‘A for apple’ is probably the first phrase recited by most children when they begin any form of formal learning. The apple thus represents the start of a child’s learning journey at our playgroup.
A tree has strong roots, provides shelter and shade, and bears fruits. In the same way, we provide a safe and conducive environment for our students to grow and develop.
When we started in 1989, a small number of playgroups had already sprung up. Unfortunately, they either charged very high fees or were exclusive amongst the expatriate community.
We knew more children will benefit from playgroups if the fees were more affordable and the centre locations more accessible.
1989 – Seetoh and Dana left the civil service to bring quality and affordable playgroups to the heartlands. They found Twinkle Stars Services at Block 102 Yishun Ave 5.
1990 – The company started their first playgroup in a Residents’ Committee (RC) centre at Block 624 Ang Mo Kio Ave 4 and that playgroup is still in operation. Today most Apple Tree playgroups are located in RC centres.
1992 – The company name was changed to Apple Tree. New centres continue to be opened in RC centres and Community Clubs (CCs).
1993 – The first centre to be located in a shopping mall was opened at Bukit Timah Shopping Centre. Two more centres opened in the next five years. They were later streamlined to improve operations and cost management. Apple Tree started imports of educational aids, toys, games and books for use in its playgroups and retail.
1997 – Apple Tree Films (Singapore) Pte Ltd was incorporated to license and produce videos and publish educational material. It also developed and manufactured premium children’s gifts for all the local banks and major foreign financial institutions in Singapore.
2000 – Apple Tree contracted a UK music production company to produce two licensed collections of music and songs for use in its playgroups. Two lyric books were also written and published
2005 – Apple Tree Kindergarten was started at Choa Chua Kang and subsequently sold in 2012 to focus on playgroups.
2007 – Apple Tree Playgroup has more than 35,000 happy graduates!
2009 – Apple Tree was appointed Master Licensee of Pingu’s English for Singapore and Vietnam by Linguaphone UK.
2014 – Apple Tree has 53 playgroup centres in operation and more than 35,000 graduates!