New Initiatives for Aspiring Early Childhood Educators
02 Nov 2016
ECDA introduces Training Award for university students and Commendation Award for outstanding Training Award recipients
2 November 2016
initiatives for aspiring early childhood educators were announced today by Minister for Social and Family Development Mr Tan Chuan-Jin at the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) Scholarships and
Awards Presentation Ceremony 2016. They
are the ECDA Training Award for university students, and Commendation Award for
outstanding Training Award recipients.
two new initiatives will complement the comprehensive suite of initiatives
under the new Early Childhood Manpower Plan launched on 1 Oct 2016,
and will support the next
generation of early childhood professionals to have meaningful and rewarding careers
in the early childhood sector.
New ECDA Training Award (University)
To attract passionate and committed
individuals who are keen to pursue a degree course of study, ECDA will
introduce a new ECDA Training Award (University). This will complement ECDA’s
existing Training Awards for Polytechnic and Institute for Technical Education
(ITE) students. Every Singapore Citizen or Permanent
Resident who successfully enrols in the full-time Bachelor of Early Childhood
Education (with Minor) at SIM University (UniSIM) commencing in July 2017 will be invited to apply.
4. As with the other ECDA Training Awards, the Training Award (University) includes full sponsorship of the direct honours programme, learning resource and professional development grants, and a monthly allowance. With each year of sponsorship, the student commits to work a corresponding year in the early childhood sector.
5. “UniSIM is happy to collaborate with ECDA on the offer of the Training Award to our full-time degree programme students. This is a great boost in attracting more individuals to join the early childhood education profession and building a pipeline of talented educators for this critically important sector,” said Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President of UniSIM.
New Commendation Award for outstanding Training Award recipients
To recognize and celebrate the achievements of outstanding Training
Award recipients for their good performance during their course of studies, ECDA
will also introduce a new
Commendation Award from 2017. The awardees will be specially selected for being excellent role models for their peers, performing consistently well in their studies, including during their internships and practicum, and displaying outstanding conduct, attitude, and leadership qualities. Their contributions to the sector during the course of their studies would also be recognised.
7. Eligible students will be nominated by their respective educational institute and undergo an interview with ECDA. Commendation Awardees will each receive a certificate of commendation and a $1,000 cash prize.
Record number of Training Awards taken up
At the Scholarships and Award
Presentation Ceremony 2016, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin also revealed that the ECDA Training Award was given to more than
300 students from ITE, Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic this year.
This is about a four-fold increase from 81 awarded last year.
9. “I am very happy to see the strong interest from students in pursuing a career as an early childhood educator. These training awards complement our recently launched Early Childhood Manpower Plan to enable educators to have more career progression opportunities, a supportive working environment, and greater respect and recognition. I am confident that our aspiring educators can look forward to meaningful and rewarding careers in this important sector,” said Mr Eugene Leong, Chief Executive of ECDA.
10. The ceremony attended by more than 420 recipients and guests this year, is part of ECDA’s initiative to recognise outstanding and deserving early childhood educators and committed and passionate aspiring educators who have taken up ECDA Scholarships and Training Awards to fulfil their career aspirations in the sector.
are the ECDA Scholarships and Training Awards part of ECDA’s overall strategy
manpower supply and raise quality and professionalism of educators? Are they linked to the
recent Early Childhood Manpower Plan announced at the Early Childhood Conference 2016?
the Early Childhood Manpower Plan, ECDA has put in place a comprehensive suite of
initiatives to attract, retain and develop quality educators, for better quality care and education
for our children.
the Training Awards, ECDA supports pre-service teachers who possess the right
qualities and are passionate about working with children, to have a meaningful and rewarding
career in the early childhood (EC) sector. The new Training Award (University) and
Commendation Award will allow more deserving candidates to be eligible, including those
pursuing university courses in early childhood, as well as recognise outstanding Training
the ECDA Scholarships, ECDA supports in-service teachers who wish to deepen
knowledge and competencies through further studies.
from the ECDA Scholarships, there are a range of options to deepen the
of in-service teachers and facilitate meaningful career progression, including Continuing
Professional Development courses, the Professional Development Programme,
and SkillsFuture Study Award for EC sector.
New ECDA Training Award (University)
2. Why is ECDA introducing a new Training Award for university students? Who qualifies for it?
The Training Award is introduced to support passionate individuals who are
committed to a
career in the early childhood sector, and are keen to pursue a degree course of study.
All Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident students who can demonstrate their ability and
potential to contribute to the sector and successfully enrol into the new full-time Bachelor of
Early Childhood Education (with Minor) at SIM University (UniSIM) commencing in July 2017
will be invited to apply.
Applications for admission into the
July 2017 UniSIM intake will open in December 2016. ECDA
is working closely with UniSIM to publicise the degree and the ECDA Training Award (University).
ECDA Scholarships are offered to outstanding and deserving early childhood professionals who
wish to pursue a Bachelor or Master Degree in Early Childhood education on a part-time basis.
3. What funding support is ECDA offering for the Training Award for university students?
The Award, which is worth up to
$75,000 per student, includes full course sponsorship, the
Learning Resource and Professional Development grants and an $800 monthly allowance during
the course of study. Each year of sponsorship comes with a corresponding year of service to the
early childhood sector.
In addition, ECDA will work closely with UniSIM
to engage Training Award recipients to better
support them at key stages of their early childhood journey. These include newsletters and
dialogues to keep them updated on developments in the early childhood landscape, a job
emplacement programme and various engagement platforms to learn from experienced
educators and experts on starting and sustaining well in the sector.
4. Does one need to have a degree to enter the
early childhood sector, as a regulatory
requirement by ECDA?
Early childhood educators are not required to
have attained a degree to teach in the sector.
All early childhood (EC) educators are currently required to obtain a Diploma in Early Childhood
Care and Education - Teaching (DECCE-T) in order to be registered as a teacher for children
aged eighteen months to six years. For those teaching the younger ages (e.g. children from
eighteen months to four years), they are required to minimally obtain an Advanced Certificate
in Early Childhood Care and Education (ACECCE).
Commendation Award for outstanding Training Award recipients
5. What is the purpose of the Commendation Award, and what will recipients receive?
The Commendation Award aims to provide an opportunity
to recognize and celebrate the
achievements and successes of the Training Award (TA) Recipients, and in doing so encourage
every individual to achieve their personal best.
It is a prestigious award given to TA
recipients taking the full-time
Higher NITEC, Diploma or
Degree course in Early Childhood Education in their graduating year. Each commendation
awardee will receive a certificate and a cash prize of $1,000.
The inaugural group of Awardees will be formally recognized at the ECDA Scholarships and
Awards Appointment Ceremony 2017.
6. Who can qualify for the Commendation Award? How are the Awardees selected?
Awardees would be selected based on several factors,
including their leadership abilities and
potential to contribute to the sector.
There will be two rounds of selection for the
Commendation Award. Students will be nominated
by their respective lecturers at the Institutes of Higher Learning. Those who have been
shortlisted will then undergo an interview assessment with ECDA.
7. How many awards will ECDA give out each year?
As this is a prestigious award accorded to outstanding
and deserving TA recipients, ECDA will
give the Commendation Award to not more than 10% of the graduating cohort of TA recipients.
ECDA Scholarships and Training Awards Ceremony 2016
8. Why does ECDA organise the ECDA Scholarships and Awards Presentation Ceremony?
The annual ECDA Scholarships and Awards Presentation Ceremony is
part of ECDA’s efforts to
recognize outstanding and deserving EC educators and committed and passionate aspiring
educators who have taken up ECDA Scholarships/Teaching Awards (for Degree and Master
programmes), Training Awards (for ITE and Polytechnic) and Sponsorships (for part-time
diploma) to fulfil their career aspirations in the sector. The ceremony has been held annually
9. Why was there a record number of Training Award recipients in 2016?
More students took up the Training Award (TA) due to the following reasons:
- At Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic, since 2016, Training Awards are now offered to every Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident student who successfully enrols in the Early Childhood-related course; and passes the selection interview.
- ECDA also worked more closely with the polytechnics and ITE raise awareness of and to nominate deserving students for the training awards.