Professional Development Programme for Leaders


PDP(Leaders) is a 3-year professional development programme with refreshed contents specially curated to support Early Childhood (EC) leaders in their career aspirations and professional development through:

  • Broadening of perspectives
  • Deepening of professional knowledge and skills
  • Honing competencies in areas of professional interest

A strong tripartite partnership between operators, leaders and ECDA in supporting the professional development of leaders is key to the success of PDP(Leaders).

The PDP Journey

Key Features

  • Choose how you want to learn through CPD activities
  • Receive annual cash awards after completion of programme and service milestones

Eligibility Criteria

  • Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident
  • Employed under a Non-Anchor Operator Early Childhood Development Centre (ECDC) registered or licensed with ECDA
  • ECDA-certified L2;
  • At least 3 years of EC leadership experience (based on date of Principal appointment to date of PDP appointment in May) or
    At least 5 years of EC teaching experience (based on date of DECCE-T attainment to date of PDP appointment in May);
  • Meet the relevant skills and competencies required as described in the Skills Framework for Early Childhood for Lead Early Years Educator, Lead Preschool Educator or Deputy Centre Leader
    • Nominee should possess one of these Occupational Titles in ONE@ECDA at point of nomination: Lead Early Years Educator, Lead Preschool Educator, Deputy Centre Leader, Centre Leader, Senior Centre Leader, Curriculum/Pedagogy Specialist

Operators are encouraged to prioritise and support good performing leaders (e.g. top 10-20% based on appraised performance) for PDP.

Programme Structure

About the Compulsory Modules

PDP(Leaders) participants need to complete two Skills-Based Modular Courses (SBMCs) from the revised Advanced Diploma in EC Centre Leadership (ADECL):
i. Leading Self (LEDS) (18 hours) – Conducted during working hours
ii. Leading in Curriculum and Pedagogy (LDCP) (45 hours) – Conducted after working hours (e.g. 3 evenings per week over 5 weeks)

Current revised ADECL participants (Apr 2023 intake onwards) who are taking these two modules as part of their revised ADECL programme can clock in the hours for these two modules to fulfil the compulsory module milestone.

Participants who have graduated from the revised ADECL programme prior to joining PDP are to complete other CPD activities in-lieu (63 hours).

About the Project

PDP(Leaders) participants need to complete one project by end of Year 3.

The project options available are:​

  • ECDA Fellows Inquiry-Based Action Plan (IBAP) workshops – Learn from ECDA Fellows by participating in their IBAP projects. Please submit the IBAP Project Summary via ONE@ECDA after project completion.
  • Practitioner Inquiry (PI) Grant – Provides participants the opportunity to pursue a project using an inquiry-based approach to explore curriculum innovation and improve their teaching practices. Look out for more details in the later part of the year.
  • Centre-Initiated Project (CIP) – Provides participants the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills within the centre and classroom. Refer to the CIP factsheet for more information.

About the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Activities

PDP(Leaders) participants may complete other CPD activities to fulfill the remaining hours.

1. ECDA CPD Activities

ECDA CPD activities are courses or activities endorsed by ECDA and aimed at raising the quality and professional experience of leaders. Some examples include Leadership Series, Early Childhood Learning Communities (ECLC) Communities of Practice (CoP), Community of EC Leaders events, etc.

Participants are encouraged to prioritise CPD courses tagged to the Stage 1 Technical Skills and Competencies (TSCs) for the respective job role.

Please refer to the CPD Roadmap ​ to identify the Stage 1 TSCs for each Occupational Title.
Please refer to the CPD Prospectus​ for CPD courses which are tagged to the Stage 1 TSCs for each Occupational Title.

2. Non-ECDA CPD Activities

Non-ECDA CPD activities are courses, activities or training programmes conducted by professional institutions (such as NIEC and SUSS) or external providers. Some examples include first aid course, local learning journeys, learning communities, seminars and conferences etc.

Participants may refer to the respective institute’s website for more information.

3. In-house CPD Activities (capped at 20 hours)

In-house CPD activities are training sessions organised by the participant’s centre or organisation that contributes to the professional development of educators in performing their professional role. Participants can clock up to 20 hours of in-house CPD courses per PDP year.

Some examples include peer sharing, learning journeys, learning festivals, mentoring sessions and other staff trainings etc.


PDP(Leaders) participants are nominated by their operators/supervisors through ONE@ECDA yearly. All operators/supervisors interested in nominating their leaders may refer to the following guides.

For organisations with HQ structure, HQ will have to review all nominations submitted by their centres.

For enquiries, please contact us at ​


Mother Tongue Language Lead Educators who meet the eligibility criteria can apply. 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.

Programme and Service Milestones

  • Compulsory Modules are SBMCs currently offered under the revised ADECL which are conducted during or after working hours in Year 1. There will be approximately 2 classes available for each compulsory module for participants to choose from.
  • Projects are carried out by participants at their centres, according to the approved project implementation timeline.
  • Remaining CPD hours can be clocked by completing ECDA/non-ECDA/in-house activities anytime within the 3 years. More information on ECDA CPD activities can be found in the ECDA CPD Prospectus.
For CPD courses, subsidies by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) are available. These course fee subsidies are subject to SSG’s funding criteria. More details can be found here.
The annual cash award 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.

Completion of Programme / Withdrawal

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.
To remain on the PDP(Leaders), participants need to complete all programme milestones. In addition, participants must remain with their nominating organisation throughout the programme and for at least six months after the end of each PDP year to be eligible for the annual cash awards. Any requests for deferment will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and subjected to ECDA’s approval.