Appreciation and trust for Early Childhood educators
Training teachers and leaders in the Early Childhood Care & Education industry
As a pre-school teacher, the last thing she expected on a school day was a room full of adults waiting for her in class.
Ms Annaliza Tan, 26, and her co-teacher at Pat's Schoolhouse were surprised by the parents of their class on Teachers' Day.
They had decorated the classroom with balloons to show their appreciation for the teachers.
Ms Tan said: "It gave us the affirmation on how important and appreciated we are by the parents and children."
She is one of 6,000 early childhood education professionals who have been trained at the Asian International College (AIC).
The college offers certification and diploma programmes in both English and Mandarin, with the aim of preparing educators for careers in the Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE) industry.
According to Ms Gloria N Parvathi Naidu, associate head faculty, English ECCE at AIC, programmes offered are Singapore Workforce Skills Qualification-based.
These range from entry-level to diplomas and higher education, on both part-time and full-time basis.
To graduate, students are required to complete 60 to 300 hours of practical, which puts them in the shoes of a teacher or caregiver, assisting experienced caregivers with lesson plans for the children.
Ms Naidu said: "(Through the practicum), students will be able to link what they have learnt in theory and practice, and in turn acquire a good understanding of skills required in planning and implementing good childcare practices."
It gave us the affirmation on how important and appreciated we are by the parents and children.Ms Annaliza tan on the surprise party thrown by parents at Pat’s Schoolhouse
"The parents' active involvement in their child's education increases their communication with our pre-school educators, as they start to form a co-reliance on sharing information of their child's day in school or at home to understand their child's development better," she added.
About 20,000 early childhood professionals will be needed in two to three years' time to satisfy the growing ECCE sector.
Currently, there are about 16,000 such professionals.
Ms Sophia Koh, 28, who graduated from AIC with two diplomas - in teaching and leadership - and a degree in early childhood education three years ago, is an award-winning educator.
She picked up the Outstanding Early Childhood Teacher Award from the Early Childhood Development Agency last year.
Ms Koh said: "It is mostly fulfilling, especially when you see the growth in the children and the trust that you build with the parents, helping them to understand their children better."