The value of instilling good habits in a child’s early years goes a long way. With this belief deeply ingrained in her role as an infant educarer, Ms Noroonnesa D/O Afrij Ali took on the Professional Development Programme for Educarers or PDP(E) in 2017 for self-improvement and continuous professional development.
Ms Nesa’s journey in the Early Childhood sector began with a stint as a relief childcare teacher. She enjoyed her stint so much that she decided to be an infant educarer. Although caring for infants is vastly different from her previous job as an administrative officer in the public service, she was unfazed by the change and continues to exude much enthusiasm for her work at PCF Sparkletots @ ZhengHua.
PDP(E) has offered Ms Nesa a wide variety of opportunities to deepen her professional knowledge and skills. Apart from gaining new insights on methods of caring and educating the infants and toddlers, she was able to apply the knowledge to improve her teaching practices. For example, she created teaching resources by using recyclables to demonstrate sorting based on colours and textures, which stimulates children’s sensory learning.
These opportunities have enhanced her competencies as an infant educarer. She has shared her learning experience with other educarers in her centre and led her peers to improve in their practices. Apart from improving practices within the centre, she also engages in exchanges of ideas and information with other infant educarers she met at different workshops while on PDP (E).
Ms Nesa with Ms Cai Shi Hua, fellow PDP(E) participant
Ms Nesa strongly believes in the impact of early years’ development on a child. She sees professional skills of routine care being crucial for children at this age as every moment can be a purposeful and meaningful learning opportunity for the children. “A well-cared-for infant will be more responsive to the activities we do with them”, she added.
Ensuring proper hygiene during meal time
Engaging infants during story time
Ms Nesa also teaches and prepares children to be independent individuals. “It is important to impart good habits and values at this age - the younger the better”, she explained. For example, she trains the children to retrieve their own diapers during diaper change and clear their own bowls after meal times. She believes that children’s ability to respond to simple instructions and execute them profoundly influences their future learning.
Through daily interactions with the children and watching their progress as they grow, Ms Nesa is affirmed by her hard work in the EC sector. “As an educarer, seeing the infants under my care achieve their developmental milestones and being able to carry out simple instructions makes me very happy”. She also finds meaning and fulfilment in the ability to communicate effectively with parents on the wellbeing of their child and receiving positive feedback from them.
Her passion and dedication at work was recognised by her supervisors and colleagues as she was nominated and shortlisted for the 2018 ECDA Awards (Educarer). “Being recognized and praised doesn’t mean that you can stop improving. It actually encourages me to keep doing better,” said Ms Nesa.
Acknowledged for her contribution towards the sector, Ms Nesa is driven to further expand her skill sets. PDP (E) takes her one step closer to her career aspiration of teaching a wider age range of children. Through the Teacher Training Program Modules as part of the Advanced Certificate in Early Years (ACEY), Ms Nesa will be working towards being certified to teach children up to 3 years of age upon successful completion.
Nominations for PDP(E) is now open till 2nd April 2019. Nominate your Educarers or be nominated today!