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ECDA Scholarship Recipients 2020

​​​​​​​The ECDA Scholarships are offered to outstanding and deserving early childhood educators who wish to pursue a part-time Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE). This year, 9 recipients received the scholarship in recognition of their strong leadership potential and desire to play a larger role by contributing to the early childhood sector.

Read their profiles below to find out more about them!

A Sankari

Pursuing Master of Education (Early Childhood), NIE
Currently a Lead Teacher at My First Skool - Woodlands 1

ECDA Scholarship Award recipient

When I first started my career in the early childhood sector, I faced several challenges, especially in meeting the needs of different children and families. However, with guidance from my mentors and Principal, I was able to overcome these challenges. Knowing that home-school partnership is an area of improvement for me, I actively attended professional development courses and networking sessions on this subject to broaden my perspective and hone my skills. With strong support from my colleagues and family, I could persevere in pursuing my passion as a preschool teacher.

I strive to be a reflective practitioner and consciously apply my learning to improve centre practices. I currently lead a team of educators in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and differentiated learning in Numeracy. During professional development sessions with them, I actively share my learning to help build up their competencies.

After graduating with the Master’s degree, I hope to impart my new knowledge and experience to the next generation of educators through mentoring and lecturing. In the long term, I aspire to take on the leadership role and make a difference to the early childhood sector.

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Chua Hui Ling, Suzannah

Pursuing Master of Education (Early Childhood), NIE
Currently a Senior Child Care Teacher at Enfant Educare Pte Ltd

ECDA Scholarship Award recipient 

I have been an early childhood educator for 8 years and played several leadership roles at my centre. I now contribute to the curriculum team at Enfant Academy as an English Curriculum Specialist, where I work closely with early childhood educators to develop curriculum, build community collaborations and mentor the educators.

I have a strong passion in developing children’s social-emotional competencies through stories and music. I interact extensively with the local writing industry outside of my role as a preschool teacher. To date, I have conducted a talk for educators and writers on using picture books to teach social-emotional competencies and have published my own book for pre-schoolers.

I hope to apply my learning from the Master’s degree to my work in teaching, mentoring and curriculum development. In the longer term, I hope to contribute to my organisation and the early childhood sector by improving on my centre’s programmes and processes, and by sharing my knowledge with other early childhood educators. I aspire to build a stronger community of early childhood professionals and raise public awareness on the importance of the early years’ education. On a personal level, I intend to do so through writing books, articles and other publications in my capacity as an author-educator.

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Farah Diba Binte K Abdul Aziz

Pursuing Master of Education (Early Childhood), NIE
Currently a Child Care Teacher at Chatsworth Preschool

ECDA Scholarship Award recipient 

I began my journey in early childhood with a desire to understand child development and to gain proficiency in educational philosophy and pedagogical studies. In my first year of teaching, I felt a strong calling to make a difference in the early childhood sector when I experienced the joy and fulfilment from interacting with the children and making a positive impact in their lives. Since then, I have aspired to inspire and support children to become the best that they could be.

Pursuing the early childhood field has not been an easy journey for me. However, with plenty of support from my family, mentors and colleagues who encouraged me to continue pursuing my passion, I held fast to my belief that early childhood educators play an important role in shaping children’s lives and decided to further my studies.

I believe strongly in innovation and strive to constantly challenge my thinking, develop new skill sets and enhance my pedagogical practices. I believe that the Master’s degree will create many possibilities for research where I can contribute meaningfully to help early childhood educators understand relevant pedagogies and their children better. After graduating, I hope to apply my learning and share innovative teaching practices with my centre, fellow educators and the early childhood sector.

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Li Yundi

Pursuing Bachelor of Early Childhood and Chinese Language Education, SUSS
Currently a Principal at Kids & Kins Child Care Centre

ECDA Scholarship Award recipient 

I started my early childhood journey at Kids & Kins Child Care Centre as a trainee teacher. My former Principal helped me develop my skills and knowledge over the years. When she retired, I had the opportunity to take over her leadership role. My current supervisor also encouraged me to apply for the ECDA Scholarship, while giving me strong support to pursue part-time studies while working. I am grateful for the support that I have received from my family, colleagues and supervisors in my early childhood journey.

As an early childhood professional, I believe that the early years are precious and hope to provide children with interesting and meaningful experiences to maximize their potential. Having taught different age groups from different backgrounds, I overcame diverse challenges and gained much experience, including working with children with special needs. To equip myself with the relevant skills to support children with special needs, I completed an Advanced Diploma in Special Needs and Inclusive Education. Currently, I am overseeing the children with special needs enrolled in the centre.

Being effectively bilingual, I believe that the Bachelor of Early Childhood and Chinese Language Education will greatly enhance my capabilities to further improve learning approaches of young children towards Chinese Language and culture. After graduation, I hope to apply my learning to create fun and interactive Chinese Language curriculum and inspire children to love the language.

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Prabha d/o Chandra

Pursuing Master of Education (Early Childhood), NIE
Currently a Principal at My First Skool - Woodlands 1

ECDA Scholarship Award recipient 

I joined My First Skool as a teacher and progressed to take on a Principal role over the years. My goals are to provide quality learning experiences for children and foster a strong partnership with parents and community partners to design meaningful and innovative learning opportunities.

I am currently leading a team of teachers in the design and implementation of the centre’s curriculum. As I believe strongly in lifelong learning, I endeavour to develop my teachers professionally through mentoring and supporting their upgrade of skills. I hope that this would challenge them to get out of their comfort zones and adopt new teaching strategies to benefit children’s learning.

As a centre leader, I strongly advocate for parents’ partnership in children’s development. I formed the Parent Support Group and encouraged parents to participate actively in the centre’s activities. I have also designed several workshops for parents to work on areas such as positive management of children’s behaviour and equipping them with skills to promote early reading in children. In the near future, I have plans to conduct parent workshops on outdoor learning.

I look forward to widening my perspective through the Master’s degree as I engage in research and other networking opportunities with early childhood practitioners to benefit my organisation and the sector.

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Shinde Shivangi Sayaji

Pursuing Bachelor of Early Childhood Education with Minor, SUSS
Currently a Senior Child Care Teacher at Innate Montessori @ Science Park 2

ECDA Scholarship Award recipient 

I joined the early childhood industry when I was 17 years old. After 7 years in the sector, I still look forward to work and interact with children every day. I hope to provide an enriching environment for children to develop them into holistic and confident individuals.

Throughout my early childhood journey, I have met many mentors who guided and encouraged me. One of them is my Centre Director, whose visionary mindset and open-mindedness inspires me to constantly think creatively. In my current role as a Senior Teacher, I form close relations with my junior teachers and lead them in the planning and implementation of curriculum. I actively share my knowledge on leadership development with my teachers and hope to play a bigger role in developing them to give their best to the children.

For my personal development, I embarked on the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education degree to hone my skills and broaden my perspective of the sector. Since the start of the programme, I have been proactively applying what I learn and sharing them with colleagues. In the longer term, I hope that the deeper insights gained from the Bachelor’s degree will help me become a more reflective practitioner to better prepare the children for the next stage of their lives.

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Low Xin Ping, Rachel

Pursuing Bachelor of Early Childhood Education with Minor, SUSS
Currently a Child Care Teacher at PCF Sparkletots Preschool @Tanjong Pagar-Tiong Bahru Blk 1E

ECDA Scholarship Award recipient 

My passion for nurturing children started since young when I helped to take care of my younger cousins. The experience evoked my interest to learn more about children’s development and pursue a career in early childhood. While pursuing the Diploma in Early Childhood Studies at Temasek Polytechnic, I took up the ECDA Training Award (Polytechnic) to support my aspirations as an early childhood educator.

I believe in embracing and fostering the individuality of all children. Constantly looking for new ways to engage children, I hope to create an inclusive and nurturing environment to develop them to their fullest potential. Other than imparting knowledge, I also hope to be the children’s role model and inculcate the importance of values.

As an advocate for continuous learning, I strive to improve myself constantly and achieve excellence in both my work and studies. I also actively share my knowledge and ideas with other teachers to guide their learning, even though I am considered a relatively new educator. With the ECDA Scholarship, I look forward to the networking opportunities provided by ECDA to connect and learn from fellow early childhood professionals.

I aspire to use the knowledge gained from the Bachelor’s degree to provide higher quality education for my children and take up more responsibilities at work. Specifically, I plan to apply differentiated strategies to create different learning opportunities for children with varied needs and abilities. Outside of my teaching role, I also hope to be able to utilise my new knowledge to conduct workshops or participate in campaigns to raise public awareness on the importance of early childhood education.

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Ong Pek Fang, Debbie

Pursuing Master of Education (Early Childhood), NIE
Currently an Assistant Curriculum Specialist at MY World Preschool Ltd

ECDA Scholarship Award recipient 

After completing my GCE ‘A’ Level examinations, I wanted to explore a career path that was challenging yet impactful. As I had always enjoyed interacting with children, I chose to enrol in an early childhood Diploma, while working part-time at a childcare centre. I found it rewarding to see children’s faces light up with joy and have never looked back since.

At the beginning of my teaching career, I faced various obstacles in classroom management, but I persevered to improve my teaching practices. After three years, I took up the leadership role as a Vice Principal and then as a Principal in MY World. While I continued to improve my teaching and learning practices through different types of training and courses, I also picked up new skills in mentoring and guiding my teachers on curriculum development. Through my leadership journey, I learnt new skills such as staff management and building closer relationships with parents. I am grateful for the support from my management and team which has allowed me to grow professionally.

Inspired by my leaders who personified the values to develop the children and their employees, I decided to develop my career further in the early childhood sector and pursue my aspirations in curriculum planning and implementation. I am now an Assistant Curriculum Specialist in MY World, overseeing curriculum planning and teacher training, while pursuing part-time studies.

After graduating with the Master’s degree, I hope to further contribute in the development of curriculum frameworks and planning innovative teaching programmes for young learners. I look forward to gaining an in-depth understanding of education theories and practices, so as to examine issues at a deeper level and improve my practices to impact fellow leaders and teachers. I also hope to form professional networks for peer learning and guide other educators.

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Siti Noraisha Binte Mohamad Sa'at

Pursuing Bachelor of Early Childhood Education with Minor, SUSS
Currently a Principal at Wee Care Kindergarten Pte Ltd

ECDA Scholarship Award recipient 

I have always enjoyed teaching when I was giving tuition and taking on relief teacher roles. When it dawned on me that early childhood education forms the foundation and plays a vital role in children’s learning and development, I decided to embark on an early childhood career.

Throughout my early childhood journey, I was fortunate to receive strong support from my parents and colleagues in the sector. I also had the opportunity to teach overseas in Myanmar, Bangkok and Vietnam and adapt my experiences to the local context in my current centre, where I am currently a Principal.

With my strengths in teaching and communication, I oversee the centre and teacher management, curriculum and pedagogy, as well as event management. I strive to be an effective mentor and team leader to inspire my teachers to pursue continuing professional development to upskill themselves. Besides having close relationships with my colleagues, I do my best to build a good rapport with the parents and children in my centre.

I aspire to be an educational leader and aim to create a conducive learning environment for my teachers. I hope to lead by example and inspire my teachers to seek continuous development and become leaders themselves. I believe that the Bachelor’s degree will enhance my pedagogical knowledge and understanding of the sector, allowing me to hone my leadership skills and play a larger role in the sector.

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