ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
New plan aims for 20,000 early childhood educators by 2020
SINGAPORE: A new Early Childhood Manpower Plan was unveiled on Saturday (Oct 1), and with it, the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) hopes to attract another 4,000 educators to join the current pool of 16,000 by 2020.
Announced by Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin at the Early Childhood Conference 2016 held here, the plan is part of the national SkillsFuture movement and is a collaborative effort by ECDA and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), the two agencies' joint press release said.
Among the new initiatives to provide more opportunities for individuals to join the sector and develop their careers are:
A new skills framework for Early Childhood Care and Education: This spells out career pathways as well as specific skills and competencies required for various job roles under the Educarer, Teacher and Leader tracks.
Mid-career switchers get more training options: For these new entrants, early childhood educator training courses will now be made available in the Place-and-Train mode at all levels. Mid-career entrants can benefit from the WDA’s Professional Conversion Programmes (PCP) for Pre-school Teachers and Place-and-Train Programmes for Educarers to undergo training to attain skills for a career in the profession while earning a salary.
ECDA will also recognise prior learning and working experience of in-service educators who are keen to upgrade themselves through these training courses, and take on different educator roles, the press release said.
Additionally, the new plan aims to bring about greater respect for and recognition of these educators.
From 2017 onwards, ECDA will encourage and support all pre-schools to provide a day off for early childhood educators on Teacher's Day. It will provide an additional half a day of closure for child care centres, on top of the five-and-half days of closure allowed currently, of which one day will be used to celebrate Teachers’ Day, the press release said.
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