Congratulations on attaining your Certificate/Diploma/Bachelor degree in Early Childhood Care & Education and welcome to an exciting and fulfilling journey as an Early Childhood Professional!

Year 2020 has been a tough one so far. COVID-19 has presented many challenges to countries around the world, and tested our resilience as individuals and as a society. While COVID-19 is a threat, it is also an opportunity to build our own inner strength, and teach our children how to stay strong and rise above our challenges.

Early Childhood Educators play an integral role in shaping the lives of children throughout their early formative years. You hold the key to moulding their curious minds and building resilience in a safe and healthy environment, and preparing them for lifelong success. You create a myriad of meaningful learning experiences and opportunities which support children in their physical, cognitive, language and social-emotional development.

As you embark on this remarkable journey to create a good start for every child, we want you to start well! We want to walk alongside you and support your career development through the provision of continuous learning opportunities.

This induction booklet provides information to help you assimilate well into your new working environment. Designed to complement your employer’s induction programme and other relevant policies and procedures, we have included a brief overview of the Early Childhood sector to facilitate your understanding of an Early Childhood Educator’s role in the broader Early Childhood structure.

We wish you a satisfying and successful professional career in the Early Childhood sector!

Pauline Mo (Ms)
Director, Partnerships and Programmes
Early Childhood Development Agency



The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) is an autonomous agency officially launched on 1 April 2013, jointly overseen by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF). The agency is hosted under MSF.

ECDA integrates the regulation, planning, professional development and public education functions of MOE’s Pre-School Education Branch and MSF’s Child Care Division. It serves as the regulatory and developmental authority for the early childhood sector in Singapore, overseeing all aspects of development of children below the age of 7, across both kindergartens and child care centres.

ECDA’s key responsibilities are to: 
1. Oversee measures to raise quality standards of early childhood programmes, including regulation, quality assurance, and the provision of early childhood development resources;

2. Facilitate the training and continuing professional development of early childhood

3. Master-plan for infrastructure and manpower resources to support the early childhood sector; 

4. Provide subsidies and grants to keep quality pre-school programmes affordable, especially for low and middle income families;

5.Conduct public education and outreach to raise parents’ awareness and support for their children’s development; and 

6.Uplift the image and professionalism of the early childhood sector through strategic partnerships and programmes.​

More information on ECDA can be found at​


The Singapore preschool landscape today comprises both Child Care Centres and Kindergarten.


As a professional, you are an advocate of lifelong learning. It is essential to learn new skills and knowledge throughout your career and to constantly keep up-to-date with issues and developments in the field.

This may take different forms including independent study, professional reading, participating in projects, sharing sessions and learning journeys. Below is an overview of the suite of initiatives to support you at every stage of your career.

Transitioning into a new job is not easy, and these challenges can feel amplified especially for a fresh graduate with little to no work experience. Here are some tips by ECDA Scholarship recipient Oon Siu Suan to help you transit well as a new teacher:

1. Treat others with respect and dignity

A culture of respect and dignity in the workplace will ensure a healthy working environment. You can contribute to this environment by:
- building a sense of community spirit at work through group lunches, organising or
- participating in events like Family Day and workshops that emphasise team building
- abiding by work ethics and maintaining confidentiality
- treating your colleagues as you would like them to treat you supporting your colleagues in times of need​

2. Manage your emotions

It is common to experience anger and anxiety at work. When you are overwhelmed with such emotions, there is a tendency to react explosively or become withdrawn. By managing your emotions well and being patient, a sense of calm and stability can be maintained. This allows you to work better with your colleagues, even in stressful work situations.

You can try to manage your emotions by:

a. Checking your thought patterns

One of the ways to manage your emotions is to check your thought patterns. Sometimes, we may have negative thoughts that make us feel that we are not in control of our emotions. Learn how to identify these negative thoughts and correct them accordingly.

b. Practising relaxation techniques

Another good method to manage your emotions is to practice relaxation techniques:
- deep breathing (i.e. inhaling and exhaling slowly until you feel calm)
- playing relaxing or soothing music
- excusing yourself from the situation to take a breather. However, assure the other party that you will come back to handle the situation when you have calmed down.​

3. Communicate effectively

Effective communication in the workplace will minimise misunderstandings among colleagues thus maximising work efficiency. When we have communication breakdowns at work, we spend time and energy trying to make amends.​

a. Be mindful of these components of communication
- Choice of words
- Tone of voice
- Non-verbal cues: body language and emotions expressed
- Relationships between communicating parties

b. Be an active listener and speak with discretion

Being an active listener gives people the impression that you are genuinely interested in their views and also shows respect to the speaker. Speaking with discretion also helps to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings with peers. Cultivate the habit to think before you speak so that you say the right things at the right time.

c. Communicate effectively with your superiors

Learn to accept instructions and feedback from your superiors as it is important to understand their positions and reasoning. You should also not hesitate to ask for when you need it and to explain problems that you encounter in your work when necessary.

d. Communicate clearly and frequently with your colleagues on the following
- What you are currently doing for the organisation
- What are some goals you are striving for at work, and even some of your personal ones that may affect work
- Some of the difficulties you are facing without sounding like you are whining and complaining

e. Value of face-to-face interactions


When we communicate with a person face-to-face, we can build trust and openness with our verbal and non-verbal cues. We can also sense and understand the other person’s point of view and wh​at they feel.

f. Use of emails

Use e-mails if you have specific requests or updates for a colleague, and the message can be read at their convenience. With e-mails, you can still sound cordial, instead of being distant. Just a few more seconds of typing some niceties like ‘Have a great day!’ can bring a feeling of goodwill to the reader.

Consider carefully your choice of words while crafting your email messages. For example, if you communicate your unhappiness or anger via email, pause a moment before you hit the Send button! Cool down, review what you have written, and edit it so that it sounds more objective. Stick to the facts and avoid character attacks. Be objective and constructive. If you are criticising something, offer a solution to improve the situation, if possible.

As you learn to communicate more effectively at work, you will be able to achieve your goals, garner more support during setbacks, and feel much happier at work.

Managing healthy relationships at the workplace not only increases understanding but also leads to a happier and less stressful working environment.​

4. Learn to work with others in a team

​Working as a team m​eans that you are part of a collective body whereby everyone is working towards a common objective or goal. This also means that you need pat​ience and understanding to learn and adapt to different working habits, points of view, and personalities of your team members.

a. Be responsible for your assigned role for the team

No one likes a lazy member in a team who needs others to cover for his/her inaction. Responsibility in all matters, regardless of big or small, will earn you the respect of your peers.

b. Acknowledge what your team members have contributed

The affirmation and validation that you give to your members demonstrates that you appreciate them for who they are and what they are doing. Saying a word of thanks or well done is not only good manners but it helps to brighten up someone‘s day at work.

c. Offer emotional support

Offering support to your colleagues in times of adversity enables you to be involved in colleagues’ life. This can range from encouragement to offering a listening ear when needed. Being there for one another helps bring the team closer together as a unit, and also improves your relationship with your peers.

d. Go the extra mile

In a workplace environment, doing something special for your colleagues or peers may not require a lot of effort. It could be something small like running an errand, answering the phone or even pulling out a file from the library for your colleague. A very simple action will help your colleagues see you positively and appreciate who you are.

5. Make work fun and rewarding

Work need not be boring and repetitive. On the contrary, work can be fun and stimulating. The word play often brings out negative connotations of engaging in frivolous activities or even having a nonchalant attitude. But it need not be so. To add 'play' into the workplace is to find new and creative ways to execute tasks at hand and to think out-of-the-box for solutions to problems.

When you make work fun, it can be pretty contagious and your colleagues will catch on to this newfound attitude and enthusiasm that you bring to the team. Remember to also bring in laughter to your work as it will lighten your colleagues' mood and help to make work more enjoyable.

This article is extracted from the Health Promotion Board website

Everyone experiences stress as a result of the life demands that we manage from day to day. Whilst stress can motivate us and help us achieve our goals, when experienced at high levels or for long periods of time it can have a negative effect on your health. While it may not be possible to eliminate all the stresses in your life, you could seek out ways to manage stress in your daily life. Here are 10 easy ways that could help you in managing stress.

1. Spread out the changes in your life

Give yourself time to adjust from one change to another. For example, try to space out major events such as getting married, changing jobs, and moving houses as much as possible to give yourself some time to manage and adjust to different changes in your life.​

2. Plan your time well

Being more organised and planning in advance can help reduce stress. It gives you an overview of the things you need to do and helps you identify the tasks you need to complete to achieve them. At work, you could plan your day and make a to-do list and at home, you could have a calendar to mark out family weekends and activities.​

3. Be realistic about what you can do

Set realistic and achievable goals for yourself so that you do not become frustrated or discouraged. Goal-setting is also a good way to get yourself started on organising and planning your time!

4. Think positive

Think positively, even during stressful situations. Viewing a stressful situation positively helps you see it in a different way. Instead of an obstacle, see the situation as an opportunity to challenge yourself!

5. Make some time for yourself

Set aside some time for yourself regularly. It could be a few hours during the weekend or at& night. Spend the time doing activities that you really enjoy, be it indoor pastimes like reading or watching a movie, or outdoor activities like cycling or hiking.

6. Spend time with your family and friends

​Take the initiative to orga​nise a family outing or a gathering with friends every once in a while.Spending time with people you enjoy being with helps t​ake your mind away from stress. More importantly, having a good relationship with your family and friends also mean that you have support in times of distress!​​

7. Stay physically healthy

Engage in regular physical activity. Not only does regular physical activity keep you physically fit, it also helps to de-stress and improves your mood. You could begin by taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking to places nearby instead of taking the bus, or arrange for outdoor gatherings with your family and friends like cycling or roller-blading!

8. Learn some relaxation techniques

Controlled breathing exercises, mental relaxation exercises like visual imagery and meditation, and muscle relaxation techniques are helpful in relieving stress.

9. Have a healthy diet

Maintain a balanced diet. Eating healthy will provide your body with adequate vitamins and minerals to boost your immune system, keeping you strong and healthy. A healthy and balanced diet will also ensure that you have sufficient nourishment to sustain your energy throughout the day!

10. Get enough sleep

Try to get about 8 hours of sleep every night. Getting enough sleep is a basic but important way to keep stress away. With enough sleep, you will be able to concentrate better and be more productive in the day, allowing you to cope more effectively with stressful situations.

This article is extracted from the Health Promotion Board website


This checklist serves as guide to help you assimilate well into the new working environment. Your centre may have different induction programmes for new staff. We encourage you to communicate with them to find out more.


1. ECDA conducts a Job Emplacement Programme (JEP) briefing with graduating ECDA Training Awards (TA) recipients to provide details on the job emplacement and address any questions recipients may have on employment during their bond period.

2. ECDA organises professional learning courses and networking sessions such as the Scholarships and Training Awards Mini-Learning Festival (Mini-Learning Fest) to support graduating recipients as they begin their new careers.

3. ECDA sends a Job Emplacement Guide to graduating ECDA TA recipients via email with information on job emplacement and job vacancies collated from participating preschools.


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