Bigger Hearts, Stronger Minds
A strong social-emotional foundation lies at the heart of young children’s overall development. Helping young children build their social-emotional competence is important for their physical development, language and communication, and cognition. They are better able to communicate feelings effectively, regulate their emotions and behaviours, learn how to interact with others, respond positively to new situations and solve problems appropriately. Children are generally happier and have a positive outlook to life.
First-Ever Fully Digital Conference
ECDA held its Early Childhood Conference (ECC) this year on 10 October 2020, centred on the theme – “Bigger Hearts, Stronger Minds”. Over 7,000 early childhood educators registered for this fully digital event, to learn more about developing social-emotional competencies and nurturing resilience in young children as well as enhancing their own well-being. Educators were treated to an exciting morning of inspiring sharings by Minister for Social and Family Development – Mr Masagos Zulkifli and Chief Executive of ECDA – Ms Jamie Ang, as well as enriching keynotes and discussions with mental health experts - Dr Jared Ng and Ms Vivienne Ng, and ECDA Fellow- Ms Seri Rahayu Binte Ariff.
Insightful Keynotes and Q&A Discussion
Dr Jared Ng, a Psychiatrist working at the Institute of Mental Health, introduced key concepts and provided tips on how to promote children’s social emotional well-being. He shared practical examples of how to translate daily interactions with children into positive social-emotional learning experiences. He also shared how educators can identify and reduce stress in children, as well as help them strengthen their resilience to cope and thrive in the face of challenges.
Ms Vivienne Ng, the Chief Psychologist at the Office of the Chief Psychologist in MSF, highlighted the importance of social emotional well-being, and self-care for educators. She recognised that educators may sometimes face a high degree of stress and burnout. Vivienne shared practical stress management strategies, incorporating real-life examples and anecdotes for educators to better understand how they can use the tips in their daily lives.
Download the keynote presentations slides at One@ECDA - Resource now
The Q&A panel segment with our two keynote speakers, together with ECDA Fellow, Ms Seri Rahayu was a lively exchange of new insights and practical strategies in response to questions by educators. Educators got to know more about how to create supportive preschool environments to encourage prosocial behaviours in young children, reduce anxiety in children to improve their concentration and learning, work with parents to help children regulate their emotions and behaviours, and stay resilient and sustain their passion in teaching.
Start Small Dream Big Finale
Held in conjunction with the ECC 2020, the ‘Start Small Dream Big’ (SSDB) finale concluded its 6th edition with a resounding participation of 53,000 children contributing 1.5 million hours to community service projects this year! The SSDB theme for 2020 was ‘A Caring and Inclusive Home for All’, inspiring our preschools to contribute to society in their own small ways.
We’ll Come Out Stronger
This year’s conference closed on a high note with a music video to an original song specially dedicated to all early childhood educators for their fortitude and hard work, making a difference in children’s lives and being resilient through these challenging times. A big thank you to all who participated and made ECC 2020 a success! It was heartwarming to see so many of you at the conference, the positive feedback and the many encouraging messages among educators. We hope you gained practical tips on building “Bigger Hearts, Stronger Minds” – enhancing resilience in children and also strengthening your own social emotional well-being.
Have Fun With ECC 2020 Stickers and Filters!
Check out these ECC 2020 WhatsApp/Telegram stickers and Instagram Filters featuring our five characters. Have fun using them in your text messages and on Instagram:
Download the WhatsApp Stickers here!
Download the Telegram Stickers here!
Use the Instagram Filter now!
ECC 2020 Finger Puppets for Social Emotional Development
Registered participants were each given a set of ECC 2020 finger puppets to be used as a teaching resource.
Here are some tips on how preschool teachers can use these puppets in their lessons on social emotional development.