SINGAPORE - For the first time, almost all early childhood educators will be able to join school teachers in enjoying a day off on Teachers' Day, which falls on Thursday (Aug 31) this year.
This move aims to recognise and celebrate the passion and commitment of pre-school and childcare teachers, said the Early Childhood Development Agency (Ecda) on Tuesday.
It also signals the critical role that teachers play in teaching and caring for children, the agency added.
Almost all childcare centres will be closing on Teachers' Day this year. This is up from the 40 per cent that closed on Teachers' Day last year.
Ecda said that only a handful of childcare centres are unable to close on Thursday, due to circumstances such as ongoing renovations.
They may also have made plans to close on other days.
Kindergartens already take reference from Ministry of Education school holidays and do not operate on Teachers' Day.
There are around 1,300 childcare centres and 500 kindergartens in Singapore.
The Teachers' Day initiative was announced last October by Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin, as part of the launch of the Early Childhood Manpower Plan.
The plan seeks to provide more meaningful and rewarding careers for early childhood educators.
Mr Tan said on Tuesday: "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."
Kidz Meadow Childcare and Development Centre principal Amaninah Khader said: "This Teachers' Day off is certainly something all of us have been looking forward to for a long time.
"Being a teacher is not easy, so it means a lot to us. It is recognition for all the hard work, dedication and passion that our teachers have put in to support our children's learning."