Early Childhood Development Agency appoints first batch of Fellows

SINGAPORE - Fourteen leaders in the early childhood industry were appointed the first batch of Fellows by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) at an appointment ceremony on Wednesday.

The ECDA Fellows, some of whom were nominated by their employers, will provide ECDA with their expertise and assist the sector regulator in driving improvements in areas such as the early childhood curriculum and career progression in the industry.

They were selected based on a series of criteria, such as their professional expertise in teaching and learning, their leadership in building a culture of professionalism, collaboration and trust, and their building of a culture of lifelong learning through continuing professional development and growth.

Several of the ECDA Fellows have already begun working with the ECDA on various initiatives.

One of them, Ms Narayanasamy Pushpavalli, an ECDA Fellow and Principal at Ramakrishna Mission Sarada Kindergarten, is working with the ECDA in piloting an initiative, the Network Learning Communities.

Early childhood teachers come together each fortnight to share their problems as they discuss ways to manage children behaviour in the classroom and facilitate learning. They also look at the social and emotional development of the children.

"When giving to the sector, it's giving back to society too," said the 61-year-old on her contributions and work with ECDA.

"Sharing and caring brings the (early childhood) field one level up."

Speaking to the Fellows and those attending the event, Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin said: "The easy part is building centres and providing subsidies.

"But ultimately we all know that the real difference that will be made is actually via people and principally all of you here who are involved in the sector."

The ECDA Fellows are appointed for a period of three years, from April 1 this year to March 31, 2018.

andreang@sph.com.sg