SINGAPORE, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced at the National Day rally on Sunday that the government will increase its annual spending on the preschool sector to 1.7 billion Singapore dollars (1.24 billion U.S. dollars) in 2022.
He said Singapore's yearly government spending on preschool is 840 million Singapore dollars at present, comparing to 360 million Singapore dollars five years ago.
According to Lee, Singapore will add about 40,000 childcare places by 2023, 30 percent more than at present.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education will increase the number of kindergartens ran by it from 15 at present to 50 in 2023.
He added that Singapore will set up a new National Institute of Early Childhood Development for pre-school teachers.
"We must do this because every child counts. If we get this right, we will foster social mobility, and sustain a fair and just society," he said.
The prime minister reiterated at the event that Singapore's economy remains strong and growth is expected to reach around 2.5 percent this year.