New institute for pre-school professionals in 2019
A new centralised training institute for pre-school professionals will see its first intake in 2019.
Called the National Institute of Early Childhood Development (NIEC), it is set up by the Ministry of Education (MOE), and parked under the National Institute of Education (NIE).
It will centralise and drive all strategic and professional aspects of early childhood training, such as curriculum design and development.
It will also benefit from NIE's expertise in curriculum, pedagogy, and teacher training to strengthen the nexus between research, training and practice, said MOE.
Led by Mrs Loke-Yeo Teck Yong, now MOE's divisional director of education services, NIEC will bring together pre-school teacher training programmes currently offered in institutions like Temasek and Ngee Ann Polytechnics, the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and the Seed Institute.
"You've got institutions like Seed, two polys and ITE conducting the courses, but there is a limit because the faculty they can hire will not reach the critical mass that NIEC can.
"When we have critical mass, strategically and professionally we can look at the programme and make sure that the foundational training is consistent in quality, (and) more unified so that students will receive that kind of high standards," she said.
Once set up, NIEC is projected to meet 60 per cent of the early childhood manpower needs.
Mrs Loke-Yeo said: "We will review. We must remain responsive and relevant to the sector, because right now, we can look at (the sector) strategically as a whole single organisation, (and see) where the needs are, and respond accordingly."