New Plan Launched to Increase Number of Educators in the Early Childhood Development Sector

October 11, 20164:49 pm537 views

At the Early Childhood Conference 2016 held earlier this month, the Minister for Social and Family Development, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin launched a new plan to attract more educators in the early childhood development sector.

The Early Childhood Manpower Plan aims to increase the number of educators in the early childhood development sector from 16,000 currently to 20,000 by 2020. This plan is a part of the national SkillsFuture movement and is a collaborative effort by Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), and key sector partners represented on the Early Childhood Sectoral Tripartite Committee.

Overall, the Early Childhood Manpower Plan envisions a sector that offers meaningful and rewarding careers for Singaporeans, and quality care and education for our children. To achieve this, it outlines three strategies to enable educators to have more opportunities to develop professionally, a more supportive working environment, and greater respect and recognition.

This plan also builds on ongoing efforts to develop and support early childhood educators at every stage of their careers.

ECDA and WDA will continue to work closely with employers to adopt the new Skills Framework in their human resource frameworks and practices. For mid-career entrants, early childhood educator training courses will now be made available in the Place-and-Train mode at all levels.

Mid-career entrants can benefit from the WDA’s Professional Conversion Programmes (PCP) for Pre-school Teachers and Place-and-Train Programmes for Educarers, under the ADAPT and Grow initiative, to undergo training on attaining competencies for a career in the Early Childhood profession while earning a salary.

To allow more opportunities for progression based on competencies gained rather than just academic qualifications, ECDA will recognise prior learning and working experience of in-service educators who are keen to upgrade themselves through these training courses, and take on different educator job roles.

​The Early Childhood Manpower Plan will also enable a more supportive working environment and more productive work processes for our educators. Presently, Association of Early Childhood and Training Services (ASSETS) is collaborating with ECDA and  Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore to identify smart solutions to aid pre-schools in their day-to-day processes and streamline administrative duties for educators.

These solutions will leverage technology to assist in knowledge management or improve productivity on administrative tasks.

The objective of this SMART Solutions initiative is to enable preschools to move away from prevailing labour intensive work processes and to adopt innovative technology based solutions, so as to deliver productivity gains and address critical gaps in preschool administration and management matters within the early childhood industry.

Early childhood educators play an important role in nurturing our youngest children, so as to enable them to have a good start in life.  In recognition of their contributions, from 2017 onwards, ECDA will encourage and support all pre-schools to provide a day off for early childhood educators on Teacher’s Day. ECDA will provide an additional half a day of closure for child care centres, on top of the five-and-half days of closure allowed currently, of which one day will be used to celebrate Teachers’ Day.

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