WHEN it comes to achieving her dream of being a pre-school teacher, Ms Du Si’en, 25, believes it is never too late for a second act.


The former marketing professional is currently pursuing a 13-month Professional Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education course to become a full-fledged pre-school teacher at The World Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA).


While reminiscing about a holiday job she had at a childcare centre during her polytechnic days, she remembered how happy and satisfied the experience made her. This motivated her to look for jobs in the early education sector even though she was in another industry.


Ms Du says: “I noticed that most of the jobs I came across required teachers to have at least an L2 certificate or diploma in early childhood education.


“So I decided to enrol for a Professional Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education offered by the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ).”


While researching schools that offered the required diploma, she chanced upon SEED Institute, and was drawn to its Place-and-Train programme.


SEED Institute serves the needs of both untrained and aspiring pre-school teachers who may have some experience without the necessary qualifications.


 Its Place-and-Train programme enables such preschool teachers to obtain a placement in an educational centre.


Mid-career switchers

Here is how it works: Mid-career switchers who wish to become pre-school teachers can deposit their resumés at online job portal SEEDing Jobs, which was set up in 2015. This gives them a chance of being selected for a sponsorship.


Shortlisted candidates are then paired with educational centres. If they perform well in the interview, they will be hired and have their education fully sponsored for 13 months by the respective educational centre.


Successful candidates will receive a full monthly salary during their training placement. They work half-a-day at the centre, and spend the second half of the day attending lessons at SEED Institute.


Setting goals

Ms Du is currently a beginner pre-school teacher at the YWCA Outram Child Development Centre.


After graduating from her course, she hopes to excel in her new career and gradually progress to being a pre-school teacher — and eventually, a centre leader.


She is hoping to be nominated for the Advanced Diploma in Early Childhood Leadership, which she feels is important for further developing her skills in the profession.


“Pre-school teachers are professionals, as we are trained in this area,” adds Ms Du.


“A pre-school teacher understands how young children develop physically, cognitively and socio-emotionally. With this understanding, we are able to better educate the children of the future.”


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