SINGAPORE: Early childhood educators will get more support to develop their skills and in career progression, said the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) on Saturday (Oct 10).
The agency said it would do this by reviewing an existing skills framework and develop a roadmap for the educators' professional development.
Together with SkillsFuture Singapore, ECDA will review the job roles and career pathways in early childhood care and education to better guide educators on skills upgrading and career development opportunities.
The revised framework will also guide pre-schools in its human resource management and talent development initiatives, as well as allow training providers to adjust their training programmes to suit the needs of the early childhood sector.
In addition, ECDA will also set out skills and career pathways for learning support educators and early intervention teachers in the revised framework.
It will help steer "greater harmonisation" of training programmes to facilitate the movement of early childhood educators and early intervention educators across different career pathways.
"This addition underscores the importance of stronger partnership between Early Childhood and Early Intervention educators as we strive to make our pre-schools more inclusive," said ECDA.
More details on the revised framework are scheduled to be announced in the second half of 2021.
A Continuing Professional Development (CPD) roadmap will also be developed to help guide the professional development of educators. Early childhood educators may refer to the roadmap to guide them in planning their professional development.
More details about the roadmap are targeted for the second half of 2021, said ECDA.
The agency is also working with the National Institute for Early Childhood Development to deepen the focus on inclusive practices in both pre-service and in-service training courses.
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"This will help to strengthen early childhood educators’ capabilities to care for children with diverse learning needs in their classrooms," said the agency.
ECDA announced initiatives last year to build more outdoor learning spaces in HDB estates and parks, and to provide educators with resources and training to conduct outdoor learning for pre-school children.
This year, EDCA, with the support of Temasek Foundation, will introduce an outdoor learning training programme to further support pre-schools and educators in outdoor learning.
This includes organising peer sharing session for educators to share experiences in conducting outdoor learning, as well as advanced training courses for educators and trainers who attended training sessions in outdoor learning in 2019.
The programme will also provide an outdoor learning resource fund to support selected centres in implementing outdoor learning, and carry out a study to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme at these centres.
MORE HELP FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES
ECDA will also expand a programme that provides support to children aged zero to six from low-income families.
The KidSTART programme currently benefits more than 1,000 children from low-income families in a few regions in Singapore. It was expanded to Woodlands and Bedok earlier this year, said the agency.
In 2021, ECDA will expand KidSTART to reach eligible families in Yishun, Sembawang and Ang Mo Kio. The programme will widened eventually to help another 5,000 children over the next three years.
The monthly household income ceiling for KidSTART eligibility is now S$2,500, up from S$1,900.