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MindChamps expands into Malaysia, targets 20 preschool centres by 2024

(From left) Jeffrey Lai Jiun Jye, CEO, Victoria Education; David Chiem, CEO, MindChamps PreSchool, Edwin Tan Pei Seng, managing director, Victoria Education with childnren from MindChamps at the signing ceremony.

MINDCHAMPS PreSchool has signed Malaysian education group Victoria Education as a master franchisee, marking the Singapore early-education group's first expansion across the Causeway.

With the deal in place, MindChamps plans to launch 20 international preschools in Malaysia by 2024, the company announced on Wednesday. MindChamps also has franchise deals in the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, the Philippines and Myanmar, and owns and operates 10 centres in Australia.

MindChamps said in a statement that the 20 Malaysian campuses will be "styled as a learning village, where classrooms are clustered in community groupings around common collaborative spaces, allowing children from different ages to interact and learn in a social setting".

Construction on the first of these schools is expected to begin within a year, with plans to open the first campus in June 2019.

Among these is a flagship 10,000 square metre campus in Kuala Lumpur for about 1,000 children, expected to be ready in 2021. It also plans to open a campus in Johor Bahru by 2019, which is expected to cater to 650 children.

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These two campuses will also feature a multi-level sensory garden and a 20-metre indoor swimming pool among its facilities.

Victoria Education chief executive Jeffrey Lai Jiun Jye said in a statement: "We were instinctively drawn towards MindChamps' breakthrough preschool curriculum which has a proven track record of success in the competitive Singapore market."

Singapore Press Holdings, which publishes The Business Times, owns a 20 per cent stake in MindChamps.

MindChamps shares were trading at S$0.625 as at 3.11pm on Wednesday after the announcement, down S$0.005 or 0.8 per cent.

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