Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing has announced three new initiatives for Early Childhood professionals, which he says will will provide more opportunities for them to upgrade and develop their careers.
The first initiative is to develop structured competency-based career pathways for the sector.
Competencies and training required for different jobs will be captured to help guide recruitment, training, remuneration and career progression – in line with the ASPIRE Committee’s recommendations, Mr Chan said.
The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) will partner 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, he said.
The second initiative is to provide more development opportunities for early childhood professionals at different stages of their careers.
For example, internships for polytechnic and ITE students will be lengthened and enhanced by introducing mentoring and more structured learning outcomes. To attract more students to the sector, an ITE Training Award will also be introduced.
For in-service professionals who want to further their studies, the 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. A new Advanced Diploma in Early Childhood Leadership will also be developed at the polytechnics.
The third initiative focuses on tapping exemplary leaders and professionals, who will be appointed 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, such as leading professional learning communities, sharing best practices through workshops and mentoring fellow professionals. To recognise their contributions, ECDA Fellows will also receive an annual Service Recognition Allowance upon completion of their responsibilities.