A major challenge for Singapore is how to raise the next generation to be productive and healthy, particularly, how to enhance the development of children from disadvantaged families to avoid cyclical poverty. Hence, this project looks at human development in terms of enlarging people's potential to gain skills and capacities to enjoy an adequate standard of living, and to lead a healthy life. It also includes the accumulation of formal education, experiences, cognitive skills, health, social skills (such as cooperation and communication skills), as well as psychological resources (such as motivation, resiliency, and emotional stability). As a start, the project will investigate early childhood development.
The project will employ innovative methods and draw expertise from different disciplines to understand factors that can promote Singaporean children’s early childhood development. The main research questions touch on how family, childcare and early education institutions, community, and the state interact to shape the development of Singapore’s children, how these investments affect inter-generational mobility and social stratification in Singapore, and the roles which the community and government can play in improving child outcomes.