First batch of pre-school staff begins training to boost skills

Preschoolers from PCF Little Steps at Whampoa Education Centre in Whampoa Drive, walking under the shelter as their teacher lead the way back to their centre.
Preschoolers from PCF Little Steps at Whampoa Education Centre in Whampoa Drive, walking under the shelter as their teacher lead the way back to their centre.PHOTO: ST FILE

Singapore - Ms T. Vimaladevi, 48, has been an educarer - taking care of children aged two months to six years - for 24 years, and is still raring to go.

In fact, she is keen to take on a larger role at work - she wants to develop new programmes for kids and to mentor younger and newer educarers as well.

She is one of 76 passionate practitioners in the field who form the first batch to begin training under the Professional Development Programme for Educarers, which was launched in March 2016.

The participants, who were recommended by the centres they work at, will spend 180 hours over three years deepening their skills. They can receive cash awards of up to $12,000, spread over the three years, based on their service milestones and upon completion of a set number of hours under the programme.

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Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin, who presented the awards at a commencement ceremony on Friday (July 28), said in his speech at the event: "As educarers, you have a very important role in shaping a child's early years and the efforts you put in, on a day-to-day basis, are immense in giving children a good holistic foundation.

"That is why we are undertaking significant efforts to support you, as you develop your career and deepen your skills."

Ms Vimaladevi said of her job: "I don't have kids of my own, but I treat all my students as my own."

She added: "I think this programme will allow me to learn how to organise more projects for the children and to mentor other educarers so that they will stay longer in this profession."