More help for parents in pre-school parenting, from picking schools to dealing with kids

More help for parents in pre-school parenting, from picking schools to dealing with kids

SINGAPORE - From next year, the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) will introduce a new Commendation category to the Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework (Spark). It will be awarded to pre-schools with the best teaching and learning practices. The revamped accreditation framework, which is voluntary, was announced by Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Education and Law Indranee Rajah at an early childhood conference on Saturday.

Get the full story from The Straits Times.

Full statement from Ministry of Social and Family Development:

Senior Minister of State for Education, Ms Indranee Rajah, announced new initiatives to provide parents and early childhood professionals with more resources to nurture pre-school children.

They include workshops, new parenting and curriculum resources, and enhancements to the Singapore Pre-School Accreditation Framework (SPARK) to provide parents with better information in their selection of pre-schools.

Ms Indranee shared some key findings from Singapore's first national early childhood parenting study. The findings were encouraging, as parents in Singapore are knowledgeable about child development and view early childhood educators as important sources of information to better understand their children.

Hence, to better support parents and enhance parent-teacher collaboration, the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) will work with centres to introduce hands-on, interactive workshops for parents. The workshops will allow early childhood professionals to share their experience and expertise with parents.

Parents can also use these platforms to exchange ideas and techniques with educators to better support the diverse needs of their children.

ECDA will also introduce additional online parenting resources to complement ECDA's suite of print, mobile and web-based resources launched at last year's Early Childhood Parenting Conference.

These resources will provide developmentally appropriate tips to support parents in their parenting journey.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has also launched the translations of the Nurturing Early Learners (NEL) Framework for Mother Tongue Languages (MTLs) in the Chinese, Malay and Tamil Languages to support mother-tongue pre-school teachers. ECDA will work closely with MOE to provide training for educators in the use of these resources.

To recognise pre-schools for their quality achievements, and to provide parents with better information the selection of pre-schools, ECDA will also introduce a new Commendation Category for SPARK-certified centres in 2015. The new Commendation category will distinguish centres with strong teaching and learning practices. These include a well-designed and integrated curriculum and strong pedagogies to support children's holistic development.

To ensure a good start for every child, ECDA will continue to work with parents and teachers to uplift the quality of care and education that young children receive in pre-school and home environments.

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