Nobel Prize Laureate James Heckman's research has shown that earliest year school is most critical in the success of a person, especially the program targeted for kids at, 0-3 years old. This is the weakest link for poor parents. Such program often cost tenth of thousands.
Critical age of education
Human IQ and language development is best at earliest stage of life. It is said that people who learn a foreign language after age of 3 will never master it to the level of native speaker. Studies have shown that feral children even after being brought back to civilization will never acquire linguistic and intelligence to function normally in life.
The rich and poor's achievement gap in education and subsequent career is rooted in pre-school and earliest education. It has not that much to do with "hard work" as what PAP has preached. If a person decide to work hard at later stages of life, he would not accomplished much.
Finally PAP open shop MOE kindergarten
PAP must be fully aware the significance of pre-schooling given so many researchers in MOE. Nevertheless, PAP insisted until very recently not to have a public pre-school. The conspiracy theory that PAP is more interested in making elites excel in studies to enable stratification of social class seems extremely plausible.
Nevertheless, I am very skeptical letting MOE runs pre-school. MOE is hyper corrupt. MOE kindergarten is a wrong system and very little good will come out of it. We should adopt school voucher system instead.