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We raise the bar with Early Childhood Educational Leadership

Leadership can positively impact on the quality of the centre as a workplace, the quality of education provided and the developmental outcomes achieved by children over time (Waniganayake et al., 2017).

Why Educational Leadership?

Effective leadership and governance of our preschool service contribute to quality environments for children’s learning and development. As part of NTUC First Campus’ vision of providing Singapore’s children with the best possible start in life, we have been focussing on the role of educational leaders in our centres to improve the overall quality of our practice.

We partnered with the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) on the Early Childhood Educational Leadership (ECEL) programme to empower our Deputy Centre Leaders and Lead Teachers to become more effective curriculum and pedagogical leaders.

Early Childhood Educational Leadership (ECEL) Programme

As a leader of a network of childcare centres, NTUC First Campus drew on its experience and expertise and co-developed this practice-oriented leadership programme with the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS).

The ECEL programme reflects and addresses challenges at childcare centres to build educational leadership capabilities and strengthen centre leadership teams. It is designed based on leading practices in early childhood pedagogy and curriculum, positive education, quality assurance, support for children with diverse needs and leadership development.

Designed for NFC deputy centre leads, vice-principals, lead teachers and senior teachers, it focuses on growing leaders to identify innovative ways to transform and uplift centre practices, and build strong professional competencies.

Through our partnership with SUSS, we combine the rigour and high standards that SUSS brings with strong practice-based application at childcare centres. With this, NFC also plays a key role in uplifting early childhood leadership and quality standards in the sector.

The ECEL programme includes a 12-month Work-Study component, which runs simultaneously with the SUSS courses. This component focuses on developing pedagogical leadership practices and dispositions based on the principles of adult learning. It is uniquely supported by NFC’s Educational Leadership Specialists who are appointed as mentors to the programme participants. As mentors outside of the participant’s respective workplaces, they remove potential barriers that could exist in a manager-employee relationship. They are also able to provide varying perspectives external to a centre’s present ecosystem, which are useful in stimulating new ideas and encouraging new ways of doing things. With the successful completion of four SUSS courses and the NFC Work-Study component, SUSS will grant credit recognition to NFC staff who wish to pursue an early childhood degree with SUSS.

ECEL at a glance


Month-Long workplace-based Programme via classroom learning and experiential learning in the centres


Practice-based course modules that help leaders better support teachers in the centres as well as children from all backgrounds


Key Learning Outcomes with the leadership skills and competencies that we believe every NFC leader should possess

Hear from our ECEL Graduates

Our Educational Leadership Team is fielded by a team of specialists that provide mentorship to our Centre Leaders