Madam Tan Wee Him worked in shipbuilding engineering for seven years before deciding to steer her career path in a different direction.

“It had always been my dream to be a kindergarten teacher, but I didn’t have the know-how or the required skills,” the 47-year-old says.

When she heard about Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s Specialist Diploma in Early Childhood through the polytechnic's website, she pursued it, and became an assistant teacher in 1999.

Madam Tan says: “I thoroughly enjoyed working with young children, and loved to interact with them daily.”

After completing her part-time Bachelor of Early Childhood Studies degree at Monash University in 2007, she joined PCF Sparkletots, one of the largest pre-school operators in Singapore. Her new position provided opportunities to attend professional courses and upskill.

Opening the door to career opportunities

Today, Madam Tan is the lead centre principal at PCF Sparkletots @ Choa Chu Kang Block 10. Her responsibilities include supporting quality instruction for the holistic development of the children and building the professional capacity of her staff.

She joined the organisation as centre principal in 2011 and underwent professional developmentcthrough PCF’s career advancement initiatives such as the Overseas Learning Experience Programme, leadership programmes, and external training courses offered by the Ministry of Social and Family Development’s Early Childhood Development Agency.

Madam Tan is glad for the opportunity to play a key role in the future of today’s children.

“Early childhood education is critical as a foundation for lifelong learning and well-being as children’s young minds, attitudes and behaviours are shaped through their learning experiences.

“My career journey with PCF Sparkletots has been fulfilling and satisfying as I get to work with individuals who are also passionate and committed to nurturing young children,” she says.