First Sector-Wide Teachers' Day off for Early Childhood Educators
29 Aug 2017
2. To support preschools in providing a day off to our EC educators, the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) has provided child care centres which do not operate on Teachers’ Day with an additional half a day of closure1. There has been strong support from child care centres, with almost all centres (i.e. 99.9%) declaring Teachers’ Day as a closure day. Kindergartens already take reference from MOE school holidays and do not operate on Teachers’ Day. There are around 1,300 childcare centres and 500 kindergartens in Singapore.
3. The Teachers’ Day initiative was announced last October by Minister for Social and Family Development, Tan Chuan-Jin, as part of the launch of the Early Childhood Manpower Plan. The Manpower Plan was developed by ECDA and Workforce Singapore, together with key sector partners including the union, operators, and training agencies, and seeks to provide more meaningful and rewarding careers for our EC educators.
4. Mr Tan said: “I am very heartened to see the strong support from preschools and parents for Teachers’ Day. It strongly affirms the important role that our EC educators play in developing our youngest children. As shared by PM Lee at the recent National Day Rally, we will continue to do more to uplift the professionalism and standing of our EC educators.”
5. Parents have also joined in the Teachers’ Day celebrations at various preschools to show their appreciation to their children’s teachers. Mdm. Karlyn Kwek, whose 3- and 4-year-old children attend Kidz Meadow Childcare & Development Centre @ Buangkok Ridge, a centre under the Partner Operator Scheme, said: “Both my children started with the centre since they were infants. They enjoy coming to the centre every day and love their teachers. For all the important work the teachers do and their strong commitment, they deserve the day off. As the centre has informed us in advance about the closure on Teachers’ Day, I am able to make arrangements for my parents to look after my children.”
6. The community has also come forward to show their appreciation and support of our EC educators. The Association for Early Childhood Educators (AECES) and the Preschool Market are presenting a ‘Thank You Kit’ to all Early Childhood educators, with discounts and special treats from participating merchants. This is the second edition of the “Thank You Kit’, with 75 merchants on-board, a 40% increase from 53 last year. This initiative is supported by ECDA and Workforce Singapore.
1Child care centres who declare a closure day on Teachers’ Day will be able to close for 6 days in a calendar year, instead of 5.5 days, as provided for in ECDA’s guidelines.
General Questions and Answers
1. What is the objective for the day off on Teachers’ Day?
The objective of the sector-wide Teachers’ Day is to celebrate and recognise the critical role played by the Early Childhood (EC) educators in caring for and teaching our young.
2. How many preschools are closing for Teachers’ Day this year? What are the reasons for not participating?
99.9% of about 1,800 preschools are closing on Teachers’ Day this year, on 31 August. Only a handful of preschools are unable to do so on 31 August due to circumstances, such as ongoing renovations, or have made plans for centre closure on other days.
In 2016, about 40% of child care centres closed on Teachers’ Day. Kindergartens took reference to MOE school holidays and did not operate on Teachers’ Day.
3. How are parents affected by the closure on Teachers’ Day?
Parents of preschoolers surveyed strongly support this move for a sector-wide closure day on Teachers’ day, to celebrate and recognise the contributions of our educators.
To minimise inconvenience to parents, centres generally inform parents at the beginning of the year of their planned closure days, including Teachers’ Day, so that parents may make arrangements for alternative care during these days.
During the Teachers’ Day weekend, parents can tap on a series of activities under Families For Life Council’s My Family Weekend (31 Aug to 3 Sep), a special weekend dedicated for families to spend quality time together. Employers are also supportive of My Family Weekend, with many of them allowing their staff to leave early or organising “Bring Your Family to Work” to support working parents who may need alternative arrangements. More information available at www.familiesforlife.sg.
4. What is in the “Thank you Kit” for teachers?
There is a range of special treats and promotions from sponsoring merchants, such as discounted admission to the Jurong Bird Park, River Safari and Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, free entry to KidZania, and discounts from National Geographic, Times Bookshop and other F&B outlets, lifestyle and wellness services, and local attractions.
5. What is Preschool Market and what does it do?
Preschool Market is a social enterprise, under the Association for Early Childhood Educators (AECES). It is started to support early childhood practitioners, children and parents through meaningful projects and engagements.