Mrs Janette Chong and her team of teachers at Aces Champion Preschool took the term “going the extra mile” to new heights when a parent of a child at the pre-school was due to deliver her second child during the circuit breaker, and had to turn to the school for emergency childcare services.

Due to border closures, the mother’s family were not able to come to Singapore to help out, so Mrs Chong offered to look after the older child when the mother was in hospital.

Mrs Chong says: “When we found out later that the mother hadn’t yet delivered, we helped look after the child over the weekend as well.”

Later, upon realising that the mother had no confinement help, Mrs Chong also prepared tonic soups for her, which she delivered to her home together with her passionate team.

A co-founder of the already established pre-school Aces Montessori Kidz, Mrs Chong went on to start a second pre-school, Aces Champion Preschool, in October 2018. The 60-year-old mother of three is responsible for curriculum development, and training and development of the teaching staff at both pre-schools.

Some of the challenges she has faced this year include having to rapidly digitalise the pre-school and transition to virtual lessons. Leading by example, she guided her teachers through the processes, readily admitting that it was a sharp learning curve for herself too.

But in the spirit of unity and lifelong learning, she has fully embraced the challenges and encourages fellow educators to do the same.

Even after 30 years in the industry, her passion for working with children shows no signs of waning. “Children inspire me. I love seeing each individual child blossom under our care. When I see their transformation and the gratitude on the faces of their parents, it makes my day,” she says