With effect from 1 Apr 13, the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) will be set up to integrate the Government’s approach towards early childhood care and education in Singapore. This is an integral part of the national effort to raise the quality of early childhood programmes in Singapore.
ECDA will oversee the regulation and development of kindergarten and child/ infant care programmes for children below the age of 6. It will be established as an autonomous agency jointly overseen by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), and administratively hosted by MSF. This will allow ECDA to develop children holistically, nurture positive attitudes towards learning, facilitate the transition of pre-schoolers to formal education, as well as increase efforts to support and strengthen Singaporean families.
ECDA will integrate the capabilities of the existing MOE Pre-school Education Branch and MSF Child Care Division, to take a comprehensive overview and drive improvements for the early childhood sector more effectively. Parents, operators, and early childhood professionals can look forward to dealing with ECDA as a single point of interface for their queries and feedback.
ECDA’s scope of responsibilities will cover the following:
a. Oversee measures to enforce and incentivise quality, including regulation, quality assurance certification, and the provision of early childhood development resources;
b. Facilitate the training and professional development of sufficient numbers of good quality early childhood educators;
c. Master-plan for pre-school infrastructure and manpower resources;
d. Provide subsidies and grants to keep pre-school programmes affordable, especially for low and middle income families;
e. Conduct public education and outreach to raise parents’ awareness and support for their children’s early development.
ECDA will commence its operations on 1st April 2013. It will be helmed by Chief Executive Officer Dr. Lee Tung Jean, who will be moving over from her current appointment in the Ministry of Trade and Industry. (Please see Annex A for her curriculum vitae).
Further information on ECDA will be available from 1st April 2013 at www.ecda.gov.sg. Queries on pre-school matters can continue to be directed to existing points of contact in MOE and MSF.
Annex A: Curriculum Vitae of Dr Lee Tung Jean
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND
MINISTRY OF SOCIAL AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT