Better Support for Child Care Teachers and Better Staff-Child Interactions Through Introduction of Para-Educators and Para-Educarers

Oct 27, 2011





1.            The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) announced today that child care centres will now be able to recruit and train para-educators and para-educarers to support child care teachers in the care and development of children, further enhancing the quality of staff-child interactions. 

2.            Para-educators and para-educarers will assist child care teachers[1] and educarers[2] respectively in the preparation and supervision of developmental activities, and provide routine care and administrative support where required.  The introduction of these para-educators/educarers will enable child care teachers and educarers to provide greater instructional attention for children who require additional support.  

Training Requirements   

3.            The introduction of para-educators and para-educarers will open up the opportunity for people with the passion to work with children to join the child care sector where training requirements will not be a barrier to entry. They can join as para-educarers and acquire training while on the job, and thereafter gradually progress up the career ladder having acquired the relevant training at the various stages of their career.

4.            Para-educators and para-educarers will be required to undergo training that enables them to play a supportive role.

5.            Para-educarers, who will work with toddlers and nursery level children (aged 18 months to 4 years old), are required to undergo the Fundamentals in Early Childhood Care and Education course.  This will equip them with the knowledge and skills to play a nurturing role in the care and development of young children, and to assist in routine care, learning activities, preparation of teaching aids as well as the learning environment.

6.            Para-educators, who will work with older children at the kindergarten-level (aged 5 to 6 years old), are  required to have a minimum training requirement of the Certificate in Early Childhood Care and Education. This will equip them with the knowledge and skills in the areas of early childhood education, child development, observation and teaching, as well as planning and designing developmentally appropriate activities for young children.

Amendments to Staff-Child Ratio Regulations

7.            With the introduction of the two new occupations, MCYS will refine the regulatory requirements governing staff-child ratios to recognise the employment of para-educators and para-educarers in child care centres.  With effect from 1 January 2012, the following staff to child ratios will apply:


Age of Children

(Group type)

Current Staff to Children Ratio

Revised Staff to Children Ratio (without para-educators/educarers)

Revised Staff to Children Ratio

(with para-educators/educarers)

18 – 30 mths (Playgroup)

1 : 8

1 : 8

1 + 1 : 12

30 – 36 mths (Nursery 1)

1 : 12

1 : 12

1 + 1 : 18

36 – 48 mths (Nursery 2)

1 : 15

1 : 15

1  + 1 : 20

48 – 84 mths (Kindergarten 1 & 2)

1 : 25

1 : 20* (K1)

1 : 25 (K2)

1  + 1 : 30



* Takes effect only from 1 Jan 2013. In the interim, the current ratio of 1:25 will continue to apply.

8.           For centres that choose not employ para-educators/educarers, existing staff-child ratios remain largely unchanged. The exception is the staff-child ratio (without para-educators) for the Kindergarten 1 level, which will be adjusted to 1 staff to 20 children from the existing 1 staff to 25 children to align with the standards in MOE-registered kindergartens. This change will apply only from 1 Jan 2013, giving affected child care centres more time to make the necessary adjustments.

9.            The changes are made after several consultations with child care operators and educators, and will potentially benefit more than 70,000 children age 18 months to 6 years old enrolled in child care centres. Centres will also be able to better meet increased demand for child care services, potentially expanding class sizes by up to 1.5 times, provided their teachers are supported by para-educators/educarers, and  that the quality of staff-child interactions is maintained or enhanced.  

10.         Since the start of the 2008 Child Care Masterplan, a total of 191 additional centres have been developed as at end September 2011, adding 21,000 more child care places. The introduction of para–educators/educarers is part of the Government’s efforts to boost the accessibility and quality of child care in Singapore.




27 OCTOBER 2011

[1] Child care teachers are teachers who work with children aged 4 to 6 years old in child care centres.

[2] Educarers are early childhood professionals who work with children aged 3 years and below in child care centres.




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