For many people with a nurturing heart, teaching and working with children is a dream come true. While MOE teachers teach children (aged 6 and above) who enter primary school, Early Childhood Educators or preschool teachers teach younger children.
If teaching younger children sound appealing to you, consider a career in early childhood education. Here’s how much you can earn as an Early Childhood Educator.
There Is No Single Pay Scale For Early Childhood Educator
Unlike the primary and secondary school systems which are under MOE, the early childhood education sector has many operators including the 5 anchor operators and MOE Kindergarten.
This also means that there is no single salary scale for early childhood educators. Different operators can choose to remunerate their early childhood educators differently.
According to Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), the starting salary range is S$2,200 to $3,550 for preschool teacher and $1,800 to $3,150 for educarer.
The starting salary for MOE Kindergarten (MK) teachers is $2,500 to $4,106. However, the higher salary does also come with higher requirements. MK requires Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education – Teaching (DECCE-T) or an equivalent qualification for their entry MK teachers.
You Can Be A Preschool Teacher Or Educarer
There are 2 possible career paths in early childhood education: one as an educarer and one as a preschool teacher. Each path has its own educational requirements.
In terms of roles, an educarer is expected to manage routine care, teach and carry out play activities for young children. They are primarily responsible for creating a safe environment for the young ones to discover their potential.
Preschool teachers are expected to carry out a curriculum that enriches children’s learning. This includes aesthetics and creative expression, discovery of the world, language and literacy, motor skills development, numeracy, social and emotional development.
There Are Multiple Points Of Entry To Early Childhood Education
The entry requirements for early childhood education are also more varied with various entry points and alternate entries available.
At the earliest stage, those with a minimum of Secondary 2 education may start as a relief teacher under the Relief Staff Programme (RSP), an Assistant Educarer with a Fundamentals Certificate in Early Childhood Care and Education (FECCE) or an EY1 Infant Educarer with a Higher Certificate in Infant Care (HCIC).
A local diploma in early childhood education would allow you to enter as an L2 Preschool Teacher or L2 Senior Educarer. This would also allow for progression to Centre Leader or Lead Teacher with advanced diploma certification.
You Can Try Out This Job With A Career Trial
Early childhood education is one of the sectors eligible for Career Trial. This means you can test out the job (and be paid during the trial period) before committing to a career in this sector.
Under the Career Trial, applicants can receive a training allowance of $7.50 to $15 per hour for up to 3 months. Those who stay on in the job can also receive a retention incentive of $500 after 3 months and $1,000 after 6 months.
For those of us who love young children but are unsure if we want to work with young children, this could be a good option to test out our suitability as an early childhood educator.
Midcareer switches can also tap on the Career Conversion Program (CCP): Place-and-Train to enter into this sector. Under CCP, the individual would receive a monthly salary while they are being trained for the job. For early childhood education, the training includes the attainment of one of the entry certificates. The CCP provides government support to the employers in terms of course fee grants and monthly salary support for the duration of CCP training.
You Can Also Apply To Join through the MOE Kindergarten Teacher Training Programme (MK TTP)
MOE Kindergarten accepts both trained and untrained teachers.
For would-be (untrained) preschool teachers who want to join MK, MK offers a Teacher Training Programme that is 9 months of sponsored training with a bond of 2 years.
As this is a sponsored training, successful applicants will receive a starting salary of $2,000 to $3,000 from the commencement of the training programme. The course fees are fully sponsored by MOE and successfully applicants would also receive a one-off grant of $1,050 for study related expenses.
Early Childhood Education Is Open To Various Entry Points
Unlike careers that have more restricted entry requirements, early childhood education is open for people interested in working with children. Aside from MOE Kindergarten, there are 5 anchor operators (PAP Community Foundation (PCF)/ PCF Sparkletots, NTUC First Campus/ My First Skool, MY World/ Metropolitan YMCA, E-Bridge Pre-School/ Etonhouse International and Skool4kidz/ Kinderland Educare) and other smaller operators.
The option of Career Trial also means that new joiners can have a taste of this job before committing to this career path while Career Conversion Programme enables midcareer switches to earn their certifications while being paid during training.
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