Extra special Teachers' Day for childcare educators

Teachers' Day tomorrow will be more special for early childhood educators who will, for the first time, join school teachers in enjoying a day off on Aug 31.
 

The Early Childhood Development Agency yesterday said the move is to recognise and celebrate the passion and commitment of pre-school and childcare teachers.

Almost all childcare centres will close tomorrow. This is up from the 40 per cent that closed on last year's Teachers' Day.

Only a handful of childcare centres are unable to close tomorrow, due to circumstances such as renovations. They may also choose to close on other days.

There are around 1,300 childcare centres and 500 kindergartens in Singapore.

Kindergartens already take reference from Ministry of Education school holidays and do not operate on Teachers' Day.

The Teachers' Day initiative was announced last October by Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin.

RESPECT FOR AN IMPORTANT JOB

It's more than just a day off - it's about teaching the kids to respect and appreciate their educators. It also impresses on the public that this is a job that is respectable and important in building a child's foundations.

ANG MO KIO GRC MP ANG HIN KEE, executive secretary of the Education Services Union which represents pre-school teachers.

He said during a visit to Kidz Meadow Childcare and Development Centre yesterday: "I am very heartened to see the strong support from pre-schools and parents for Teachers' Day. It strongly affirms the important role that our early childhood educators play in developing our youngest children."

Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Ang Hin Kee, who is executive secretary of the Education Services Union, which represents pre-school teachers, said: "It's more than just a day off - it's about teaching the kids to respect and appreciate their educators. It also impresses on the public that this is a job that is respectable and important in building a child's foundations."

Ms Siti Nur Shabana Azmi, 24, a teacher at Kidz Meadow Childcare and Development Centre, said: "We don't just take care of the kids, we also educate them. This day off brings us closer to being seen in the same way as other teachers." She takes care of 10 six-year-old children at the centre.

Mrs Raghbir Singh, 63, Kidsville Child Care and Development Centre principal, said: "We appreciate that this is a step in the right direction. It gives us a break from the hard work we've done and is a deserved pat on the back for educators."

Founder and president of the Association for Early Childhood Educators Christine Chen said: "It is about the symbolism and the formal recognition. This is a noble profession - it's about leaving your imprint on a young child's life."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 30, 2017, with the headline 'Extra special Teachers' Day for childcare educators'. Print Edition | Subscribe