THE EARLY CHILDHOOD INDUSTRY DIGITAL PLAN
The Early Childhood Industry Digital Plan (EC IDP) is jointly developed by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), in partnership with SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and industry partners1. It provides a structured framework to guide preschool operators in their digital transformation efforts and, specifically, the digital solutions they can adopt across three stages of growth. The IDP will be updated over time as the industry progresses and newer and more relevant technologies are introduced. Aligned to the EC Industry Transformation Map (ITM), the sector-wide EC IDP contributes to the SMEs Go Digital programme2 that aims to make going digital simple for operators.
1Association of Early Childhood and Training Services (ASSETS) and Association for Early Childhood Educators (Singapore)(AECES)
Early Childhood’s Digital Roadmap
The three-stage Digital Roadmap of the IDP charts out the digital solutions that operators in the EC industry can adopt at each stage of their growth to support their digital journey.
Getting Ready for the Digital Economy – Adopt and Adapt
This stage calls for operators to adopt digital solutions such as e-enrolment and adapt centre processes for more efficient processes and digital-enabled work.
Growing in the Digital Economy – Analyse and Automate
This stage calls for preschoolers to adopt digital solutions such as data analytics that can help them analyse and automate operations and educator training for more data-driven operations and digital-enabled training.
Leaping Ahead – Advance Capabilities
This stage identifies solutions such as smart resource management and virtual training for teachers, so that operators can advance capabilities for smart centres and innovative learning.
With the introduction of the EC IDP, preschool operators can look forward to support in the following ways:
To make it easy for operators to adopt digital solutions recommended in the EC IDP, ECDA and IMDA will progressively curate more pre-approved solutions that are assessed to be market-proven, cost-effective and supported by reliable vendors. More preapproved solutions will be offered, beyond the current SMART Solutions initiative. Preschool operators can save time and effort to search for solutions and benefit from the convenience of quickly adopting these pre-approved solutions.
To encourage preschool operators to start adopting the EC IDP, ECDA has introduced the Early Childhood Digitalisation Grant (ECDG) that eligible preschool operators may apply for to defray some of the cost of adopting pre-approved digital solutions recommended in the IDP. The ECDG is part of the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) and will support up to 50% of the implementation cost. More information on the ECDG is provided in the following section.
For more information on the solutions in each stage, you may wish to download and refer to our e-book here.
Infocomm Technology (ICT) vendors with ready digital solutions and would like to apply to be a technology solutions provider for EC IDP are invited to submit their solutions to be pre-approved under the programme. For more information, please visit http://www.imda.gov.sg/icmvendors. .
To be eligible for funding, the grant applicant must fulfil the following:
- Be registered and operating in Singapore
- Purchase/lease/subscription of the solution must be used in Singapore
- Must not have:
- made any payment to a supplier, vendor or third party in relation to the purchase/lease/subscription of the solution
- signed or confirmed any contract with a supplier, vendor or third party in relation to the purchase/lease/subscription of the solution
- Operator and centre/s must be licensed by ECDA;
- Solution/s must be within the scope of the Early Childhood IDP categories and the solution/s adopted has/have been pre-approved jointly by ECDA and IMDA (see Table 1); and
- Solution/s must be for new (i.e. has/have not been adopted by the centre before) or enhanced functions (i.e. upgrade to include new function/s for existing solution/s) adopted by the operator (for single legal entity) or consortium.
Table 1: Fundable Solutions1
|IDP Stage||Categories||Pre-Approved solutions|
For the list of pre-approved solutions and vendors which are currently available, please visit the Early Childhood (gobusiness.gov.sg) website.
Funding application will be assessed based on operators’ UEN and number of centres registered under each UEN, as indicated in the grant application form.
The grant supports up to 50% of costs to implement pre-approved IDP Stage 1 and Stage 2 solutions, unless otherwise stated.
Operators may submit one application per solution category in each IDP Stage.
Applications for the ECDG is now open under the Productivity Solutions Grant in the Business Grant Portal (BGP). All licensed preschool operators can access the grant application link here.
Operators would have to log-on to BGP with a valid CorpPass and follow the on-screen instructions.
The grant will be disbursed on a reimbursement basis; for all approved solutions stipulated in the grant agreement. Operators must have fully implemented the solution/s before submitting claim requests.
Amount submitted for reimbursement should be within the maximum approved amount stipulated in the grant agreement. Operators can submit their claims via BGP directly. Please refer to the following User Guide for reference on the application and claims process.
To find out more about IDP and ECDG, please refer to the following FAQ document.
Eligible operators can utilise existing funding schemes by partner agencies for digital consultancy, training and generic off-the-shelf IT solutions like accounting software, sales management and more.
SMEs requiring digital consultancy can reach out to SME Digital Tech Hub for expert advice in transforming their business using digital technologies. NCSS members and MSF-funded SSAs can also apply for Tech & Go! grant for consultancy services required.
Digital courses in the IDP training roadmap are supported by Skillsfuture Singapore (SSG) under the SkillsFuture Series’ Framework. Eligible enterprises who qualify can also benefit from additional subsidies under the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credits (SFEC) scheme.
Generic off-the-shelf business IT solutions
For IMDA’s pre-approved generic business IT solutions like accounting software, customer relationship management, sales management and more, SMEs and NCSS member SSAs can apply for PSG and Tech and Go! respectively. Eligible charities and IPC operators can approach VCF-ICT for separate funding support.