Labour Movement to attract and retain early childhood professionals

The Essential Domestic Services Training Committee supported by e2i and ESU to roll out new initiatives to operationalise the Early Childhood Industry Transformation Map for better placement and training opportunities.


  1. 19 May 2018, Saturday - The Labour Movement recently announced the set-up of a new Training Council which will oversee the training and employment needs of workers across the 23 industries under the Industry Transformation Maps. As part of the Training Council, the Essential Domestic Services (EDS) Training Committee comprising National Trades Union Congress’ (NTUC) e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) and Education Services Union (ESU) will be working together to operationalise the Early Childhood (EC) ITM to implement placement and training initiatives for the EC workforce.
  1. There are about 17,000 educators in the EC sector currently and the demand is set to grow to about 20,000 EC educators by 20201. To meet the need for quality manpower in a sustainable manner, e2i and ESU have been working closely with industry partners such as the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) and pre-school operators to attract more locals, including mid-career professionals, back-to-work mothers and job seekers, to the early childhood sector. With the new EDS Training Council, the Labour Movement will seek to gather ground feedback from relevant stakeholders on issues related to skills and jobs and will implement job placement and training initiatives for the Early Childhood (EC) sector.
  1. CEO of e2i, Mr Gilbert Tan said, “The Labour Movement’s EDS Training Committee will be working closely together to operationalise the Early Childhood ITM and improve the quality of early childhood services. We want the people who will be influencing the first few years of a child’s life to be individuals who not only have a good aptitude and passion for early childhood education, but also have a heart for young children. Hence, e2i is committed to roll out initiatives together with our partners to improve the image and quality of the early childhood education sector; and to attract, retain and develop our early childhood professionals.”

Career Trial Programme to Grow the EC Workforce

  1. To improve and enhance the selection process for both job entrants and employers, the EDS Training Committee announced today it they will be actively doing outreach to promote greater awareness of the new Career Trial programme2 amongst EC operators and job seekers. The Career Trial will help job seekers who are keen to join the EC sector gain some experience and get a taste of what the work entails through a short-term work trial, ranging from 16 to 480 hours. At the end of the trial, the job seeker can decide whether to stay on. Similarly, the pre-school operator can assess the job seeker to determine if the candidate is a good fit. At the end of the Career Trial, the candidate will be put through the (a) Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for pre-school teachers or (b) Place-and-Train (PnT) programme for Educarers, depending on their qualifications.
  1. ESU Executive Secretary, Mr Ang Hin Kee said, “The key is to translate policies into tangible outcomes that impact and benefit workers. We hope new initiatives like the Career Trial will help workers to have an in-depth introduction into the early childhood sector and the type of work they will be doing. This will allow for better matching of expectations and retention of staff, ensuring conditions are right for educators, employers, children and parents to have the best outcome. Various programmes such as the Professional Conversion Programme and the Place-and-Train Programme also make it easier for those without relevant experience or qualifications to enter the industry."

Certified-On-the-Job Training Centre (COJTC) Scheme to Develop the EC Workforce

  1. The EDS Training Committee also aims to help SMEs in the EC sector structure and institutionalise in-house and on-the-job training for their staff. To achieve this, e2i, in partnership with the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), will be encouraging SMEs to consider the framework of the Certified-On-the-Job Training Centre (COJTC) scheme administered by ITE. The COJTC scheme certifies companies that possess a quality OJT system, hence encouraging operators in the EC sector to adopt best OJT practices. This scheme will enable a greater push for more pre-school operators in the sector to have higher training standards and put in place a structured in-house training framework to upskill workers.
  1. An early adopter in the pre-school education cluster, Agape Little Uni. Pte Ltd, has been certified as a COJTC with ITE, and is implementing the framework for its EC centres.
  1. “Agape Little Uni. Pte Ltd has been an adopter of the COJTC scheme since July 2017, and is pleased to partner with ITE, the Institute of Adult Learning (IAL) and e2i in the implementation of the scheme. Our company believes strongly in staff development, and the COJTC programme provided vital opportunities for our leaders to have regular and meaningful dialogue with our staff to build and deepen skills and relationships,” said Mrs Joyce Chan, Director of Agape Little Uni. Pte Ltd. “To do so, we wanted to focus on two key aspects to transform our workforce: on-the-job training and mentoring. These are two very important building blocks in increasing staff engagement and retention, thus ensuring the stability of care for our young children. With this scheme, we look forward to seeing the positive changes in our staff as well as improvements in the child care services provided to our clients.” Agape Little Uni. Pte Ltd is the first adopter of the COJTC scheme in the Early Childhood sector.
  1. Through initiatives like the Career Trial Programme and the COJTC scheme, the EDS Training Committee hopes to attract more people into the EC sector and retain them for the long-term. The EDS training committee also hopes to improve the professionalism of the EC sector through more training opportunities for the workforce.

Early Childhood (EC) Job Immersion Fair

  1. An EC Job Immersion Fair was held today at the SAFRA Toa Payoh, reaching out to some 200 job seekers. There were over 200 Career Trial places available at today’s fair with selected employers, such as PAP Community Foundation and Skool4kidz. Ten employers were present at the Fair; AWWA, Modern Montessori International, MOE Kindergarten, NTUC First Campus, Nurture Education Group, PCF Sparkletots, Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura, Skool4kidz, Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society and Young Women’s Christian Association of Singapore.


2 The Career Trial programme was announced by the Ministry of Manpower earlier this year in March.