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img-drlee.jpgSince the Early Childhood Development Agency, ECDA, was formed in April 2013, raising the quality of pre-school education in Singapore has been one of our top priorities. We want all children to have access to good quality education and care.

It was with quality in mind that the Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework, or SPARK, was introduced in 2011. This is a major milestone for SIngapore’s early childhood sector,as it provides an impetus for pre-schooleducators to improve on their centres’ processes and structures. This in turn leads to innovative practices and raises quality.

Through centre visits and focus group discussions with numerous centres, we have gathered feedback with regard to the implementation of SPARK. The feedback has helped us to improve our SPARK assessment processes. One example is that Criterion 7 on Health, Hygiene and Safety requirements will be fulfilled as part of the regulation requirements. Starting from 2014, SPARK assessment will only cover the six quality indicators, Criteria 1 to 6. We will also be implementing a suite of initiatives to support centres to understand SPARK better, and to use SPARK for their quality improvement journey.

Achieving SPARK certification demonstrates centre leaders’ and teachers’ commitment to improving the quality of their centres. For the centre, it is the start of an enriching journey for quality improvement.

I hope that through participation in SPARK, centres will be able to provide high quality early childhood programmes so that we can give every child a good start.

Dr Lee Tung Jean
Chief Executive Officer
Early Childhood Development Agency
Singapore
Feb 2014