Close to 100 ECCE operators took steps to make workplaces progressive for their employees

SINGAPORE, 28 SEPTEMBER 2018 – Close to 100 ECCE operators have participated in the Progressive HR Practices Early Adopter Programme (EAP) for the Early Childhood and Education sector till date, benefitting about 30% of the sector workforce. Launched by Workforce Singapore (WSG) in Apr 2017 and managed by the Association of Early Childhood and Training Services (ASSETS), the EAP aims to strengthen the operators’ leadership and HR capabilities, and encourage operators to implement progressive HR practices within their workplace for the benefit of their employees.

2.  The EAP complements WSG’s suite of Adapt and Grow programmes to help the ECCE sector to attract and retain the manpower they need. Through the programme, the operators would be better able to plan and develop training programmes to upskill their ECCE professionals and plug any skills gap. They would also receive guidance from professional HR consultants on which HR practices to adopt that would help create more positive, happier and nurturing workplaces for their employees.

3.  These operators have since sent more than 350 ECCE professionals, comprising principals and HR personnel for leadership and HR training under the EAP. Apart from sending staff for training, these operators have also implemented more progressive HR practices across a total of 780 childcare centres, creating a more positive working environment and nurturing work culture for close to 7,000 of their employees. Those onboard the programme have also reported higher retention rates and stronger employee engagement. More information about the EAP can be found in Annex A.

4.  Mr Tan Choon Shian, Chief Executive of WSG said, “It is heartening to see these ECCE operators heeding the call to become early adopters of progressive HR practices. They have taken up the mantle and showed the rest of the sector how it is possible to put employees first and create positive working environments in which staff can thrive. We encourage the rest of the sector to follow their footsteps, and we will continue to work with ASSETS and relevant stakeholders to help the operators become progressive employers, and overcome their manpower challenges.”

ASSETS Best Employer Awards

5.  Three ECCE operators were also conferred the ASSETS Best Employer Awards at the ECCE Leadership and HR Conference today. In its third edition, the Awards recognise ECCE operators cum employers for their efforts in championing progressive HR and human capital practices in their preschool centres, while achieving and sustaining operational and service excellence.

6.  This year’s winners are Nurturestars, Red Schoolhouse, and Seventh-Day Adventist Kindergarten. Each award recipient has increased efforts to engage and support their staff in their work through progressive HR practices. They kept communication channels between management and staff open, and were active in ensuring their staff’s voices and suggestions were heard and addressed. As EAP participants, the operators have also clarified each staff’s roles and responsibilities, and charted clearer career progression pathways for their employees. This has helped improve their staff retention. More information about the Award winners can be found in Annex B.

7.  Mr Robert Leong, President of ASSETS said, “Our ECCE sector is one where the management of people is critical, in view of the role and demand for ECCE staff. To encourage the adoption of professional HR practices, ASSETS organised the “Best Employer Awards” to recognise companies and organisations who have demonstrated commitment to their staff through excellent workplace practices to recruit the right talent, retain and upgrade teachers. This will also catalyse sector colleagues to consciously join in the move to continuously review and further professional HR practices, and participate in these awards, for recognition in the coming years.”

8.  Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower and Education, Ms Low Yen Ling was the Guest-of-honour at the conference.