KidSTART: Giving children a good start in life

The Centre for Evidence and Implementation (CEI) is working with the Government of Singapore to give children from vulnerable families a stronger start in life.

KidSTART is a three-year pilot initiative that seeks to improve vulnerable children’s futures by preparing them for school and investing in their health, behaviour and overall development. Launched in April 2016, the pilot program is expected to reach 1,000 children under age six over three years.

While Singapore has a universal framework for basic early childhood services, a more coordinated approach is needed for young children from vulnerable and low-income families. Research shows these children may face developmental challenges compared to their peers.

KidSTART equips parents with health, education, and development resources. When parents have the right information and tools, their children are more likely to be healthier, meet their development milestones, and be better prepared for school. KidSTART builds a support network for children in their homes, schools and communities. It does this through three support programs: home visits, preschool child development, and child-parent development through playgroups.

What is CEI’s role?

CEI’s has been conducting a formative evaluation of the KidSTART initiative, specifically focusing on its implementation and improving the design and delivery of its three support programs.

Since May this year, CEI was awarded a five-year contract to carry out a robust and comprehensive outcome evaluation to measure the initiative’s benefits for children and families, and the financial viability of expanding the initiative to benefit more children nationwide. This evaluation is being conducted in collaboration with the National University of Singapore, Singapore University of Social Sciences, and the University of Melbourne. It is the first evaluation of its kind in Singapore.

For more information about KidSTART, visit the Government of Singapore website.