Early childhood operators and employees to benefit from two new sector initiatives

HR capability of operators to be boosted and career advisory to assist interested job seekers

Singapore, 11 April 2017 – To meet the increasing demand for talent in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) sector, Workforce Singapore (WSG) is collaborating with the Association of Early Childhood and Training Service (ASSETS) and Association for Early Childhood Educators (Singapore) (AECES) to develop two initiatives, namely the Progressive HR Practices Early Adopter Programme for EC operators, and the SkillsFuture Career Advisors Programme for jobseekers interested to join the sector. These key initiatives for the ECCE sector were announced today by Minister of State (Manpower) & Mayor, North East CDC, Mr Teo Ser Luck at the first ECCE Leadership & HR Conference co-organised by WSG and ASSETs.

Progressive HR Practices Early Adopter Programme

2.         The Progressive HR Practices Early Adopter Programme, developed by WSG in consultation with ASSETS, aims to help EC operators address the challenges of employee retention.  Under the programme, HR consultants will train, mentor and guide EC operators to implement proven HR practices and good leadership, so as to foster a workplace culture and environment that focuses on employee welfare, personnel development and mentoring, and build quality workplaces that foster employee engagement and loyalty. 

3.         More than 20 EC operators have signed up since the programme was introduced in February 2017, benefitting 2,800 employees in their preschools.  The Progressive HR Practices Early Adopter Programme supports the Government’s call to companies to ‘Transform and Grow’ by adopting progressive HR practices and offer quality jobs with good advancement opportunities to Singaporeans.  Refer to Annex A for details of the programme.

4.         Ms Peh Li Lin, Director of Zee Schoolhouse Pte Ltd, who operates four childcare centres said, “Many operators including ourselves are experiencing a manpower crunch.  By embarking on this programme, we can learn how to recruit and select the right people whose values are aligned to our organisation.  We also want to improve the working environment, and have happier employees by introducing best practices in employee engagement and retention. High attrition is a cost to us, and it also reduces the organisation’s productivity.”

SkillsFuture Career Advisors Programme

5.         The SkillsFuture Career Advisors Programme for ECCE is a new initiative under Adapt and Grow, targeted at jobseekers.  Developed by WSG and AECES, the programme aims to build a pool of career advisors who will provide career advisory and assist job seekers with their understanding of careers in ECCE and the criteria and aptitude required to join the sector. 

6.         To date, a total of 24 professionals, comprising centre leaders, pre-school teachers and curriculum specialists, have volunteered their time as career advisors to jobseekers interested in an early childhood career.  A series of advisory sessions will be organised during which the advisors will provide jobseekers with industry information to help ensure a better match of jobseekers’ career aspirations and expectations with the job requirements and employers’ expectations.  The programme’s efforts to connect potential jobseekers with experienced incumbents will help jobseekers make better-informed career decisions about joining the sector, and minimise mismatches in their job search,   which in turn will enhance the sector’s efforts to attract and retain talent.  Refer to Annex B for the details on the SkillsFuture Career Advisors Programme.

First ECCE Leadership & HR Conference

7.         The key initiatives for the ECCE sector were announced today by Minister of State (Manpower) & Mayor, North East CDC, Mr Teo Ser Luck, who was the Guest of Honour at the first ECCE Leadership & HR Conference co-organised by WSG and ASSETs.  The half-day conference was held to raise awareness of the role that leaders and HR have on workplace culture, workplace happiness and retention of talent.  It also provided the platform for industry players to network and share best practices in HR and leadership.  About 200 guests attended the conference. 

8.         In conjunction with the conference, the first SkillsFuture Career Advisors’ group advisory session and an employer networking event with five EC operators were organised for 80 jobseekers.  More than 110 educator job vacancies were offered at the networking session.

9.         Chief Executive of Workforce Singapore, Mr Tan Choon Shian said, “These initiatives for the ECCE sectors are significant, in that they help enhance the sector’s ability to attract talent, and offer rewarding and fulfilling careers to Singaporeans. This is also made even more crucial as the early years are critical in shaping the foundation of a child’s development, and having the right talent in the sector is important.”   

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Annex A: Factsheet on Progressive HR Practices Early Adopter Programme

Annex B: Factsheet on SkillsFuture Career Advisors Programme 

Speech: MOS Teo Ser Luck Opening Address