Stock markets have retreated again over worries of further US interest rate rises after the Federal Reserve defied Donald Trump to increase rates for the fourth time this year.

The EU has confirmed it is “actively investigating” a potential breach of its diplomatic communications network, following reports that secret cables had been stolen by hackers.

The Bank of England has welcomed a “crucial and positive” move by the EU to help keep a key part of the financial system functioning in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.

A handful of banks will be forced to write multimillion pound cheques to buy shares in the construction giant Kier Group after some of its biggest investors snubbed the chance to take part in a £250m fundraising.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to merge its consumer healthcare unit with that of rival Pfizer, to create a new market leader with almost £10bn in annual sales.


Santander has been fined more than £30m for “serious failings” in processing the accounts of dead customers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says.


PCF Sparkletots sets aside $20 million to help transform the early childhood education sector

PCF Sparkletots sets aside $20 million to help transform the early childhood education sector

The largest pre-school operator in Singapore aims to spend the amount in developing its teaching staff over the next three years

The effort is aimed towards transforming its early childhood education sector, it stated in a news release—adding that over the last two years, it has increased its spend on training and development with more than 4,000 teachers with diplomas or higher qualifications.

“To support the national effort to grow preschool capacity to meet the needs of young families, PCF Sparkletots also expects to grow its pool of teachers to 6,300 by 2022,” also stated PCF Sparkletots. 

These plans were also announced at the official opening of PCF Sparkletots @ Bishan North Blk 409 on Tuesday, by Josephine Teo—the minister for manpower and second minister for home affairs.

In her speech, Mrs Teo acknowledged PCF Sparkletot’s efforts to develop its educators. 

“As the largest employer of preschool teachers in Singapore, PCF Sparkletots has charted an ambitious learning and development road map for educators which includes not just professional but soft skills as well,”  she said.

“For every teaching role, we have a matching learning and development strategy.” She added.

Furthermore, she stated that teachers will also receive help developing new capabilities like using digital tools to stimulate learning and be more engaging with their pupils, stating: “We know that these are critical to nurture a generation of children who can face the future with confidence.”

The PCF Sparkletots in Bishan North will offer full-day childcare and infant care services and children will also have access to facilities like a garden.

“At PCF Sparkletots we are always looking at opportunities for children to be involved with the wider community,” said PAP Community Foundation CEO Victor Bay.

PCF Sparkletots currently operates more than 360 preschools and enrolls more than 43,000 children.

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