The ADECL is designed to prepare Senior Preschool Teachers for the role of centre leadership. It is offered by the National Institute of Early Childhood Development (NIEC) and there are two intakes a year (April and October).

Early childhood (EC) educators may select one of the following options to enrol1
1. Option A: ADECL Full Qualification 
2. Option B : Modularised Structure


The ADECL aims to enable candidates to: 

1. Evaluate issues and practices in early childhood services ​

2. Reflect on one's personal philosophy, values and beliefs and formulate strategic/ organisational goals to meet the needs and aspirations of the centre, families and community stakeholders 

3. Lead in the review, planning and implementation of the curriculum for the holistic development of children 

4. Build a culture of collaboration and continuing professional development through leading and managing early childhood educators in their practice, professional development and well-being 

5. Lead in establishing strategic partnerships with stakeholders 

6. Manage centre operations, including Human Resource Management (HRM) matters, industry regulations and crisis management

1Further information on options to enroll can be found under ‘Programme Details’.


Option A: ADECL Full Qualification

Option B: Modularised Structure

• Be ECDA-certified as a Level 2 preschool teacher

• Have completed an ECDA-recognised diploma in early childhood care and education2

• Have met the competency level for Senior Preschool Teacher (with reference to the Skills Map3)​

• Have completed the pre-requisite core course(s) as identified and offered by ECDA4)​

• Be ECDA-certified as a Level 2 preschool teacher

• Have completed an ECDA- recognised diploma in early childhood care education2

• Have at least 3 years of trained teaching experience5

2 The list of ECDA-recognised diplomas in early childhood care and education will be determined by ECDA, and will be subjected to review periodically. Some examples of current ECDA-recognised diplomas in early childhood care and education are​:

1. Diploma in Early Childhood Care & Education – Teaching (DECCE-T)
2. Diploma in Child Psychology & Early Education (CPEE)
3. Specialist Diploma in Preschool Education (SDPE)
4. Diploma in Early Childhood Studies (ECS)
5. Diploma in Psychology Studies with Specialist Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching
6. Diploma (Conversion) in Kindergarten Education Teaching (NVKET)
7. Advanced Diploma in Kindergarten Education Teaching (ADKET)
8. Diploma in Early Childhood Studies (SIM)
9. Diploma in Early Years Teaching
10. WSQ Professional Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education (WSQ PDECCE)
11. WSQ Professional Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education (Childcare)​ (WSQ&PDECCECC)
12. Diploma in Preschool Education - Teaching (DPE-T)

3The Skills Map is part of the Skills Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (SF for ECCE). Please see ECCE Skills Map - Teacher Track for the skills for Senior Preschool Teacher.

4The pre-requisite core course for 9th intake in April 2020 is ‘Mentoring for Professional Growth (LMAMFPG17E)’. Candidates need to complete this course latest by 31 Jan 2020 in order to be eligible for ADECL nomination for April 2020. This course was previously known as ‘Mentoring for Success (LMAMNFS14E)’. Details of this course may be found in the CPD Prospectus and ONE@ECDA.

5The number of years of trained teaching experience will be calculated from the date of the applicant is conferred or awarded the ECDA-recognised diploma in early childhood care and education. All trained teaching experience has to be within the Early Childhood ​sector.




Option A: ADECL Full ​Qualification

Option B : M​odularised Structure

Target Group

Experienced teachers keen to obtain a full qualification in EC leadership, to become Centre Leaders.

Experienced teachers keen on learning about fundamentals of EC leadership through a modular course.


• Enrolment into the full ADECL programme to complete all 3 Post-Diploma Certificates (PDCs).

• A Certificate, issued by NIEC, will be awarded upon successful completion of each PDC

• Upon successful completion of the 3 PDCs within the 3-year maximum candidature period, the candidate will be conferred the ADECL by NIEC.

• Enrolment into PDC 1 as a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course only.

• Conferment of the PDC in Fundamentals of Early Childhood Leadership upon successful completion of PDC 1.

• Upon completion of PDC 1, those who wish to complete the full ADECL will have to meet the eligibility criteria for the ADECL Full Qualification (Option A) and be nominated for the ADECL.

• After being admitted into the ADECL programme, candidates would have to complete PDCs 2 and 3 within 3 years.


850 hours​

180 hours for PDC1

Mode of Application

By nomination only.

All Option A applicants must be nominated.


Online application at NIEC website only.

No nomination is required for PDC 1 as CPD. Nomination is only required when candidates decide to enroll in the ADECL full qualification upon completion of PDC 1.

Candidates are to produce PDC 1 Certificate and/or Statement of Results prior to progression to PDC 2 (subject to meeting the full eligibility criteria).


Refer to attachment for further information on ADECL PDCs.


Option A: ADECL Full Qualification

Nomination for 9th intake of the ADECL (commencing April 2020) has closed

All successful nominees will be notified by mid-January 2020 to apply to NIEC.

Further details on the nomination/application period for the 10th intake of ADECL (commencing Oct 2020) will be released around February 2020.

Nominator St​ep​

• ​Discuss nomination with nominee

• Complete nominator form by 1 Nov 2019 (5pm)

• Nominator SingPass needed

• Receive acknowledgement email

Nominee Step​

• ​Receive notification to complete nominee form

• Complete form by 1 Nov 2019 (5pm)

• Nominee SingPass needed

• Receive acknowledgement email

Outcome Notification

Nominee and Nominator

• Receive outcome email in Jan 2020

• Successful nominees will receive instructions to apply to NIEC for ADECL

• Eligible nominees will be informed to apply for SkillsFuture Study Award*


​Please note that the nominator and nominee must use their own SingPass to complete the respective forms. Form details cannot be saved to submit later. Nominators and nominees are advised to have all details and information ready before they access the online form.

If you have any clarifications or queries, please email

*Successful nominees who are Singapore Citizens and have enrolled successfully for ADECL may apply for SkillsFuture Study Award ($5000 cash)​.​

Option B: Modularised Structure

The projected application period for the Post-Diploma Certificate (PDC) in Fundamentals in Early Childhood Leadership (PDC 1 of the ADECL) as a CPD course is in April 2020. Please see for details.

Information updated as at 4 November 2019​​​​​​​​​
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