49,000 Pre-schoolers to give back to the community in 2019 with bicentennial edition of ‘Start Small Dream Big’

Children will learn about Singapore’s heritage and dream of their future.

The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) launches the fifth edition of its President’s Challenge initiative, ‘Start Small Dream Big’, with 820 preschool centres joining the movement this year. A record number of 49,000 children, aged 4 to 6, will be participating in a variety of community projects over the next six months. This is six times more than the number of pre-schoolers who took part in the initiative when it was first launched in 2015.

In support of the Singapore Bicentennial commemoration, this year’s ‘Start Small Dream Big’ is themed “Learn from our Past, Dream of our Future”. Children are encouraged to learn about Singapore’s heritage, and to dream and aspire towards the Singapore they want to contribute to. ‘Start Small Dream Big’ inspires our preschoolers to do their part in building a kind, compassionate and inclusive society, by respecting others and through little acts of kindness.

Appreciating our Heritage

Minister for Social and Family Development, Mr Desmond Lee, launched ‘Start Small Dream Big’ 2019 today at the Bayfront Pavilion during the Eco Kampung Carnival. The event was organised by Preschool Market, a social enterprise, in collaboration with Gardens by the Bay. This 2-day Carnival will bring 1,000 preschoolers together as they embark on their ‘Start Small Dream Big’ project, “Appreciating Our Heritage in Nature”. Through this project, children will learn about the diverse heritage and cultures of Singapore through nature by visiting the gardens. They will then participate in a variety of community projects such as creating crafts using materials from nature and recycled items for giving to families, friends and those in the community.

Preschool Market and Gardens by the Bay have also partnered with Little Footprints Preschool (a Partner Operator appointed by ECDA) to develop an educator’s guide for this project. Teachers can use this resource as they bring their pre-schoolers on learning trails to the Heritage Gardens within Gardens by the Bay. The activities curated in the guide will provide children with opportunities to explore our diverse cultures, traditions, games, food and celebrations, alongside learning about different types of heritage plants in Singapore. The first 300 preschools taking part in this project will receive this guide book in hard copy. An e-version will also be available from 1 May for all educators at https://www.preschoolmarket.com/ssdb.

Preschools participating in ‘Start Small Dream Big’ have been celebrating the launch of their projects at their respective centres throughout the month of April. The early childhood community can view and share their children’s projects here: http://bit.ly/SSDB2019Launch. Parents are encouraged to show support for their children’s community efforts by participating in their project activities. Stories from all participating preschools on their ’Start Small Dream Big’ events and activities can also be found at http://www.startsmalldreambig.sg​.