Parliament: Starting pay of early childhood educators has risen by 20 per cent since 2013

A Ngee Ann Polytechnic child psychology and early education student reading to children at the MOE kindergarten in Dazhong Primary School.
A Ngee Ann Polytechnic child psychology and early education student reading to children at the MOE kindergarten in Dazhong Primary School.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The starting pay of early childhood educators has risen by about 20 per cent in the last five years.

Full-time early childhood educators fresh out of school with a diploma in their field can earn $2,300 as a starting pay, the 2017 Polytechnic Graduate Employment Survey found.

These figures were given by Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee in Parliament on Wednesday (July 11), after Non-Constituency MP Daniel Goh of the Workers' Party asked if Mr Lee's ministry tracked the average salaries of early childhood educators and how these salaries compared with those five years ago.

Mr Lee also cited statistics from the Early Childhood Development Agency's (ECDA) 2016 survey, which found that educarers - those who take care of young children - earn a basic pay of about $1,800 to $2,100 a month if they have a professional certificate.

Teachers with a teaching diploma can get $2,200 to $3,000 a month, and principals with a leadership diploma can get $3,100 to $6,000 a month.

Mr Lee added that these salaries have increased by about 15 per cent since the previous survey in 2013, outpacing that of the general market for similar jobs, which grew by about 8 per cent over the same period.

The ECDA survey covered 79 operators employing about two-thirds of the educators in the early childhood sector.

Said Mr Lee: "Going forward, ECDA expects salary growth for early childhood educators to continue to outpace that of the general market."

The sector will require 20,000 early childhood educators by 2020, from about 17,000 today.