For starters, ECCE is to be differentiated from the broader 'early childhood development' (ECD) which includes healthcare and programming in humanitarian response. As such, ECCE is a fairly recent invention in many societies. It has emerged as a professionalised sector in societies where governments are encouraging greater workforce participation from women, and where extended family childcare arrangements are limited. The sector has seen tremendous growth in the last few years as families demand more childcare services, and the government is encouraging child-birth and promoting better use of childcare services. In 2018, it was announced that 40,000 more childcare places would be provided by 2023. This has resulted in a shortage of qualified and experienced teachers and principals to staff newly set-up childcare centres.
In line with national development and our SUSS degree programme's focus, we need more research that can inform ECCE organisational, leadership practices as well as curricular and pedagogical practices to nurture children's positive dispositions, and better-cater to children's diverse cultural backgrounds and naturally wide-ranging developmental and learning needs.
Associate Professor Sirene Lim
Vice Dean and Head, Early Childhood Education with Minor Programme