life. The Healthy with KidSTART programme allows me to further this cause by bringing healthy eating to the doorsteps of KidSTART families,” said Mr Hewell.
The Healthy with KidSTART programme is supported by three other partners, Masks Sewn with Love, Lalamove, and The Social Kitchen. Masks Sewn with Love is providing the adult and child masks that are included in the care and food packages. On-demand logistics company, Lalamove supports the delivery of the packages, together with Prudential volunteers. The Social Kitchen, a cloud kitchen social enterprise, supplies Prudential with the fresh produce for the 120 KidSTART families.
As part of the Growing Together with KidSTART initiative, Prudential has partnered ECDA in various community initiatives in the last three years, including providing volunteers to support weekly KidSTART groups. Most recently, Prudential also provided tablets and laptops to the KidSTART families to enable their children to do home-based learning during the Circuit Breaker period.
About Prudential Assurance Company Singapore (Pte) Ltd (Prudential Singapore)
Prudential Assurance Company Singapore (Pte) Ltd is one of the top life insurance companies in Singapore, serving the financial and protection needs of the country’s citizens for 89 years. The company has an AA- Financial Strength Rating from leading credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s, with S$43.1 billion funds under management as at 31 December 2019. It delivers a suite of well-rounded product offerings in Protection, Savings and Investment through multiple distribution channels including a network of more than 5,000 financial consultants.
About the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA)
ECDA serves as the regulatory and developmental agency for the early childhood sector in Singapore, overseeing key aspects of children’s development below the age of 7, across both kindergartens and childcare centres. ECDA is an autonomous agency jointly overseen by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social and Family Development, and is hosted under the Ministry of Social and Family Development. ECDA was officially launched on 1st April 2013.
KidSTART helps children from low-income families by empowering the parents to be confident in supporting their children’s early development, health and social wellbeing. Research has shown that experiences in a child’s early years can significantly influence his physical, cognitive and social development, and these have an impact on his lifelong outcomes.
Under KidSTART, new forms of support for child development, coordinate and strengthen holistic services for families where needed, and monitor the developmental progress of children from birth onwards. Parents on KidSTART will receive support and be equipped with skills so their children can benefit from warm and nurturing relationships, achieve age-appropriate and holistic child development, and have a safe and secure home environment to grow up in.
Click here for more information on KidSTART.
About Growing Together with KidSTART
During the pilot phase, many companies and individuals had reached out to ECDA and expressed interest to support KidSTART families, in various ways from donations to in-kind sponsorships and volunteering.
As KidSTART expands to more regions, we hope to build on this community interest and develop sustained partnerships between community partners and KidSTART families. In September 2019, Minister Desmond Lee announced the “Growing Together with KidSTART” initiative which aims to invite corporates and individuals to partner specific local KidSTART communities over a sustained period, through regular volunteering and/or contributions. Building such sustained partnerships will help to bring about better outcomes for the KidSTART children and families.
Click here for more information on Growing Together with KidSTART.