More joining childcare sector but manpower remains tight: MSF

March 15, 201611:30 am323 views

Even as more people are joining the early childhood sector, the manpower situation for childcare operators remains tight, Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said in Parliament on Monday (Mar 14).

Replying to a question from Member of Parliament Dr Lim Wee Kiak, Mr Tan said there are around 15,000 early childhood educators today, with more than 1,000 joining the sector over the past two years.

In order to meet Singapore’s needs for childcare, the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) projects that manpower for the sector will need to grow by another 1,500 over the next two to three years, he said.

“At the national level, most childcare operators have sufficient manpower to run their centres. However, with the rapid expansion of preschool capacity and the tight labour market, more employers have told ECDA that they found it more challenging to fill staff vacancies,” he said.

To attract and retain early childhood educators, ECDA has implemented various initiatives, he added. This includes increased intakes for relevant polytechnic courses, programmes to encourage mid-career professionals to join the sector, and career development opportunities to retain staff.

“While we have made some progress with these initiatives, the manpower situation for this sector will remain tight. ECDA will continue to work closely with employers in the sector to attract and retain early childhood educators,” Mr Tan said.

news source & image credits: channelnewsasia.com / TODAY

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