SINGAPORE - Skills-based career pathways will be developed by the authorities for the pre-school sector, in line with a national push to focus more on skills rather than paper qualifications.
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Statement from Ministry of Social and Family Development:
Minister for Social and Family Development, Mr Chan Chun Sing, announced three new initiatives to develop and recognise early childhood (EC) professionals at ECDA's Early Childhood Conference today.
More opportunities will be available at different stages of their careers to raise professionalism and make the EC sector a more attractive career option.
First, developing structured competency-based career pathways for the EC sector. Competencies and training required for different jobs will be captured to help guide recruitment, training, remuneration and career progression. This is in line with the ASPIRE committee's recommendations.
ECDA will partner with the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) to work with sector partners over the next year to develop and adopt such a framework for the sector, which will create more opportunities for educators to grow and advance in their careers.
Second, providing more development opportunities for EC professionals at different stages of their careers:
a) For trainee teachers: Internships for Polytechnic full-time Diploma and ITE Higher Nitec students in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) will be enhanced. These internships will improve upon the current practicum by introducing more structured learning outcomes, mentoring, and a longer duration to strengthen applied learning. ECDA will also introduce an ITE Training Award to attract more students to join the sector.
b) For in-service professionals: The modular Polytechnic Continuing Education and Training (CET) diploma will now recognise competencies acquired on-the-job or from prior training, which will reduce the number of course hours. Selected modules would also be offered in bite-sized subjects, to help in-service professionals balance work and professional upgrading. For centreleaders, a new Advanced Diploma in Early Childhood Leadership (ADECL) will also be developed at the Polytechnics to replace the Diploma in ECC E-Leadership (DECCE-L).
Third, recognising and tapping on exemplary leaders and professionals as ECDA Fellows. Early childhood professionals with high demonstrated levels of leadership and professional expertise will be selected and appointed by ECDA as ECDA Fellows.
They will serve as role models, drive quality improvements in the sector and develop a fraternity of fellow professionals. With ECDA's support, they will take on sector-level roles.
These include leading professional learning communities, sharing best practices through workshops and mentoring fellow professionals. This will be in addition to their roles within their own organisation. To recognise their contributions, ECDA Fellows will also receive an annual Service Recognition Allowance upon completion of their responsibilities.
These initiatives build on the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Masterplan released last year, and will provide even more opportunities for EC professionals to upgrade and develop their careers.