Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Navigate Up
Sign In
General | Parents | Operators | Early Childhood Operators (ECE) / Training Providers

GENERAL​


Q1. What is ECDA?
  ECDA is an autonomous agency established to oversee children’s holistic development below the age of 7, in both kindergartens and child care centres.

Q2. Why did the government decide to establish ECDA?
  ECDA will integrate the Government’s efforts towards raising the quality, accessibility, and affordability of early childhood care and edu​cation in Singapore. It will provide a “one-stop shop” for parents, operators, and early childhood professionals.

Q3. Who will oversee ECDA?
  ECDA will be jointly overseen by MOE and MSF. Joint oversight will enable ECDA to promote children’s holistic development, nurture positive attitudes towards learning, prepare children for the transition to formal education, and help to support and strengthen Singaporean families.

Q4. When will ECDA start operations?
  ECDA will start its operations from 1st April 2013.
Q5. What will ECDA do?
  ECDA will integrate the current roles of MOE’s Pre-school Education Branch and MSF’s Child Care Division.

Its main functions will be to:
  1. Oversee measures to raise quality, including regulation, quality assurance certification, and provision of early childhood development resources;
  2. Facilitate the training and professional development of early childhood professionals;
  3. Master-plan infrastructure and manpower resources for the early childhood sector;
  4. Provide subsidies and grants to keep early childhood programmes affordable, especially for low and middle income families;
  5. Conduct public education and outreach to raise parents’ awareness and support for their children’s early development.


General | Parents | Operators | Early Childhood Operators (ECE) / Training Providers

PARENTS


Q1. How will ECDA benefit me as a parent?
  ECDA will serve as a “one-stop shop” for all matters regarding centre-based early childhood care and education. This is more convenient for parents, who will now get in touch with ECDA, for Kindergarten and Child Care matters rather than MOE and MSF separately as is the case today.

ECDA will oversee and drive quality improvements in both kindergartens and child care centres, perform master planning to ensure sufficient pre-school places for children, as well review regularly the affordability of pre-school programmes for families.

Q2. What is child care/kindergarten? What kind of services do they offer? How do I find a child care or kindergarten?
  Kindergartens

Kindergartens provide a 3-year pre-school developmental programme for children from 4 to 6 years of age. The 3-year programme consists of Nursery, Kindergarten 1 and Kindergarten 2. Most kindergartens run two sessions a day, with each session ranging from 3 to 4 hours, 5 days a week. They are currently registered under MOE and will come under the oversight of ECDA from 1st April 2013.

You can search for a kindergarten on http://preschool.edu.sg/

Child Care Centres

Child care centres provide child care services for children aged 18 months and 6 years old. Several centres also provide infant care programmes for infants aged between 2 to 18 months old. Centres may offer full-day, half-day and flexible programmes to cater to the diverse needs and work schedules of parents. Child care centres are currently licensed by MSF and will come under the oversight of ECDA from 1st April 2013.

You can search for a child care centre on www.childcarelink.gov.sg

Q3. What subsidies do I qualify for now that kindergartens and child care centres are under ECDA?
  The subsidy schemes for kindergartens and child care centres remain unchanged.

Kindergartens

KiFAS: Families whose children are enrolled in eligible kindergartens, earning a gross household income of $3,500 or less each month, or with a monthly household per capita income of $875 will qualify for the kindergarten financial assistance scheme.

You may find more details at “http://app.msf.gov.sg/ComCare/FindThe AssistanceYouNeed/KindergartenFeesAssistance.aspx

You may also wish to call 1800-222-0000 for more information.

Child Care

For Child Care centres, the current Basic Subsidy remains as it is today, but there will be an Additional Subsidy component from 1st April 2013 for working mothers whose household income is less than $7,500.

Basic Subsidy: Working mothers will qualify for a Basic Subsidy of up to $600 for infant care and $300 for child care. Non working mothers will receive $150 for both child care and infant care.

Additional Subsidy: Lower and middle income families with a gross household income of $7,500 and below, or larger families with a per Capita Income (PCI) of $1,875 and below, will benefit from an Additional Subsidy of at least $200 for infant care and $100 for child care, with lower income households receiving more.

More details can be found on the website www.childcarelink.gov.sg

There is also further help for families who require assistance beyond the Basic and Additional Subsidy, in the form of Financial Assistance and Start-Up Grant.

Q4. Are there any other schemes available to help defray pre-school expenses?
  Parents can use the Baby Bonus cash gift and the Child Development Account, where the government matches dollar-for-dollar contributions to defray kindergarten and child care expenses.

More information can be found on www.heybaby.sg.

Q5. Is kindergarten or child care better for my child? How do I select a good quality child care centre or kindergarten for my child?
  Both kindergartens and child care centres offer a wide variety of programmes. Parents are advised to identify centres that best suit the needs of their children. Working mothers with no alternative care arrangements may require full-day care for both the care and development aspects for their child. Others with their own care arrangements may find half-day programmes in child care or kindergarten more suitable for their child’s developmental needs.

All child care centres are licensed to ensure that centres adequately meet requirements on physical environment, safety, health, hygiene, nutrition, staff training, programme and curriculum, and administration. The licence tenure for child care centres range from 6 months to 24 months. A 24 months licence indicates a centre that has commendable standards for key licensing requirements.

The Government has also introduced the Singapore Pre-School Accreditation Framework (SPARK), a quality assurance framework for both kindergartens and child care centres. SPARK certification is an endorsement of the quality of the pre-school and its programmes. You may look for a list of SPARK-certified centres at both the Child Care Link and Preschools Connect websites.

You may also wish to refer to our online resources and Guide for Parents for more info:

For Child Care:
  1. Choosing a Child Care Centre for your Child
  2. Guidelines for First Timers
  3. Guide for Parents with Children in Child Care Centres

For Kindergartens:
  1. Selecting a Kindergarten


Q6. Where can I find more information on supporting my child’s development at home?
  The Public Education & Outreach branch of ECDA aims to raise awareness on the issues and importance of providing quality care and development for young children.

This will be achieved through creative partnerships with various stakeholders such as the media, non-profit organizations, kindergartens and child care centres, community groups, and others, to create and disseminate educational materials on early childhood development.

Parents can look forward to more information on early childhood care and development through ECDA’s publications and events (such as seminars and workshops).

General | Parents | Operators | Early Childhood Operators (ECE) / Training Providers

OPERATORS


Q1. How will ECDA benefit me as an operator?
  ECDA will serve as a “one-stop shop” for all matters regarding centre-based early childhood care and education. This is more convenient for operators, who can now get in touch with ECDA for kindergarten and child care matters, rather than MOE and MSF separately as is the case today.

ECDA will continue to support all operators through providing training support and curriculum resources.

Q2. How do I go about setting-up a kindergarten or child care centre?
  Kindergartens are regulated under the Education Act. You may find out more about setting up a kindergarten at http://preschool.edu.sg

Child care centres are licensed under the Child Care Act. You may find out more about setting up a child care centre at www.childcarelink.gov.sg

Q3. Where do I go to apply for SPARK from 1st April onwards?
  The Quality Assurance Branch of ECDA will oversee SPARK (Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework) applications & assessment, centre training and consultancy.

The current SPARK Secretariat will continue to accept applications for SPARK assessment from 1 Apr 2013 onwards. Their email address will be changed to SPARK@ecda.gov.sg

Q4. I am an early childhood training provider. Where do I go to get my new training courses accredited?
  The Teacher Quality Branch of ECDA will oversee the accreditation of early childhood training courses. For more information, you can write in to PQAC_Admin@ecda.gov.sg

Q5. What will happen to the current Innovation Grant / Early Childhood Research Fund?
  The Innovation and Research Branch of ECDA will promote innovation and excellence in the early childhood sector, so that standards of teaching and learning will continue to improve. It will support early childhood educators to carry out classroom-based research through the Innovation Grant and the Early Childhood Research Fund. More information can be found at cdn.gov.sg or preschool.edu.sg.

Q6. Where can I find more information on the Anchor Operator scheme?
  The Sector Funding Branch of ECDA will oversee the implementation and review of various support schemes for pre-school operators, including the Anchor Operator scheme.

More details on the enhanced Anchor Operator scheme will be released in the second quarter of 2013.

Q7. What areas of policy will ECDA harmonise and integrate across the kindergarten and child care sectors?
  ECDA will work towards integrating and strengthening the regulatory environment and support for the early childhood sector as a whole. ECDA will consult with the relevant stakeholders as it conducts this review.

General | Parents | Operators | Early Childhood Operators (ECE) / Training Providers

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS (ECE) / TRAINING PROVIDERS


Q1. How will ECDA benefit me as an ECE?
  ECDA will serve as a “one-stop shop” for educators to interface with government on matters regarding their profession. These include qualification and training requirements, applications for registration and certification, scholarship opportunities, and training courses.

Q2. How do I join the sector? What are the training requirements and approved courses for ECE? Are they the same for kindergartens and child care? How do I get certified?
  The qualifications and training requirements for both kindergartens and child care are already harmonized according to age group. For example, teachers teaching kindergarten-level children have the same training requirements.

You may wish to find out more about required qualifications, the various training routes for educators, and how to get certified, at www.childcarelink.gov.sg or http://preschool.edu.sg.

Q3. What kind of funding and support is available to me?
  For child care educators, we have enhanced scholarships for educators to upgrade their skills. More information on available scholarships can be found at www.childcarelink.gov.sg. More resources can also be found on http://www.ecda.gov.sg/growatbeanstalk                    

For kindergarten teachers, MOE offers scholarships for different programmes. More information can be found at http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/preschool/moe-bursary-scholarship-teaching-award/

Q4. What will ECDA do to improve the early childhood profession?
  Both MOE and MSF currently work closely with various partners to attract, develop and retain early childhood professionals. ECDA will continue working with partners such as WDA and ESU to support the career development of our early childhood personnel.

These sector-wide initiatives include scholarships to attract new entrants and upgrading opportunities for existing teachers. MSF has also created more career opportunities through alternative training pathways for educarers for the younger ages.

MSF has recently launched a Continuing Development Framework (CPDF) to guide early childhood operators in planning for professional development for their staff. A copy of the CPDF can be downloaded from : http://www.childcarelink.gov.sg/ccls/home/CCLS_ HomeEarlyChildhoodCourses.jsp#ContinuedTrainingCourses

Q5. I am an early childhood training provider. Where do I go to get my new training courses accredited?
  The Teacher Quality Branch of ECDA will oversee the accreditation of early childhood training courses. For more information, you can write in to PQAC_Admin@ecda.gov.sg