NTUC’s SEED Institute Brings Training to The Doorstep of Pre-school Teachers
Pre-school educators and operators benefit from Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes conducted in the vicinity of their centres
The National Trades Union Congress’ (NTUC) SEED Institute will pilot the first on-site bite-sized training scheme for continuing professional development (CPD) of the early childhood care and education (ecce) sector that enables pre-school educators to be trained directly on the ground. The launch of the course “Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) Teacher-Child Interaction and Classroom Management which covers ECCE WSQ “Support and Interact with Children Effectively”” on 16 March 2012, at Jurong Spring Community Club, has attracted 12 pre-school operators from the Jurong cluster to enrol their teaching staff for this training conducted in the vicinity of their centres. This pilot scheme is one of the many initiatives that SEED Institute has rolled out to support and grow the ecce sector. These efforts are also in line with the Government’s move to establish a national framework for CPD for the pre-school industry.
Concerted Effort to Enhance the Professionalism of Early Childhood Care and Education
SEED Institute has been partnering the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) to develop short CPD programmes that help to upgrade the skills and professional practice of pre-school educators. To-date, four CPD programmes, which conform to the ECCE WSQ framework, have been conducted by SEED Institute. Last year, 224 trainees out of 381 trainees (60% of total trainees from the sector) were trained by SEED Institute, hence making SEED Institute the largest provider of CPD programmes for the pre-school sector in Singapore.
Mr Wong Hong Kuan, Chief Executive, WDA said: “WDA aims to build a sustainable pipeline of talent to meet the growing needs of the early childhood care and education sector. In addition to the recent enhanced funding support for training in SMEs, WDA has worked with SEED institute to bring the on-site bite-sized WSQ CPD programmes closer to the operators, at their doorsteps. Small and medium operators will get more funding support and find it more convenient to send their educators for training. This initiative forms part of WDA’s plan to professionalise the ecce sector through continuous upgrading, and will enable 30 per cent more pre-school teachers to be trained over the next three years.”
In line with the Government’s plans to raise accessibility, affordability and quality of childcare services, SEED Institute will be the first to bring CPD programmes to the ground, organised by geographical zones. With the introduction of this training scheme by zones, beginning with the Jurong constituency, pre-school educators will now have greater access to a wider range of courses within reach, and hence be more motivated to upgrade themselves continuously throughout their career and keep themselves up to date with latest teaching practices.
Together with the Education Services Union’s (ESU) move to professionalise the ecce sector, SEED Institute is bringing together pre-school operators in a pledge to support their staff for continuing professional development. Today, 20 pre-school operators, together with WDA, ESU, and SEED Institute inked their pledge at a ceremony held at Jurong Spring Community Club. The Guest of Honour for the event is NTUC Deputy Secretary-General Ong Ye Kung. (Refer to Annex A for list of pre-school operators who are pledging their support at the event)
Pledging his support of this breakthrough initiative, Mr Zainudin Nordin, ESU’s Executive Secretary, said, “Since the establishment of the Professional Chapter for Early Childhood Educators by ESU in 2009, ESU has enriched the lives of over 9,000 early childhood professionals in the community by offering support and resources to educators in terms of career, professional development and personal growth. SEED Institute has traditionally been a strong partner of ESU and the Professional Chapter in supporting training of educators. Today’s pledging ceremony signals ESU and the sector stakeholders’ strong commitment towards enhancing the value-add of educators for the long run.”
Not Just Another Course: A Breakthrough to Get More Pre-school Educators On Board CPD
With lessons conducted in the vicinity of their centres during weekdays instead of weekends, teaching staff no longer have to sacrifice their personal or family time to attend these professional development courses. This on-site bite-sized training scheme is also designed with courses that can be completed within a shorter timeframe as compared to courses conducted at the SEED Institute itself, while trainees are able to clock the same number of training hours. Operators are also encouraged to send and sponsor more teachers for professional upgrading as they can claim for Skills Redevelopment Programme (SRP) (Absentee Payroll) funding. A total of 89 pre-school operators, with about 300 pre-school centres, have committed to support the continuing professional development of their staff.
Madam Chua Siew Har, 47 years old, Assistant Teacher from His Little Kingdom Child Care, shared, “I like the course timing as it is during office hours, and I can make it back home to cook and be with my family. I love to cook for my three children every day, and eating together is important to me for family bonding and communications.”
Madam Chua’s employer, who is also the Principal of His Little Kingdom Child Care, Ms Susie Tan, said, “The afternoon timing is good as it is easier to find replacement staff. The course is short, focused, practical, and not draggy like diploma courses.” She added, “Our teachers have attended other courses by SEED Institute before and it has proved beneficial for them. I think this course will similarly benefit our assistant teachers to handle children better and more confidently.”
The first course “WSQ Teacher-Child Interaction and Classroom Management which covers ECCE WSQ “Support and Interact with Children Effectively”” under this scheme, conducted at Jurong Spring Community Club, is made up of modular lesson units and consists of on-the-job learning that is reinforced with formal advocacy training and techniques development. (Refer to Annex B for details of the course)
SEED Institute plans to roll out at least two more on-site bite-sized training this year to train 100 to 120 more pre-school educators. It hopes to double the reach of this programme next year to benefit at least 300 pre-school teachers.
“As the only Continuing Education and Training (CET) institute for the ecce sector, we take it as our responsibility to help pre-school teachers upgrade their skills and enhance their teaching capabilities. We have been working closely with the ground, with both pre-school operators and teachers, to help them in this area. With this pilot on-site bite-sized training scheme that brings training to the doorsteps of childcare centres, we hope that more pre-school teachers will undergo continuing professional development courses now that it is more accessible to them,” said Ms Ho Yin Fong, Academic Director, SEED Institute. She continued, “Key stakeholders, from operators to the children and parents, will in turn benefit from the raise in quality of early childhood education.”
Annex A: Pre-school Operators who Attended the Pledging Ceremony
Annex B: WSQ Teacher-Child Interaction and Classroom Management which covers ECCE WSQ “Support and Interact with Children Effectively”
Teacher-child interaction and classroom management are essential aspects of teaching in preschool setting. This course will enable the individual to acquire skills and knowledge to support and interact with children effectively as well as to keep children constructively engaged in developmentally appropriate activities.
Jurong Spring Community Club, Level 3 Training Rooms #03-05 & #03-02, 8 Jurong West Street 52 Singapore 649296
21 hours + 1 hour of assessment (Video-recording is required as part of the assessment)
Date and Time
16 March 2012 – 1pm to 6.30pm 20 March 2012 – 1pm to 6.30pm 22 March 2012 – 1pm to 6.30pm 27 March 2012 – 1pm to 7.30pm
Course Fees (payable after 90% WDA funding for in-service teachers)
$44.94 (includes 7% GST)