New scheme to train people working with infant care staff attracts 30

ST VIDEO: PRISCILLA GOY

SINGAPORE - About 30 people have joined a new scheme that seeks to train them to work with infant care staff to look after infants.

The scheme, announced earlier in March, seeks to train these allied infant educarers (AIEs) and will focus more on hands-on practice.

Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin gave this update on Friday (July 7), on the sidelines of a career fair for the early childhood sector. The career fair at Waterway Point Mall in Punggol accompanies a newly-launched "e-career fair".

The AIE scheme, managed by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), caters to people who have the aptitude and competency to work with infants, but are not inclined towards long classroom-based training or do not have the academic prerequisites to join the sector.

Piloted in end-March, the scheme is part of the Government's plans to attract 1,000 more infant educarers - who work with children aged two months to 18 months - by 2020. There are about 1,400 infant educarers now, and the Government hopes to train about 200 AIEs in the next two to three years under this scheme.

On-the-job training takes up 45 per cent of the course's 110 training hours. By contrast, an existing course for infant educarers runs for 300 hours, of which 40 per cent is spent on on-the-job training.


Aspiring educators at the Early Childhood Care and Education Career Fair at Waterway Point. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

The scheme has started with about 30 childcare centres run by anchor operators, which get government grants and priority in securing sites to set up centres but have to meet fee caps and quality criteria. Close to 30 senior infant educarers have been trained, via a new course by training provider Seed Institute, to mentor and supervise the AIEs.

The next run of the AIE programme starts on Sept 4. Interested applicants can inquire about the AIE vacancies at the career fair at Waterway Point Mall, which is held from 10am to 7pm and ends on Sunday, or indicate their interest at  https://thescout.typeform.com/to/szLEq7.


A brochure on at the Early Childhood Care and Education Career Fair at Waterway Point. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

There is also a new "e-career fair", launched by ECDA and the Employment and Employability Institute, which runs over two months till Sept 15. Over 1,000 jobs by more than 30 employers in the early childhood sector are on offer in this fair.

The fair aims to help job seekers, especially those who are looking for a mid-career switch and cannot attend a physical career fair, to connect with pre-school operators online. It allows people interested to join the sector to search for jobs online, arrange for interviews with prospective employers and access career resources at their own convenience.

The e-career fair can be found on www.e2i.com.sg/ecce.