AS DEPUTY director and senior lecturer at Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Humanities & Social Sciences (HMS), Mrs Tian-Tham Foong Chue (above, left) has taught plenty of aspiring early childhood educators (ECE).

She says: “It is very heartening to hear my former students sharing so passionately and animatedly about how they love their experiences, and their relationships with the children and their families.” According to her, those who wish to have a career in early childhood education must possess the passion and emotional intelligence for nurturing young children.

An effective ECE also needs to have strong communication skills and the competence to set up a conducive learning environment to evoke curiosity in the children. They also need to assess and facilitate children’s learning experiences.

Mrs Tian-Tham, 52, says: “They play a key role in providing a safe environment with quality learning experiences to inspire and lay the foundation for the child’s future.” 

Staying relevant

To remain well-equipped for their role, Mrs TianTham advises ECEs to continually attend professional development courses provided by various training providers, such as the Early Childhood and Development Agency (ECDA).

Networking, participating in seminars or conferences and learning journeys at different centres will also enable them to broaden their perspectives and keep up with the latest developments.

She says: “Most importantly, ECEs need to be open to feedback, be humble to learn from others and reflect regularly to improve on their practices.” 

For every challenge, discouraging remark or sadness you encounter, just remember that there will also be victory, appreciation and joy, as you journey with your children to build their foundation in their crucial formative years. Keep up the great work and enthusiasm!
- Mrs Tian-Tham Foong Chue