Press Releases

Enhanced Support for Aspiring Early Childhood Leaders through SkillsFuture Study Awards

04 Jan 2016

1.         The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) has introduced the SkillsFuture Study Award for Early Childhood (EC) sector to develop and deepen the skills of EC educators to assume leadership responsibilities. This complements the suite of programmes already available to support EC educators at various stages of their career.  EC educators who have been nominated by their employers and successfully accepted into the new Advanced Diploma in Early Childhood Leadership (ADECL) programme can apply for the SkillsFuture Study Award.

2.         Offered by Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic, the new ADECL prepares Senior Pre-school Teachers to be centre leaders. It replaces the Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education – Leadership (DECCE-L) and will welcome its first intake from April 2016.  With a greater emphasis on instructional leadership and management skills, the ADECL equips Senior Pre-school Teachers for centre leadership, to mentor their staff and manage high quality centres. In line with the national SkillsFuture movement, the programme will involve practical, hands on training to better prepare the candidates for centre leadership.

Successful applicants of the SkillsFuture Study Award will receive a monetary award of $5,000, which can be used to defray any out-of-pocket expenses associated with the ADECL. The award is bond-free and can be used on top of existing Government course fee subsidies. Applications for the SkillsFuture Study Award for EC sector will open from 15 February 2016. More details can be found in Annex A.



Factsheet on SkillsFuture Study Awards
For Early Childhood (EC) Sector


The experiences in the early years of a child’s life can establish the foundation of his or her development. The Early Childhood (EC) sector thus offers a meaningful career to nurture and care for young children in their formative years. There are multiple entry pathways and opportunities for the fraternity of EC educators to provide quality pre-school experiences for children.

Under the SkillsFuture movement, EC educators will be supported to deepen their skills and develop professionally at every stage of their career. There will be structured competency-based career progression pathways to develop and recognise educators with the right skills and passion for their work.  Educators will have access to more professional development opportunities to hone their pedagogical knowledge and competencies.

Complementing a suite of manpower initiatives for EC educators, the SkillsFuture Study Award will support experienced EC educators to deepen their skills and prepare to take on larger job roles in the sector.

Supported Course (Not exhaustive)

  • Advanced Diploma in Early Childhood Leadership (ADECL)


  • Ngee Ann Polytechnic​
  • Temasek Polytechnic

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be accepted into Advanced Diploma in Early Childhood Leadership or ADECL (full qualification) before application to SkillsFuture Study Award for EC Sector. 
  • Singaporeans with at least 3 years of work experience in the EC Sector.
  • Committed to deepening skills in the sector.
  • Has a track record of contributing to learning and training of self and/or others.
  • Not a previous recipient of any SkillsFuture Study Award.
  • Must not have begun course of study before the end of the application period.

Monetary Award

Each Study Award comes with a monetary award of S$5,000. It can be used to defray out-of-pocket expenses associated with the course undertaken. It can also be used on top of existing Government course fee subsidies.


ADECL Commencement & SkillsFuture Study Award Application Dates 

First ADECL Course
Commencement Date

Application Period for SkillsFuture Study Awards for Early Childhood Sector

Apr 2016

15 Feb  to 18 Mar 2016



Factsheet on the Advanced Diploma
in Early Childhood Leadership (ADECL)



The Advanced Diploma in Early Childhood Leadership (ADECL) is designed to prepare Senior Preschool Teachers to become centre leaders. The nomination window period for the first intake of the ADECL (commencing April 2016) was from 19 October to 30 December 2015​. All selected candidates will be notified by early February 2016.

The 850-hour ADECL comprises three Post-Diploma Certificates or PDCs, and can be
completed in 1.5 years on a part-time basis. A Certificate, issued by the respective polytechnic, will be awarded upon successful completion of each PDC. Upon successful completion of three Post-Diploma Certificates within a three-year validity period, the candidate will be conferred the Advanced Diploma in Early Childhood Leadership by the respective polytechnic.

Learning Outcomes

The ADECL aims to enable candidates to:

  1. Evaluate issues and practices in early childhood services
  2. Reflect on one's personal philosophy, values and beliefs and formulate               
    strategic/organisational goals to meet the needs and aspirations of the centre, families
    and community stakeholders
  3. Lead in the review, planning and implementation of the curriculum for the holistic  development of children
  4. Build a culture of collaboration and continuing professional development through leading and managing early childhood educators in their practice, professional development and well-being
  5. Lead in establishing strategic partnerships with stakeholders
  6. Manage centre operations, including Human Resource Management (HRM) matters, industry regulations and crisis management


Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the ADECL, EC educators will be required to fulfil the following:

  • Be ECDA-certified as a Level 2 pre-school teacher
  • Have completed a Diploma in Early Childhood Care & Education – Teaching (DECCE-T)1
  • Have met the competency level for Senior Pre-school Teacher (with reference to the Skills Map2)
  • Have completed the pre-requisite core course(s) as identified and offered by ECDA3

1 DECCE and DPE-T qualified EC practitioners who are L2 certified may be nominated, and applications will be reviewed on a case-by- case basis.

2 The  Skills Map defines the skills needed for each of the occupational roles in the ECCE career progression pathways. It can be found in the ADECL nomination form.

3 The pre-requisite core course for the first intake in April 2016 is ‘Mentoring for Success’. Details of this course may be found at