Childcare Centre / Kindergarten / Student Care Centre

Child Care Centre, Student Care Centre,  Kindergarten in landed houses

Under current guidelines, childcare centres are permitted in landed housing estates, except Good Class Bungalow Area, to meet the needs of residents there.   However, to protect the residential amenity, conversion of landed houses to such uses is only allowed on Temporary Permission.  The operators should ensure that noise and traffic disturbance to the neighbours is kept to the minimum. The TP will be cancelled if there are excessive disamenities and complaints on the use.

New applications for change of use of landed houses to childcare centres, students’ care centres and kindergartens are subject to evaluation, taking into the site context and inputs from relevant agencies (e.g. LTA).    The proposal has to comply with the following criteria before the application can be considered:

  1. The change of use is for a detached house or a pair of semi-detached.  This is to reduce the noise disturbance of childcare centres to the neighbours that share the same party wall as these childcare centres.
  2. There are no other childcare centres located within 350m radius from the subject premises.  This is to minimise any adverse impact on the residential character of the landed housing estate and extraneous traffic flow in and out of the estate. Waiver of this requirement may be considered on a case-by-case basis if the proposal is supported by the Neighbourhood Committee (NC).   In estates without a NC waiver may be considered on a case-by-case basis if the residents staying immediately next to and opposite the proposed new childcare centre support the proposal.
    • The childcare centre operator is to put in place traffic and noise control measures from the onset.
    • The owner of the property and the childcare centre operator are required to submit a joint letter of undertaking (LOU) (see sample) to ensure that adequate traffic and noise controls measures will be carried out and take immediate remedial actions if the centre receives adverse feedback from the neighbours.  If the problems persist and are not resolved satisfactorily with the neighbours, the temporary permission (TP) of the childcare centre will not be renewed upon expiry or may be revoked.
    • The CCC shall not be used for other purposes beyond its operating hours stipulated under the Child Care Centre licence.  The centre is to be closed at all other times.
    • Approval for CCC will be on two-year TP.   The TP will be cancelled if there are excessive disamenities and complaints on the use. 

Locations where child care centres, student care centres and kindergartens in landed houses are unlikely to be approved:

  • Sites located within a Good Class Bungalow Area
  • Sites where there is one or more than approved CCC within 350m radius
  • Sites located along major roads or road junctions
  • Sites located along cul-de-sac road or no-through road.


1 “child care centre" means — (a) a building that is licensed as a child care centre under section 4 of the Child Care Centres Act (Cap.37A); (b) a building used as a centre at which 5 or more school-going children who are between the ages of 7 and 14 years are habitually received for the purposes of care and supervision before or after school hours; or (c) a kindergarten registered as a kindergarten under section 23 of the Education Act (Cap.87).

Simplified approval process for change of use to childcare centres, kindergartens and student care centres in work places, commercial, community and institutional buildings

URA will authorise childcare centre, student care centre and kindergarten (CCC) use in selected types of developments in work places, commercial, community and institutional buildings without the need to submit development applications provided the conditions of the authorisation are satisfied.  For other development types, CCC proposals can be lodged under the Plan Lodgment Scheme.

Conditions for Authorisation of CCCs

  • The proposal does not involve any increase in the Gross Floor Area (GFA) of the development;
  • Approvals have been obtained from the relevant government agencies such as FSSD and LTA. If the building is owned by the State, approval from SLA and the government agencies managing the building (e.g. HDB for HDB premises, PA for community centre, JTC for factory, warehouse and business park) is required prior to any change of uses; and
  • GFA of the CCC is less than 50% of the total GFA of the development. This condition, however, is not applicable for building types under items 6 and 7 in Appendix 1.

 Conditions for Plan Lodgment

  • Compliance with the maximum GFA control for specific type of uses within the building and the lodgment conditions. Please see Appendix 2 for the detailed conditions for lodgment.
  • An applicant can lodge a proposal for change of use with URA and obtain instant authorisation as long as the proposal meets the lodgment criteria .

Situations where CCCs do not satisfy the conditions for authorisation or plan lodgment:

  • All other types of buildings not listed in Appendix 1.  
  • Proposals that do not satisfy the conditions for authorisation or plan lodgement. 
  • Conserved buildings located within the Historic Conservation Areas. 
  • Premises designated for activity generating uses in the prevailing Master Plan.

Submission Matrix

Appendix 3 summaries the categories of buildings for which change of use proposals to CCC can be authorised or can be lodged (subject to the conditions of authorisation or plan lodgement) or for which application for change of use to CCC must be submitted to URA for approval. It serves as a reference guide for applicants wanting to set up childcare centres in different types of buildings.