People-focused preschools win at the inaugural ASSETS Best Employer Award

Four preschools that are strong advocates of good people-focused practices - that help inspire teachers to enable children to learn and grow - have won the coveted inaugural Association of Early Childhood and Training Services (ASSETS) Best Employer Award.

They are Knowledge Universe Singapore and NTUC First Campus (runner-up) for Category A and Seventh-day Adventist Kindergarten (SDAK) and Sarada Kindergarten (runner-up) for Category B.

Category A is for preschools with 50 employees or more and Category B is for preschools with less than 50 employees. A winner and runner-up were chosen from each category.

They received their awards from guest-of-honour Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for Defence at the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) Awards prize giving ceremony at MAX ATRIA @ Singapore Expo on Sep 19, 2014.

nowledge Universe, with close to 50 wholly-owned preschool centres islandwide and a teacher education institute, is part of a leading global education organisation with a network of more than 2,000 locations worldwide.

Chief Operating Officer of Knowledge Universe, Ms Rabiatul Adawiah said, "We have taken upon ourselves to invest more and be creative in our efforts to attract, reward and groom our talents. Ultimately, we have an obligation to our parents to have only the best people in our Team - whom we, as parents ourselves, are willing to entrust our own children to. This is the thought process that guides our talent management efforts.

"We credit this Award today to our People - our most treasured asset. As we continue to grow, we remain cognisant that more can be done for our teachers and the industry as a whole - for their continuous professional development, well-being and welfare."

SDAK, set up in 1987, offers a Christian and family-oriented preschool environment to children in the community.

Principal of SDAK, Mrs Fu Lee Mei said, "We are elated to win the ASSETS Best Employer Award as it gives us a tremendous sense of affirmation for what our organisation has achieved in this sector and the painstakingly thought-out plans and programmes for the children, staff, parents and the community.

"Our vision is to be a leading, innovation- and child-centred kindergarten. We therefore strive to maintain a high benchmark for our overall operations. And we will continue to upgrade ourselves to remain current and relevant."

ASSETS, with the support of the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), conceived the Award to recognise outstanding preschools that have adopted best practices in the industry and contributed to the positive development of professional standards of early childhood education.

ASSETS Chairman, Dr T Chandroo said, "We are delighted that our homegrown preschools have done well and contributed much to the development of the early childhood education sector here. Their long track record and continued innovation are testament to their commitment to provide quality preschool education as well as teacher training and development. The four winners which come from diverse backgrounds also show that there is no single approach or formula to good early childhood education or the running of a good pre-school.

"We are optimistic that the inaugural award winners will convince other preschools - that both local and global preschools - regardless of size, can be winners too. We urge more preschools to join us as we are planning a series of exciting activities for our members and the early childhood education sector next year. We also look forward to continued support from ECDA in our activities."

An independent Panel of Judges was appointed to ensure impartiality of the evaluation process. Participating preschools were assessed on their HR policies and practices, operational and service excellence. Cash prizes were presented to the award winners.