New framework for early childhood professionals
To meet the demand of quality child care and excellence, the government has come up with a new framework to help childcare professionals upgrade and develop themselves.
Taking the lead from the clarion call to improve the level of childcare in Singapore, the government has introduced a new framework to help childcare teachers strengthen their professional learning and development. This is set to take effect from next year and could involve over 1,000 centres islandwide.
According to Acting Minister of the Ministry of Community, Youth and Sports (MCYS), Chan Chun Sing, “It is important for the childcare sector to have clear quality benchmarks to help parents make informed choices, so that they will not end up chasing services that may be ill-suited for their children's development, and this framework provides that.”
The framework was developed by MCYS with the consult of early childhood professional experts. The key area that is foregrounded is the development and constant upgrade of skills in child development, families and communities as well as administration.
Such development will help these early childhood professionals have a more holistic understanding of their profession and be better equipped at handling the challenges that might come their way.
Meeting the needs of childcare professionals and the public
To ensure that all needs are met, focus group discussions were also held with operators and teachers to ensure that the framework would be relevant and meet the needs of the industry.
The onus will be on the teachers themselves to decide when and what courses they wish to take making them involved in which path they want to develop in.
The ultimate aim then according to Dr Jane Kwan, CEO, KLC Institute is for these childcare professionals to "accumulate short courses, improve their teaching and professional abilities before they plan for the next big major upgrade into a diploma course or even a degree course."
What this does is that it raises the standards of childcare across the board that will benefit parents, the children as well as the industry and professionals themselves.
So far, feedback from the schools have been positive. Rohayu Nabebe, executive principal, My First Skool, Hougang, said,"With this, we can sit down together with teachers, and (they) can actually take a look at the guide and come into agreement. We will have a common goal to send staff for courses that are of their interest."