PDP(L) is a 3-year 180-hour structured professional development (PD) programme for Leaders. It supports early childhood (EC) Leaders career progression and provides opportunities to broaden perspectives, deepen knowledge and hone competencies in areas of professional interest.

The success of PDP(L) lies in a strong tripartite partnership among operators, EC Leaders and ECDA as we support our Leaders professional development journey.

What can I look forward to in PDP(L)?

Choose how you want to learn​!​


Receive annual cash awards after completion of programme and service milestones

Am I eligible for PDP(L)?

If you meet these criteria, discuss with your organisation about how you can be nominated:

•     Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident;

•     Currently employed in a pre-school registered or licensed with ECDA;

•     ECDA-certified L2;

•     Centre Leader with at least 3 years of relevant EC leadership experience as a Principal*, 
      OR Lead Teacher with at least 5 years of relevant EC teaching experience;

•     Meet the relevant competencies and skills required (Centre Leader/ Lead Teacher) as described in 
Skills framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)

*Centre Leaders who are not officially appointed as Principals, will need to have at least 5 years of relevant EC teaching experience.

What is the programme structure of PDP(L)?​

PDPL Programme Structure 2.png

Programme Milestones

a. What are the Compulsory Modules?

Compulsory Modules are specially curated modules for you to deepen knowledge and skills through better understanding of key trends, recent EC research, leadership styles and reflective practices.

The four compulsory modules are:

1. Building Effective Relationships with Stakeholders in Preschool Settings

2. Designing Integrated Play Experiences and Curricula in ECCE

3. The Power of Feedback 360

4. Trends and Issues in ECCE​

b. What will I gain from the ECDA-funded Overseas Study Trip? 

From the overseas study trip, you can learn best practices as a group, reflect own practices and adapt learning to to local context (After the trip, submit your learning takeaways using the Personal Reflection and Group Report template  to ECDA)​.

What are the Projects about?

You will have the opportunity to mentor other centres under the Mentor Centre Initiative or lead in projects such as Innovation Grant, Practitioner Inquiry and other centre-initiated projects. You will also get to learn from ECDA Fellows by participating in ECDA’s Inquiry-Based Action Plan (IBAP) projects.

If you have been awarded with less than 30 hours for a project, you will have to complete another project (of any type listed below) in order to meet the programme milestone of 30 hours.​

For more details on the projects:

•     Innovation Grant Project

•     Practitioner Inquiry Project

•     ECDA Fellows’ IBAP Project (Please submit deliverable via ONE@ECDA – refer to Guide under Additional References

•     Centre-initiated Project (For proposal/deliverable in EL language, please submit via ONE@ECDA – refer to Guide under Additional References. For proposal/deliverable in MTL language, please submit using the Form 

•     Innovation Mentor Initiative (No application required, by selection basis)>

d. What are the CPD Activities available for me?

 i. Recommended Electives

Enrich yourself through specially selected ECDA CPD courses which are highly recommended for you to attend. You may take reference from the list of recommended electives by referring to FAQ Qn 5 below.

ii. Local Learning Journeys, Work Attachments and Conferences

Self-initiate and embark on learning journeys and work attachments based on your learning interests, and attend conferences to gain sector level perspectives.

iii. Leadership Symposium, Community of EC Leaders events and Learning Communities

Network, problem-solve and exchange good practices with fellow leaders in the EC fraternity through leadership platforms.​​

iv. ECDA and in-house CPD courses​​

Hone skills in your area of interest through courses aligned to the 4 skills categories within the Skills Framework for ECCE. This includes ECDA and in-house CPD ​courses conducted by centres/HQ. ​

What is the nomination process?​

PDP(L) participants are nominated by their operators/supervisors online via ONE@ECDA​. All operators/supervisors interested in nominating their Leaders for PDP(L) may download and reference the following guide in doing so.

·Guide for Centre Administrator
·Guide for HQ Administrator

Please note that for organisations with HQ structure, HQ will have to review all nominations submitted by their centres.

Nomination for PDP(L) 2020 is now open from 23 Sep to 15 Nov 2019!

For enquiries, please contact us at

PDP(L) in the Spotlight

Newspaper articles on PDP


Frequently Asked Questions


1.  Is PDP(L) a professional qualification? 

The PDP(L) is designed to develop and deepen the skills of the Leaders.​ Participants will receive a certificate of completion of PDP at the end of the programme, however the certificate is not equivalent to any professional qualification.

2. How are the “3 years of leadership experience” for Centre Leaders and “5 years of teaching experience” for Lead Teachers calculated?

For Centre Leaders, the 3 years of leadership experience is calculated from the date of appointment as a Principal to the date of appointment onto the PDP(L).

For Lead Teachers, the 5 years of teaching experience is calculated from the date of attainment of DECCE-T to the date of appointment onto PDP(L).

3. Can Mother To​ngue Language Lead Teachers apply for the PDP(L)?

Mother Tongue Language Lead Teachers who meet the eligibility criteria can apply for PDP(L). Currently, the compulsory modules are conducted in English Language and Lead Teachers will need to be competent in reading and writing in English to complete the compulsory modules.

4. What will the PDP(L) programme milestone schedules look like?

a. Compulsory Modules are specially curated CPD courses to develop participants’ leadership skills and must be completed by end of Year 1. They are conducted during working hours.

b. Projects are carried out by participants within their own centres, based on their Project proposals and implementation timeline. ​

c. ECDA-funded Overseas Study Trips are organised at different times of the year; prior notice will be given to participants for them to plan their trip in Year 2 or 3.
c.CPD Activitie​s:

i. Recommended Electives can be taken by participants anytime within the 3 years, subject to availability of courses.

ii. Local Learning Journeys and Work Attachments can be done at participants’ own timing and at desired centres/locations relevant to their learning. Conferences are relevant EC professional platforms which participants can attend, based on their needs and interests.

iii. Leadership Symposium and Community of EC Leaders events are regular leadership platforms for participants to engage in professional sharing and peer networking. Learning Communities are learning groups which participants may form with peers to exchange ideas on common area of interest.

iv. ECDA and in-house CPD courses can be taken by participants anytime within the 3 years, subject to availability of courses.

5.  What are the​ recommended electives which participants are encouraged to take? 

Participants can consider taking the following electives to optimise their professional development:

•     Fundamental: Curriculum Leadership (14h)

•     Fundamental: Lesson Observation and Feedback (14h)

•     Fundamental: Professional Development (14h)

•     Intermediate: Planning for Capacity Building (14h)

•     Intermediate: Building a Culture to Support Learning (28h)

•     Intermediate: Lesson study (14h)

•     Importance of the Early Years: 3Rs for Positive Outcomes (14h)

•     Practitioner Inquiry in Early Childhood Education (PIECE) Workshop (14h)

•     Inquiry-Based Action Plan (IBAP) by ECDA Fellows (~14h)

•     Course on Special Needs

You may refer to the Prospectus for more electives.

6.  What are the funding available for the PD a​ctivities?

For compulsory modules and ECDA CPD courses (includes recommended electives), subsidies by ECDA or SSG* will be available, and course fees payable by participants will be after subsidies.

For ECDA-funded overseas study trip, each participant will only be eligible for a one-time funding.

For Innovation Grant and Practitioner Inquiry projects, participating centres will receive funding from ECDA to support the project implementation. Mentor centres under the Innovation Mentor Initiative will also receive funding to carry out their roles.

*SSG subsidies for each individual will be subjected to several criteria (e.g. sponsorship,organisation type, schemes applicable etc).

7.  How ​to be eligible for the cash award yearly?     

The annual cash awards will be disbursed to participants if they successfully complete the stipulated programme milestones of the year, and if they remain employed with their nominating organisation for 6 months after the end of each PDP year.

8.  Is there a limit to the number of nominations that can be submitted by organisations?

No, organisations are encouraged to nominate as many Leaders as they deem suitable for the programme, after taking into consideration the manpower requirements of the centre.

Information updated as at  23 September 2019​​​
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