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KeySteps@JC Hubs expand to five districts, bridging the poverty divide through holistic support for disadvantaged children and families

Early childhood is a formative stage in any child’s development. Yet young children from disadvantaged backgrounds often lack the opportunity to explore, grow and develop and so achieve their full potential. This not only affects their healthy growth, but can also perpetuate intergenerational poverty over the longer term.

To address these needs, the Club’s Charities Trust launched KeySteps@JC. Utilising a holistic approach, it brings together the health, education, and welfare sectors to create a stimulating, educational and child-friendly environment for underprivileged children aged six and below.

A key feature is the establishment of KeySteps@JC Hubs, which have now been expanded to five districts with high child poverty rates, namely Kowloon City, Sham Shui Po, Sha Tin, Tuen Mun and Yuen Long. These first-of-their-kind community centres provide a platform for extended learning and a community network supporting young children, parents and schools.

Today (11 April) five KeySteps@JC Hubs were officially opened. Officiating were Cheuk Wing-hing, Deputy Chief Secretary for Administration of HKSAR Government, Club Chairman Michael Lee and Kenneth Fok, Member of the Legislative Council of the HKSAR and Convener of the Advisory Committee of KeySteps@JC.

Speaking at the ceremony, Club Chairman Michael Lee said the Club is committed to providing equal learning opportunities for people of different backgrounds and abilities. Through multi-sector collaboration and innovative methodologies, KeySteps Hubs provide well-equipped community spaces to promote healthy, whole-person growth of underprivileged children. Utilising data analytics they also develop and provide training to teachers and parents and support for families.

Since its launch in 2017, KeySteps@JC has been providing holistic support to underprivileged young children in 32 kindergartens in Sham Shui Po and Yuen Long districts. The project expanded its service to Kowloon City, Sha Tin and Tuen Mun districts in 2022. The new phase of the project aims to benefit more than 70,000 children and their parents, as well as about 280 schools by 2027. The project will also serve as a model for the sector and provide reference for policy planning on child development.

The Club’s support for KeySteps@JC, like all its charity donations, is made possible by its unique integrated business model through which racing and wagering generate tax contributions, charity support and employment opportunities for the community.