29 September 2022
Building relationships to level the field
As a Child Enabling Executive (CEE) at NTUC First Campus, I provide social support to identified children and their families. I monitor the children’s well-being, follow up on the reasons for irregular pre-school attendance, and address any developmental, hygiene or safety concerns. I also build relationships with the children and families to assist them beyond childcare needs, such as identifying the family’s challenges and any potential barriers that could be hindering the children’s well-being.
My colleagues and I work with centre principals and teachers to encourage families to participate in parent engagement activities at My First Skool, as well as collaborate on supporting the developmental needs of the children. We also liaise with key stakeholders in the community, to increase the visibility of at-risk children. This involves attending case conferences and making home visits when necessary.
Working in the early childhood sector, first as a pre-school teacher and now as a CEE, has given me the opportunity to share experiences with the children and families we work with, see them make progress, and achieve stability both at home and in school. My previous experience as a pre-school teacher in the social services sector was very meaningful, but it was limited because I was only working with at-risk children, who most of the time, did not attend school. I took on the CEE role to see how we could work with families to tackle the underlying issues that may be preventing the caregivers’ ability to send the children to school regularly. It has been a memorable experience working together with my fellow CEEs to address barriers and challenges that these families face. It has also been a privilege to build rapport and share experiences with the families we work with, as well as journey with them through both the good and challenging times.
Being in the early childhood sector highlights to me the potential every child has, as well as the impact a quality early childhood education can have to empower children, allowing education to be an equalizer in breaking children out of the poverty cycle.
The Bright Horizons Fund (BHF) has helped low-income families by providing them with regular financial support. With this support, caregivers can enrol their children in school and go to work themselves, which empowers them and helps to financially stabilise the family. The BHF subsidies also ensure that children from low-income families can go to school regularly and have equal opportunities as their peers to participate in field trips, graduation events such as photo-taking and concerts, have new uniforms, and celebrate their birthdays with cake every year.
Since its inception, BHF has depended on the generosity of donors. With more funding, the BHF can extend its support to low-income families by providing subsidies for more enrichment programmes that encourage children to build their strengths. Additional funding will also allow the BHF to expand their existing Infant Nutrition Programme to all children. Nutritious meals are important for children of all ages, and essentials such as appropriate milk / milk powders for toddlers and pre-schoolers can be financial constraints for the many low-income families we work with.
Keen to make a difference to children from low-income families? Join us by donating to the Bright Horizons Fund, to reach out to more children in need!
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