Skills-based career pathways, longer internships for pre-school sector

A pre-school teacher leads her pupils in Marina Square. Skills-based career pathways will be developed by the authorities for the pre-school sector, in line with a national push to focus more on skills rather than paper qualifications. -- ST PHOTO: K
A pre-school teacher leads her pupils in Marina Square. Skills-based career pathways will be developed by the authorities for the pre-school sector, in line with a national push to focus more on skills rather than paper qualifications. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG 

SINGAPORE - Skills-based career pathways will be developed by the authorities for the pre-school sector, in line with a national push to focus more on skills rather than paper qualifications.

This was one of the initiatives to better develop and recognise early childhood professionals, announced by Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing on Friday.

The Early Childhood Development Agency will partner the Singapore Workforce Development Agency to develop a new framework for the sector - one that creates more opportunities for staff to progress in their careers.

Speaking at the annual Early Childhood Conference at Singapore Expo, Mr Chan also announced that poly and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) students taking diploma or Higher Nitec courses in pre-school education will be able to spend more time applying skills that they had learnt. Internships for these courses will last longer, from three months to six months.

For pre-school staff, the Polytechnic Continuing Education and Training diploma will recognise skills acquired on the job or from prior training, thus reducing course hours. Some modules will also be offered as shorter classes, so staff can balance their time between work and upgrading of skills.

Pre-school professionals can also apply to be "ECDA Fellows" and they will take on sector-level roles, such as sharing best practices through workshops and mentoring staff from other pre-schools. This is to recognise and tap on the experiences of leaders in the industry, said Mr Chan.