Professional Development Programme  for Centre Leaders and Lead Educators


For centre leaders and lead educators interested to be nominated, please refer to PDP(Leaders) for the refreshed PDP content and nomination details!

PDP for Centre Leaders and Lead Educators 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 for Centre Leaders and Lead Educators lies in a strong tripartite partnership between operators, EC Leaders and ECDA as we support our Leaders professional development journey.

Key Features

Choose how you want to learn​!​

Receive annual cash awards after completion of programme and service milestones​

Eligibility Criteria

  • 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 (based on date of Principal appointment to date of PDP appointment in May), OR Lead Educator with at least 5 years of relevant EC teaching experience;
  • Meet the relevant competencies and skills (Centre Leader/ Lead Early Years Educator/ Lead Preschool Educator) as described in the Skills Framework for Early Childhood (SFw EC)​​​

Programme Structure

About 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​

About the ECDA-funded Overseas Study Trip

From the overseas study trip, you can learn best practices as a group, reflect on your own practices and adapt learning to to local context.

About the Projects

You will have the opportunity to lead in 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:

  • ECDA Fellows’ IBAP Project (Please submit  IBAP Project Summary via ONE@ECDA.)
  • Centre-Initiated Project (Please submit proposal via ONE@ECDA. Refer to CIP factsheet for guidelines.

About the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Activities

  1. Recommended Electives

    Enrich yourself through specially selected ECDA CPD courses. The list of recommended electives can be found in the latest briefing slides (download under Additional References below).

  2. 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.

  3. 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.​​

  4. ECDA and in-house CPD courses

    Hone skills in your areas of interest through courses aligned to the 4 skills categories within the Skills Framework for Early Childhood (SFw EC)​. This includes ECDA and in-house CPD ​courses conducted by centres/HQ.


From PDP 2024 onwards, contents will be refreshed to better support leaders. Please visit the PDP(Leaders) for more information on the revised programme and nomination details.

The PDP for Centre Leaders and Lead Educators does not provide any formal certification at the end of the programme.  It is a programme designed to deepen your skills and competencies as a leader by providing a variety of professional development opportunities.
Mother Tongue Language Lead Educators who meet the eligibility criteria can apply for PDP for Centre Leaders and Lead Educators. Currently, the compulsory modules are conducted in English Language and Lead Educators will need to be proficient in spoken and written English to complete the compulsory modules.
There is no limit to the number of nominations a centre or organisation can submit. Centres and organisations are encouraged to nominate as many leaders as they deem suitable for the programme, after taking into consideration manpower requirements.

a. Compulsory Modules are CPD courses conducted during working hours in Year 1.

b. Projects are carried out by participants at their centres, according to their own project 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.

d. CPD Activities are ECDA or in-house courses which can be done anytime within the 3 years, to fulfil the remaining CPD hours required. More information on the ECDA CPD courses can be found in the ECDA CPD Prospectus.

For Compulsory Modules, subsidies by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) are available. SSG subsidies for each individual will be subjected to several criteria (e.g. sponsorship, organisation type, schemes applicable etc).

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

For the 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.

For ECDA CPD courses (including recommended electives), subsidies by ECDA are available.

No, participants will not be allowed to complete PDP within 2 years. It is important that participants complete the PDP over 3 years so that they have time and space to apply their learning. Participants are required to complete some Professional Development in every year of PDP.

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.
To remain on the PDP, participants need to complete all the PDP for Centre Leaders and Lead Educators programme milestones and ensure that they complete 180 CPD hours, inclusive of the programme milestone hours. In addition, participants have to remain with their nominating organisation throughout the programme and for at least six months after the end of each PDP year to qualify for the annual cash awards. Any requests for deferment will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and subjected to ECDA’s approval.