Caption: (From left) Mrs Janie Teo, Ms Shang Teng, Ms Emily Evangline Teo, Ms Tan-Chang Peylin, Ms Vanessa Lee - The TOUCH Child Care team caring for Ariel*.
Three-year-old Ariel* is sociable, bubbly, and likes running around just like any three-year-old. She attends pre-school daily at TOUCH Child Care (Clementi). However, unlike her peers, Ariel requires extra attention because she has end-stage kidney disease, which requires her to be on dialysis. As she is tube-fed, the teachers have to learn how to use a feeding tube and change the dressing around the tube.
Ariel enrolled at TOUCH Child Care (Clementi) when she was just two years old. With the extra care required for her, she was turned away at other pre-schools before TOUCH. Her teachers, Mrs Janie Teo, Ms Shang Teng, Ms Emily Evangeline Teo, Mrs Tan-Chang Peylin, lovingly stepped up to take care of her. This includes being mindful of health protocols and regularly checking in with her parents so that the care provided is closely aligned to Ariel’s needs.
Ariel now participates actively in class, has made many new friends, and sings songs that she learnt in school. TOUCH Child Care has become a home away from home for Ariel.
Ariel’s parents appreciate her teachers’ care and sense of responsibility. The teachers have to keep a close eye on her during water play activities as the dressing for the dialysis catheter has to be kept clean and dry, to prevent infection. Her father recounted, “TOUCH Child Care has been inclusive and courageous, truly deserving of praise.”
Ariel’s linguistic and gross motor skills have also developed significantly to be on par with her peers. Her parents shared that they feel reassured to see her enjoy social interactions and develop her skills.
Ariel’s teachers, Mrs Janie Teo, Ms Shang Teng, Ms Emily Evangline Teo, Ms Tan-Chang Peylin, are an example of how love, empathy, and going beyond one's call of duty can make a significant difference for students and their families. Their extraordinary efforts serve as a testament to the profound impact a caring teacher can have on a child’s life.
*Name changed for privacy purposes
TOUCH Child Care (TCC) runs two child care centres – at Hougang and Clementi – which offer quality early childhood education in a safe and nurturing environment to children aged 18 months to six years old and children with mild special needs. Teachers conduct home visits to build rapport with the families and reinforce the lessons taught in preschool. Beyond the academic curriculum, important values such as respect, responsibility and empathy are also woven into the lessons to nurture the children’s character.
Story published in 2023