Professional Development Programme for Preschool Educators


For infant/early years educators or preschool educators interested to be nominated, please refer to PDP(Educators) for the refreshed PDP content and nomination details!

Early childhood professionals play a key role in providing a good start for every child. The Professional Development Programme (PDP) for Preschool Educators is a 3-year programme to support the professional development of preschool educators with the potential to take on larger job roles in their organisations.​

A strong tripartite partnership between operators, preschool educators and ECDA to support the professional development of the preschool educators is key to the success of PDP for Preschool Educators.​​​​ ​

Key Features

Some key features of the PDP for Preschool Educators include:

  • Variety of Professional Development opportunities to suit participant’s needs and interests
  • Flexibility to complete courses at participant’s own pace within 3 years;
  • Bond-free; and
  • Annual cash awards after completion of programme and service milestones.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident;
  • Currently employed in a pre-school registered or licensed with ECDA;
  • ECDA-certified L2;
  • Preferably 3 years of relevant teaching experience in the Early Childhood sector (based on date of DECCE-T attainment to date of PDP appointment in April);
  • Meet the relevant competencies and skills (Preschool Educator) as described in the Skills Framework for Early Childhood (SFw EC) for Early Childhood (SFw EC)​​​

Programme Structure

Programme Structure

About the Compulsory Module

The compulsory module “Developing the Leader in Me” seeks to equip participants with foundational understanding of both centre and teaching leadership. The 3-day course will also scaffold participant's understanding of their own leadership values, dispositions and potential career progression.

About the Modular Courses

There is a range of skills-based modular courses offered by the NIEC and SUSS. These courses provide educators with more flexible, bite-sized and targeted options to acquire and deepen their skills, and customise their learning based on their interests and needs. If the PDP participant enrols for a full qualification programme subsequently, credits earned from some of these modular courses may be counted towards the attainment of an early childhood-related qualification, e.g. Specialist Diploma, Advanced Diploma or Degree.

Participants attending the Modular Courses will be required to meet the respective course entry requirements as stipulated by the Institutes of Higher Learning.

About the Projects

Projects provide an opportunity for PDP for Preschool Educators participants to apply their knowledge and skills within the centre and classroom. The project option for PDP include:

  1. Centre-Initiated Projects (Factsheet and Guidelines)

About the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Courses

​​CPD courses aim to raise the quality and professional experience of EC ed​ucators. PDP for Preschool Educators participants may embark on CPD courses to supplement the required hours of PDP for Preschool Educators. Apart from the CPD courses offered by ECDA, other CPD courses (ECDA or in-house) that contribute to the development and growth of PDP for Preschool Educators participants in performing their professional role, can also be considered as CPD hours for PDP for Preschool Educators.​

Participants may count non-ECDA CPD activity hours towards their PDP for Preschool Educators by updating their CPD portfolio and seeking approval from their centre/HQ administrator.

Please refer to CPD courses and the prospectus for more information.


From PDP 2024 onwards, contents will be refreshed to better support infant/early years and preschool educators. Please visit the PDP(Educators) for more information on the revised programme and nomination details.

The PDP is neither a degree nor a diploma course. If the PDP for Preschool Educators participant enrols for a full qualification programme subsequently after completing a Modular Course, credits earned from some of these Modular Courses may be counted towards the attainment of an early childhood related qualification such as a Specialist Diploma, Advanced Diploma or Degree.

The PDP does not provide a certification at the end of the programme. It is a programme that aims to enhance your professional competence and capacity, via modular courses and projects, so that you can assume larger job roles in the pre-school sector.

Mother Tongue Language educators who meet the eligibility criteria can be nominated for PDP for Preschool Educators. They may also complete the programme in their preferred language.

There is no limit to the number of nominations a centre or organisation can submit. Centres and organisations are encouraged to nominate as many educators as they deem suitable for the programme, after taking into consideration manpower requirements.

Apart from the compulsory module that is held over 3 full days, the modular courses are conducted after working hours, while projects can be done either during or after working hours. More information on the ECDA CPD courses can be found in the ECDA CPD Prospectus.

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.

Yes, all participants have to complete the Compulsory Module in their first year of the PDP regardless of their academic level and/or achievements.

Modular courses are subsidised. The remaining course fees after subsidies will depend on the type of course the participant is taking and the available subsidy schemes.

Course schedules are dependent upon the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) that provide the courses. ECDA is working with the IHLs to ensure that course schedules cause minimal disruption to the participants' work within the centre. Courses may be provided together with E-learning components to reduce the number of hours participants have to spend outside of their centres.

To remain on the PDP, participants need to fulfil 180 hours of professional development over three years and achieve the programme milestones. In addition, participants have to remain with their nominating operator 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 subject to ECDA’s approval.​​​