NTUC First Campus (NFC) and the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) have announced the renewal of their partnership, which seeks to advance the Early Childhood sector and empower its educators.
This new five-year agreement was signed on 1 June 2023 and aims to equip early childhood educators with advanced teaching practices and leadership skills, empowering them to take on more strategic roles within the sector.
A key initiative under this renewed partnership is the Early Childhood Education Leadership (ECEL) Certificate Programme, launched in 2020.
The ECEL programme is a unique curriculum integrating classroom learning with a 12-month on-the-job training – co-designed, co-delivered, and co-assessed by both SUSS and NFC.
This work-and-study structure aligns with the national agenda to establish a mainstream pathway for training and upskilling early childhood talent.
With the new agreement, the ECEL programme has been refreshed based on feedback and experiences from past cohorts. The updates aim to make learning more flexible and enhance career progression for early childhood educators.
The revamped programme will be offered to a new cohort starting in July 2023.
Changes include adjusting the programme structure to accommodate educators’ schedules, such as modifying assessment strategies and transitioning from two six-week terms to a single 12-week semester, fostering more flexible and in-depth learning experiences.
The ECEL programme is tailored for selected NFC early childhood educators with leadership potential and is fully sponsored by NFC. It offers educators the opportunity to work and advance their leadership skills simultaneously.
In addition to building and deepening participants’ skills and competencies, the ECEL programme allows educators to pursue a university education while continuing their careers.
ECEL graduates who choose to enrol in a part-time degree programme with SUSS, including the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education, will receive advanced standing of up to 30 credit units, enabling them to complete their degrees in a shorter time frame.
So far, 60 NFC educators have completed the programme, with approximately 40 per cent being promoted to higher roles.
ECEL graduate Jeanne Tan, who excelled in her assignments and was promoted from Deputy Centre Lead to Principal at My First Skool, said: “ECEL has been an invaluable experience for me. It has not only helped me overcome my fear and anxiety towards assignments and exams but also provided me with knowledge and skills that I could immediately apply in my daily work.
“Seeing the positive outcomes of my efforts was inspiring and motivated me to excel.”
NTUC First Campus CEO Chan Su Yee expressed her enthusiasm for the partnership.
“Empowering our people for growth is a key pillar of NTUC First Campus’s people strategy. Our partnership with SUSS supports our educators in their lifelong learning journeys, with the ECEL programme serving as an important enabler to grow our talent pipeline,” said Ms Chan.
SUSS Provost Professor Robbie Goh highlighted the university’s expertise in adult learning and the importance of upskilling the workforce.
“The revamp of the ECEL programme is also well-timed with the launch of SUSS’ new undergraduate curriculum, which will deepen and broaden our students’ competencies and skills to navigate an increasingly disruptive and uncertain world,” he said.