SINGAPORE: Early childhood educators will be getting Teachers’ Day off on Thursday (Aug 31) as the school holiday is extended to pre-schools in Singapore for the first time this year.
“This move aims to recognise and celebrate the passion and commitment of our early childhood educators to their profession,” the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) said in a press release on Tuesday.
Almost all 1,300 childcare centres have declared they will be closing on Teachers’ Day, ECDA said. Last year, about 40 per cent of child care centres closed on Teachers’ Day, while kindergartens already do so.
Parents of preschoolers support the move and were informed of the closure in advance so they would make arrangements for alternative care, ECDA said.
Madam Karlyn Kwek, whose three- and four-year-old children attend Kidz Meadow Childcare and Development Centre @ Buangkok Ridge, said her parents will be looking after them for the day.
“For all the important work the teachers do and their strong commitment, they deserve the day off,” said Mdm Kwek.
The Association for Early Childhood Educators and social enterprise the Preschool Market are also presenting a thank-you kit to all early childhood educators, with discounts and special treats from participating merchants.
The Teachers' Day initiative was first announced last October by Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin as part of the launch of the early childhood manpower plan.
GIVING PRE-SCHOOL TEACHERS A SALARY RAISE
Mr Tan said on Tuesday that while Teachers' Day was an important symbol, it is also vital to increase the salaries of pre-school teachers.
"Clearly if you want to attract talent you do need to structure that. While we're beginning to see that moving, we want to see it continue," he said.
When asked if other operators should be worried with more MOE Kindergartens coming up over the next few years, he said that all operators can benefit from the new National Institute of Early Childhood Development and professional development programmes.
"Different operators respond in many different ways. The key thing is we all share the same passion that our children are well looked after and developed in a holistic fashion … We want to work with them and encourage the centres to collaborate as much as we can."