More than 400 Pre-Schools to Adopt 'Smart' Solutions to Enhance Teaching and Learning in Pre-Schools
29 Jun 2017
1. Teachers and leaders in more than 400 pre-schools, comprising a quarter of the early childhood sector, will soon be able to devote even more quality time to their children, as
they integrate SMART Solutions to streamline daily processes and administrative duties. Through these productivity tools, pre-schools will also be able to enhance the quality of care and education for children, and provide parents greater assurance
and peace of mind.provide parents greater assurance and peace of mind.
2. While IT solutions are currently available on the market, SMART solutions provide pre-schools with a more integrated package of IT solutions that better support the operations and management of pre-schools. SMART solutions cover a range of administrative processes, finance, staff deployment and training, children’s records and development, centre operations, parent-teacher communication and regulation compliance. By reducing administrative workload, teachers will be better able to focus on the child’s learning and curriculum development. Teachers can also use SMART solutions to better document the activities and developmental progress of children, and share them more regularly with parents. (Refer to Annex A).
3. SMART Solutions for the early childhood sector is the result of a successful collaboration between the Association of Early Childhood and Training Services (ASSETS) and government agencies, namely Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). It is also a Lean Enterprise Development Scheme initiative in collaboration with Workforce Singapore (WSG) to create a more supportive working environment and more productive work processes for our early childhood educators.
4. Following a “Call for Proposal” exercise in August 2016, ASSETS, selected infocomm media solution providers and the early childhood industry worked together to co-create SMART solutions which are both affordable and effective at raising productivity in preschools. Over the coming year, ASSETS will work with partners to further raise awareness and take-up of these SMART solutions in the early childhood sector.
5. Operators interested to adopt the SMART solutions for their centres can tap on government grants, such as WorkPro’s Job Redesign grant by Workforce Singapore to reduce the initial cost of adoption by up to 80% (refer to Annex B). Interested operators can contact ASSETS at email@example.com for more information on the SMART solutions.
ANTICIPATED QUESTIONS FOR SMART SOLUTIONS
1. What is the objective of the SMART Solutions initiative?
The objective of the SMART Solutions initiative is to enable preschools to move away from the conventional way of doing things, adopt innovative technology based solutions to deliver productivity gains and address critical gaps in preschool administration and management matters within the early childhood industry.
2. How were the IT Solutions selected?
A Call for Proposals was published in August 2016 by the Association of Early Childhood Training and Services (ASSETS) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). A Selection Panel, made up of ASSETS, IMDA and ECDA, evaluated the proposals based on the criteria that they should:
a) Improve productivity in preschools;
b) Be affordable and provide value for money;
c) Be able to integrate with the pre-schools’ existing IT systems, where applicable;
d) Be able to integrate with other external systems, including ECDA’s systems;
e) Be easy to navigate and use; and
f) Be Future-Ready.
3. What kind of benefits can preschools expect through adopting these solutions?
Most preschools today adopt conventional methods to handle administrative and management matters. Routine administrative duties such as attendance taking and recording of temperature are handled by teaching staff, who record the information down manually on excel sheets or record books. Some centres even employ a separate staff member to maintain school records and administer finance payment and applications.
Systems available in the market today do not usually offer an integrated suite of solutions that meet both the administrative and management needs of the sector. Such solutions are also priced on an item by item basis, making it expensive for preschools to subscribe to.
SMART Solutions are affordable productivity tools for preschools, with government funding available to defray the cost for adoption. These integrated IT solutions will help streamline information management and ease administrative duties for educators, for example, collecting and maintaining student records, attendance and temperature taking, portfolio management, and communication with parents. With the productivity gain, leaders and teachers would be able to spend more quality time with the children under their care as well as improve the quality of service to parents. It will also make it easier for the educators to develop themselves professionally. The centres can also cope with manpower constraints by using technology to maintain school records and administer finance applications and payments. These will, in turn, raise the quality of care and education, improve the work experience for teachers, make the centres more attractive employers, and give parents greater assurance on the quality of pre-school service. It is a win-win situation for all.
4. What kind of support can operators look forward to for the adoption of the SMART Solutions?
Operators can tap on available grants to reduce the initial cost of adoption of the SMART Solutions such as WorkPro’s Job Redesign grant by Workforce Singapore (refer to Annex B) under the Transform and Grow initiative.
5. Who are the qualified infocomm media solution providers providing the SMART Solutions?
- Contact Person : Craig Fu
- Contact number: 98247012
- Email address:
- Contact Person : Amoz Leong
- Contact number: 86067193
- Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact Person : Truong Huyen Trang (Chang)
- Contact number: 82893826
- Email address: email@example.com
- Contact Person : Renjie
- Contact number: 8159 9886
- Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Can other vendors still apply for this collaboration since the Call for Proposals has already ended?
Interested infocomm media (ICM) solution providers who are keen to participate and have their digital solutions for the Early Childhood sector pre-approved by IMDA can look forward to the next round of Call for Proposals (CFP) that has been planned for 4Q 2017. The details for the CFP will be made available on ASSETS’ and ECDA’s websites.
7. How is SMART Solutions part of the Early Childhood Manpower Plan?
Smart Solutions would enable a more supportive work environment and more productive work processes for our educators. It is part of our measures to attract and retain early childhood professionals under the Early Childhood Manpower Plan, announced by Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin in September 2016 to create more rewarding careers for early childhood educators.
Those who are interested in joining the sector can participate at our upcoming job fair at Punggol Waterway Point from 4 to 9 July. Interested jobseekers may register for the event at http://event.e2i.com.sg/ecce. More information on careers in early childhood is also available at www.ecda.gov.sg/eccareers.
WORKPRO JOB REDESIGN FUNDING
Redesign Grant (Up To $300,000 per Company)
1. What is WorkPro?
WorkPro encourages employers to implement progressive employment practices to benefit Singaporeans through job redesign, age management practices and flexible work arrangements.
2. What is the WorkPro Redesign Grant?
The Job Redesign Grant has been enhanced to provide more funding support to help companies create physically easier, safer and smarter jobs for older workers i.e. aged 50 years and above.
Companies which embarked on the Inclusive Growth Programme (IGP) or the Capability Development Grant (CDG) may apply for the Job Redesign (Rider)1 if the project also leads to a positive impact on older workers. This includes, but not limited to,
a. Making jobs physically easier, safer and smarter through improvements to the workplace environment / work processes
b. Placement and retention of older workers
c. Improved productivity, enhanced job scope, wage increment etc.
d. Companies may embark on more than one project, subject to an overall cap of $300,000 per company.
Companies may submit multiple applications provided that the job redesign project(s) are different and each would benefit a different group of older workers. However, each company is subjected to an overall funding cap of $300,000.
Companies are strongly encouraged to leverage on the Job Redesign Toolkit, which has been jointly developed by SNEF, NTUC and MOM to guide companies through a systematic approach towards job redesign.
Companies may engage external consultants to develop a proposal for the job redesign project. You may like to consider one of SPRING’s approved consultants as listed on: https://solutionsatwork.com.sg/innovation-and-capability-voucher-icv-by-spring-singapore/.
Grant Deliverables for Job Redesign Grant
a. Companies would be given 12 months to complete the project. Companies should detail in their application form the current situation, the proposed job redesign project and how older workers would benefit.
b. Companies must submit the following documents to claim for the grants at the end of the project: Relevant invoices, receipts and supporting documents for costs incurred in the job redesign project.
2 Older workers must be either Singapore Citizens (SCs) or Singapore Permanent Residents (SPRs) aged 50 and above, employed on permanent basis or on employment contracts that are at least 12 months in duration
The total funding percentrage takes into account grants obtained through IGP or CDG. The amount of funding eligible under the Job Redesign (Rider) will be capped at 80% of actual fundable qualifying cost (i.e. total grant obtained under IGP or CDG and Job Redesign (Rider) must not exceed 80% of the actual fundable qualifying cost).
For more information on WorkPro, employers may contact the Programme Partners.
NTUC/NTUC's e2i (Employment and Employability Institute)
Tel : NTUC ULIVE
Tel : 6290 7694
Email : email@example.com
More information can also be found at www.mom.gov.sg/workpro .