For those who have the passion for teaching and nurturing young children, entry into the early childhood (EC) profession has been made easier with a professional conversion programme that has been tailored for local polytechnic diploma and degree graduates holders that are keen to join the industry.

All they have to do is apply for a position in a local preschool that offers the PCP also known as “place and train”, a work and study programme by WSG that enables them to take the WSQ (Workforce Skills Qualification) Professional Diploma in Early Childhood Care & Education (Childcare).

The 12-month, full-time course is designed for effective teaching of and interaction with young children. It covers thoroughly both the theoretical and practical aspects of child development at a higher level and equips participants with effective communication skills for them to work effectively with parents and guardians.

The diploma is accredited by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG)/Workforce Singapore (WSG) and the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) and, it allows preschool employers to apply for government salary support for their place-and-train employees for the duration of the programme. So far, KLCII has trained more than 100 aspiring EC teachers and leaders since the scheme was launched in 2012.

One such student is Ms Dhurgadevi Askvani Citiraan, 32, a graduate of the WSQ Professional Diploma in Early Childhood Care & Education (Childcare) from KLCII who had joined a preschool in Jurong West more than 3 years ago. She completed her course and obtained her Early Childhood diploma in 2016.

She had decided to switch career from the electronic engineering sector to the EC industry because she wanted to play a part at the most important stage of a child’s life, to help mould them to be joyful learners.

The most important thing she had learned in the course was  how to observe, interpret, assess and document children’s development as it helped her to understand and know each child better and also to enhance their learning experience.

“I also learnt that it is important to plan, implement and evaluate lessons for a holistic development at various levels of difficulty, as not all children learn at the same pace and they have different levels of understanding and different learning styles,” Dhurgadevi added.

Her study modules included how to plan, implement and evaluate programmes for children including those with special needs; promoting children’s learning development through various programmes such as visual arts, environmental awareness, language and literacy, mathematics/numeracy etc; and planning and implementing programmes for transition to primary school.

Ms Dhurgadevi has big plans ahead – to take a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and obtain certification for infant care.