Govt to invest $30m over next 3 years on manpower efforts in pre-school sector

A teacher leading a group of toddlers in a music and movement class at pre-school The Caterpillar’s Cove on April 18, 2011. Acting Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing outlined the Government's plan to enhance scholarships and
A teacher leading a group of toddlers in a music and movement class at pre-school The Caterpillar’s Cove on April 18, 2011. Acting Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing outlined the Government's plan to enhance scholarships and training awards for the pre-school sector on Friday -- ST FILE PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

Acting Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing outlined the Government's plan to enhance scholarships and training awards for the pre-school sector on Friday. The government will invest about $30 million over the next three years on these efforts, he said.

A new Training Award by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), which is overseen by the Education Ministry (MOE) and the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), was launched for full-time polytechnic students taking up the Early Childhood Care and Education Diploma at Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic. This award will replace the existing MSF full-time diploma scholarship scheme.

Changes to the award, which provides full course fee support, include an increase of the monthly study allowance from $300 to $800, and the introduction of funding support of up to $1,000 per year for professional development.

Existing MOE and MSF scholarships and teaching awards for part-time diplomas and degree and masters programmes will also now come under ECDA. Sponsorship recipients can serve their bond in the pre-school sector as a whole, rather than only in childcare centres or kindergartens.

This provides more opportunities and flexibility for educators to participate in professional upgrading. Educators from all kindergartens, instead of only non-profit kindergartens as in previous years, would be eligible for these awards.