NTUC First Campus rolls out People Initiatives to Make Career in Early Childhood More Attractive
NTUC First Campus (NFC) announced today People Initiatives which include a special salary adjustment for principals and the introduction of two new teaching positions aimed at enhancing the career opportunities for teachers.
The organisation has embarked on progressive people strategies for a number of years, including multiple salary adjustments for teachers in recent years. This latest announcement strengthens its proposition to individuals who are considering a career in childcare.
“We want to make the early childhood profession more attractive and viable so that we can attract more and better qualified individuals with a passion to work with young children to join the profession,” said Mr Chan Tee Seng, Chief Executive Officer of NTUC First Campus. “Early childhood professionals hold great responsibilities in nurturing our young and supporting Singapore families and they should be better recognised for their contributions.”
To achieve this, efforts are required not just in improving salaries. NFC will continue to make salary adjustments to better benchmark against their peers in other industries. On top of this, more career opportunities have also been created to give professionals the chance to grow with the organisation and meet their personal aspirations. Providing structured training to equip professionals to carry out their duties well and to develop as a professional is another key thrust.
NFC is the largest employer of early childhood professionals in the childcare sector. It operates 107 My First Skool centres and hires about 1,500 principals and teachers. My First Skool (MFS) is one of the two pioneer operators of the Government’s Anchor Operator Scheme and offers quality, affordable and accessible early childhood care and education to more than 10,000 families across Singapore.
MFS will make a special adjustment to principals’ salaries this year. Together with a regular annual increment, a principal may receive an increment of up to 16 per cent this year.
This adjustment recognises the great responsibilities that the job requires. Principals are critical in ensuring that a quality programme is delivered and is the coach and mentor to teachers. They are key in the engagement of parents and have to support outreach to low-income families.
It also reinforces the value and stature of a leader in the early childhood sector and acknowledges the many years of education and continuing training that a principal puts in to fulfil expectations of children, parents, community and regulators.
MFS will introduce two new positions to its teachers’ career ladder in the second half of 2014.
The Lead Teacher role will be offered to seasoned teachers who can play a bigger part in mentoring newer colleagues. Mentoring is a critical part of the transfer of knowledge and uplifts the capabilities of new teachers entering this rapidly growing sector. The steady hands of Lead Teachers at every centre will guide and support new teachers to ensure high levels of care and education to the children. This is an opportunity for teachers to take on greater responsibilities and be rewarded through higher recognition and pay.
Beyond Lead Teachers, professionals can also look to take on an even greater leadership role as Deputy Centre Leads. Deputy Centre Leads will have a reduced teaching load and act as a second in charge to support principals at large childcare centres. This role allows teachers to go beyond teaching and gives them the chance to take on leadership responsibilities in centre administration, curriculum leadership and community engagement.
It is a valuable opportunity for the senior teachers who have more to offer and want to take on a greater challenge without fully letting go of their passion for directly teaching young children. It also provides teachers aspiring to be principals with valuable centre leadership experience so they are better prepared to take the next step in their careers, even as they pursue the requisite qualifications.