Parliament: Skills that pre-school teachers need to have being looked into

SINGAPORE - Singapore is working on the types of skills pre-school teachers need, in a move to help operators better tie the teachers' pay to job size and performance instead of whether they have a degree or diploma.

It is being undertaken by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), a national agency driving improvements in the pre-school sector.

It is working with pre-school operators and practitioners in the field to define the competencies required for different jobs at different levels, Social and Family Development Minister Chan Chun Sing said in Parliament on Tuesday.

This will also help develop "better career progression pathways and continuing professional development programmes for early childhood educators throughout their careers'', he added.

The move is in line with the recommendations of the Applied Study in Polytechnic and ITE Review (Aspire) report, he added.

Mr Chan was replying to Ms Tin Pei Ling (Marine Parade GRC), who had asked if non-graduate pre-school teachers could be considered for graduate compensation based on merit.

He said pre-school teachers are required to have to diploma in early childhood care and education.

Most hold such a diploma and it is not the agency's policy to require the teachers to have a degree or to pursue one, he added.

What's more important in the sector is teachers who care for and can relate to children, and have a heart for them, he said.

But he assured those who want to upgrade themselves to take on higher positions and larger job scopes, that they will receive government support.