Advanced Diploma in Early Childhood Centre Leadership (ADECL)


With the launch of the refreshed Skills Framework for Early Childhood (SFw) in Oct 2021 and the Leadership Development Framework (LDF) in Mar 2022, ECDA has worked with the National Institute of Early Childhood Development (NIEC) to revise the content of the Advanced Diploma in Early Childhood Centre Leadership to be in line with the SFw and LDF.

Who is revised ADECL for?

The refreshed SFw has expanded the leadership roles and allow senior educators to aspire towards new job roles such as the Lead Early Years Educator, Deputy Centre Leader, and Curriculum/Pedagogy Specialist. As such, the revised ADECL will be made available to EC educators appointed in senior, deputy lead, or lead roles to help prepare them for centre leadership.

The first intake of the revised ADECL is in April 2023. There are two intakes a year – in April and October.  

Key changes in the revised ADECL content

Some of the content changes that students can look forward to in the revised ADECL are:

  • 2 Professional Development Certificates (PDCs) instead of 3
  • Reduction in total hours from 850 hours to 818 hours
  • More application- based to help strengthen theoretical understanding
  • 3 full-time modules
  • Group coaching

At the end of the Revised ADECL programme, participants can expect to achieve the following learning outcomes:

The ADECL aims to equip candidates to:

a) Develop a good foundation in Curriculum & Pedagogical Leadership

  • Build quality learning environments and lead in evaluating and formulating curriculum designs and pedagogical approaches that provide holistic and meaningful learning experience and quality care for children of various groups (2 months to six years old), needs and abilities, to align with trends, best practices, and frameworks.
  • Support a culture of diversity and inclusion in the centre.

b) Acquire the competencies to lead centres in Strategic & Administrative Leadership

  • Guide centre team to align programmes and goals to the organisation’s vision, mission and values;
  • Design processes for engagement and collaborative practices to enhance care and education of all children and establish trusting and respectful relationships with families and the community;
  • Develop strategies for centre team’s continual professional learning and reflective practice for change, improvement and innovation;
  • Lead the centre to maintain ethical standards as per AECES Code of Ethics;
  • Develop systems, processes, and guidelines for centres to operate effectively (including areas of HR and financial management) and to meet relevant regulatory and quality standards.

c) Develop core competencies to lead teams and centre operations

  • Develop confidence in communication and digital literacy;
  • Demonstrate self-management, resilience, critical thinking, and decision making.

There are three pre-requisite short continuing professional development (CPD) courses which prospective ADECL candidates interested in embarking on ADECL Full Qualification (ie Optional A) have to typically complete 3 months before course commencement.

No. Pre-requisite Course to be Completed Remarks
1. Developing a Professional Portfolio for Educators (DPPE)
  • Existing CPD course
2. Essentials of Leadership (ESLP) (new!)
  • New CPD course with first run in Mar 2023
  • NIEC will recognise in lieu of ESLP if prospective ADECL candidates have completed either of the following courses within the past 4 years of ADECL registration:

    • “Developing the Leader in Me” [note: this is a compulsory module for participants in the Professional Development Programme for Teachers (PDP-T )]; OR

    • ”Senior Teacher Series: Leadership Essentials for Senior Teachers”
3. Mentoring 201: Bringing Out the Best in EC Educators
  • Existing CPD course
  • Mentoring 201 builds on Mentoring 101 and focuses on equipping learners with concepts and skills to mentor beginning preschool educators. To register for Mentoring 201, candidates must have completed Mentoring 101 or its alternative, Mentoring Novice Teachers.
  • With effect from Aug 2021, the pre-requisite course for ADECL, Mentoring for Professional Growth, is replaced by Mentoring 201: Bringing out the Best in EC educators (Mentoring 201). NIEC will accept the following CPD course(s) as an alternative for Mentoring 201: Bringing Out the Best in EC Educators:
    • Mentoring for Success (course has been discontinued), or
    • Mentoring for Professional Growth (course has been discontinued

Find out more about the programme details, eligibility criteria and nomination details etc at

If you have any questions about ADECL or the pre-requisite courses, you may contact NIEC at