One-in-three pre-schools island-wide are now certified by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) under the Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework (SPARK), up from one-in-four last year. 249 pre-schools received their SPARK certificates today at the ECDA Early Childhood Conference 2016. This brings the total number of SPARK-certified pre-schools to 601, up from 431 last year. List of SPARK-certified centres can be found here.
With more pre-schools being SPARK-certified, more parents will enjoy greater assurance about the quality of their child’s pre-school. SPARK provides an objective measure of a pre-school’s quality, based on a number of enabling factors for the delivery of positive child outcomes. It also guides the pre-school in developing its leadership and planning capabilities, and professional development opportunities for its teachers, among others. Please refer to Annex A for background information on SPARK.
In recognition of the overall rise in quality of SPARK-certified centres, as well as their commitment to continual improvement, the SPARK re-certification format starting from 2017 will be adjusted to place a stronger focus on centres’ teaching and learning practices, with targeted guidance on areas for improvement and an enhanced self-appraisal tool for centres to monitor their own progress. SPARK certifications awarded will be valid for six years, up from the current three years, with a mid-term developmental check in place of the current re-certification assessment.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Singapore Pre-School Accreditation Framework (SPARK)?
SPARK is a voluntary quality assurance framework to raise the quality of pre-schools in Singapore. Pre-schools are strongly encouraged to participate as attaining a good quality rating is an endorsement of the quality of the pre-school.
2. What does SPARK assess?
The SPARK certification assesses pre-school education programmes catering to four to six year old children in kindergartens and child care centres, in the following areas: leadership, planning and administration, staff management, resources, curriculum and pedagogy.
3. What is the SPARK (Commendation) category?
SPARK (Commendation) recognises SPARK-certified centres with higher quality in teaching and learning practices, specifically a well-designed and integrated curriculum, strong teaching pedagogies, and a conducive learning environment that stimulate children’s development.
15 pre-schools received their SPARK (Commendation) certification at the 2016 SPARK certificate presentation ceremony. This is an addition to the current 55 pre-schools with SPARK (Commendation) certification.