When Ms Karin Chen was retrenched by her company in December 2019, she had already prepared herself for her next career. She had been reading and looking up for options on the Internet, and decided to join the early childhood education sector as a teacher. And the Bachelor’s degree graduate in Occupational and Environmental Health also wanted to be able to teach in two languages – English and Chinese.

After leaving her job as Administrative Executive at a Europe-based engineering and construction company, which shifted its entire operation to Malaysia, Karin sought out KLC International Institute (KLCII) for options.

In January, the Permanent Resident from Malaysia decided to sign up for a Place-and-Train programme that would ensure her of employment at a preschool centre while undergoing training which is sponsored by the preschool employer.

After undergoing a one-week trial at Skool4Kidz in April, Karin signed a two-year bond that required her to work at the preschool in the morning and pursue her study for the WSQ Professional Diploma in Early Childhood Care & Education-Childcare in the afternoon on weekdays.

As Singapore had just implemented the Circuit Breaker on 7 April to control the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, Karin began the year-long course at KLCII via online learning after her duties as an assistant teacher at Skool4Kidz.

Asked why she picked early childhood for her new career, Karin said that her first child was about six months old at that time and she thought it was a good idea to kill two birds with one stone.

“Taking up a professional childcare and education course would not only prepare me for a career in the sector, what I learn from the study will also help me to better nurture my own baby boy,” she said.

Karin says the diploma course is very comprehensive and “has really equipped” her effectively for her new- found career, especially the Child Development and Learning that provides an effective guide for the growth and learning milestones of young children.

“It’s the first time I had to manage so many children, everyone having different behaviour and temperament. What I have learnt from the course has been very educational and practical, as they help especially in understanding and managing children’s emotional needs” she added.

The experienced lecturers have also been very friendly and helpful, as they are always ready to give practical advice whenever she had any questions about her work. Her classmates too were very cooperative and willing to share experiences, making learning at KLCII a wonderful journey for her.

Karin also finds the environment at Skool4Kidz Sengkang Riverside Park, where she currently working, very different from her previous office setting.  The children are very innocent and cute.

“Sometimes they can really surprise you when they come up to you and say I Love You,”, she added.

Upon completion of her diploma programme, Karin plans to pursue academically as an educator.