National CET Institute appointed for the Early Childhood Care and Education Sector Set to Raise Quality of Training and Teacher Numbers

April 18, 2013

SEED Institute to train 800 new pre-school teachers each year

The National Trades Union Congress’ (NTUC) SEED Institute becomes the first Continuing Education and Training (CET) Centre in the early childhood care and education (ECCE) sector to attain the National CET Institute (NCI) status.

Appointment of SEED Institute as a National CET Institute

This apex status is conferred by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) to Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) CET centres that demonstrate the highest quality training.

“SEED’s appointment as an NCI is an important step in WDA’s continued efforts to build an effective CET system with excellent and responsive training institutions to meet industry needs. It also marks a commitment in the Government’s efforts to improve the accessibility, quality and affordability of early childhood development programmes.” said Mr Wong Hong Kuan, Chief Executive, WDA.

The institute will lead the ECCE sector in the adoption of innovative methods of adult training, quick response to skills gaps and shortages and the provision of a holistic solution to workforce development initiatives, such as market signalling, profiling, career counselling, training, assessment, placement and post-placement services.

Through the years, SEED Institute and WDA have worked together to roll out several initiatives to meet the varied needs of the ECCE sector.

More Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Programmes to be offered

One such initiative is the pilot roll-out of the first on-site-bite-sized (OSBS) training programme which has enabled more than 100 pre-school educators to be trained right at the vicinity of their centres since its launch in March 2012.

Moving forward, OSBS will be extended to include six other modular CPD programmes to meet the sector’s needs. More than 700 more pre-school educators will benefit from the OSBS CPD programmes over the next two years with two new modules rolling out in the second half of 2013:

  • WSQ Support and Interact with Children Effectively (Teacher Child Interaction & Classroom Management) in Mandarin;
  • WSQ Optimise Brain Development in the Early Years 0 – 2

To ensure continual development of the ECCE educators, SEED Institute will be delivering more Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes, through training initiatives to make them more accessible.

WSQ Advanced Certificate in Early Years (WSQ ACEY) to be launched

As an NCI, SEED Institute will also kick off its inaugural cohort for the WSQ Advanced Certificate in Early Years (WSQ ACEY) in this quarter. It is part of the new training and certification pathway for early years educarers1 that was shared in July 2012.

WDA will provide course fee funding support of up to 90 per cent, through the appointed training providers, for both eligible employer-sponsored and self-sponsored trainees. More information on the programme can be found in Annex B.

Meeting Singapore’s pre-school challenges

“The appointment of SEED Institute as the National CET Institute for the ECCE sector is a feather in the cap for both the institute and the early childhood profession in Singapore. We know that any quality pre-school programme depends on having quality leaders and teachers. At SEED, we believe in nurturing professionals who are knowledgeable, who love their profession and who excel in practice. They are well sought after by the industry. Many of SEED’s graduates are leaders of the industry, and have gone on to obtain further higher degrees and qualifications. This achievement affirms SEED as the specialist ECCE Training Institute in Singapore. It will spur us to do even more, to bring the early childhood sector to even greater heights,” said Ms Ho Yin Fong, Academic Director of SEED Institute.

SEED is committed to train 800 new pre-school educators this year, up from 500 in 2012. On top of equipping new entrants with the requisite skills and qualifications, the institute also provides continuing education and training to upgrade in-service professionals. A total of 2,700 continuing education training places will be delivered this year compared to 1,750 achieved last year.

SEED Institute is the largest provider in early childhood training and plays a key role in the key areas of advocacy, education and service. Through innovative training, job placement initiatives, research and CPD, SEED Institute helps to attract ECCE professionals into the sector and equips them with the necessary professional qualifications to enable them to enjoy greater rewards and recognition.

To attract professionals into the sector, SEED Institute organises regular career fairs to reach out to both new entrants and mid-career switchers. At the career fairs, eligible candidates are matched to suitable employers and enrolled in relevant programmes, including Professional Conversion Programmes. The Early Childhood Career Fair will next be held on 20 April 2013 at the Marriott Hotel. The institute also manages SeedingJobs, a job matching web portal dedicated to the ECCE sector.

SEED’s research capabilities contribute greatly to raising curriculum quality and establishing standards and best practices for the sector. The faculty is publishing more research studies and producing more practical resources based on the Singapore context, filling a gap as most research currently comes from overseas.

SEED Institute has trained about 10,000 professionals since its inception in 1989. It was awarded the status of CET in 2009.

For more details, please refer to the attached factsheets:

Annex A National CET Institute (NCI)
Annex B Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications Advanced Certificate in Early Years (WSQ ACEY)

1 The WSQ Advanced Certificate in Early Years (WSQ ACEY) courses will certify holders as EY2 (Level 2 Educarer) and qualify them to work with children aged two months – three years old in childcare centres.

Annex B: Factsheet on Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications Advanced Certificate in Early Years (WSQ ACEY)

The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) WSQ framework was jointly developed with the key ECCE stakeholders and launched in 2007. It is part of WDA’s efforts to uplift the training standards in the ECCE sector.

In 2009, the ECCE WSQ framework was further enhanced to complement the training standards set by the Pre-School Qualifications Accreditation Committee (PQAC)2.

In late 2012, 2 new qualifications designed for educarers of children aged 2 months to 3 years were added to the ECCE WSQ framework to anchor the desired outcomes stated in the Early Years Development Framework (EYDF) that are developed by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).

WSQ Advanced Certificate in Early Years (ACEY)

The WSQ Advanced Certificate in Early Years (WSQ ACEY) is part of the new training and certification pathway for early years educarers3 that was shared in July 2012. Endorsed by the ECCE WSQ Manpower, Skills and Training Council (MSTC), it was designed to raise the skills level of early years educarers as a specialised field that caters to the unique developmental needs of children aged 2 months to 3 years.

The qualification was developed to achieve the following desired outcomes of early years care and development:

  • Children are secure, confident, safe and healthy
  • Children are involved, engaged and enquiring
  • Programmes are holistic and provide optimal experiences for growth, development and learning
  • Educarers are professionals and reflective practitioners
  • Centres, families and community engage in strong partnerships and collaborative networks

Eligibility/Criteria

The WSQ ACEY is open to both new entrants and existing staff. To enrol into the WSQ ACEY programme, an individual will be required to meet the following admission requirements:

Minimum Admission Requirements
For applicants who are existing teachers – those who have been employed in a Child Care Centre before 1 October 2011

Completed Certificate in Infant and Toddler Care or WSQ Higher Certificate in Infant Care and

Attained an average SOA 5 in the Workplace

Literacy (WPL) Series and any one of the following:

  • A credit in GCE ‘O’ Level English as a 1st Language (EL1)
  • A minimum of Band 5.5 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS – General Training)
  • An average SOA of 5 for WPL (Written)
For applicants who are new teachers – those who have been employed in a Child Care Centre on or after 1 October 2011

Must have at least Secondary 4 qualifications OR completed 10 years of formal education and;

Attained an average SOA 5 in the WPL Series and any one of the following:

  • A credit in GCE ‘O’ Level English as a 1st Language (EL1)
  • A minimum of Band 5.5 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS – General Training)
  • An average SOA of 5 for WPL (Written)

Course Duration: 8 months (full-time) / 16 months (part-time)

 

Funding

WDA will provide course fee funding support of up to 90%, through the appointed training providers, for both eligible employer-sponsored and self-sponsored trainees, who successfully complete the training programmes. Absentee Payroll will also be applicable to employers who send their staff for training.

2 Pre-School Qualification Accreditation Committee (PQAC) is a body set up jointly in 2001 by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) to establish and maintain high educational standards in early childhood teacher training courses. It assesses and accredits early childhood teacher training courses in Singapore up to Diploma level and ascertains that the courses conducted by teacher training agencies meet the prescribed standards.

3 The WSQ Advanced Certificate in Early Years (WSQ ACEY) courses will certify holders as EY 2 (Level 2 Educarer) and qualify them to work with children aged 2 months – 3 years old in child care centres.