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HomesingaporeTeachers’ Day and Children’s Day to be designated as preschool holidays from...

Teachers’ Day and Children’s Day to be designated as preschool holidays from 2024

SINGAPORE: Teachers’ Day and Children’s Day will be designated as preschool holidays from 2024, announced Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli on Friday (Oct 27). 

“Our preschool teachers, of course, will have these two days as holidays, just like other teachers,” he said, speaking at the Early Childhood Development Agency’s (ECDA) Early Childhood Celebrations and Conference.

This move is to recognise early childhood educators’ contributions and the role they play in shaping the lives of young children, said ECDA in a separate media release. 

These two holidays will be in addition to the six days preschools are allowed to close each year, and these six days will be renamed as development days, said Mr Masagos. 

Preschools are allowed to close over these six days to allow them protected time to focus on teachers’ individual and team development, he added. The days can be used for activities like training, curriculum planning or staff retreats.

Teachers’ Day was previously one of the six designated closure days. 

To align with workplace norms and provide more flexibility to the preschools, ECDA will remove the current provision for preschools to be closed on three half-days on the eve of five public holidays, said Mr Masagos. 

“Like other businesses, preschools can engage parents on their needs on these days, and make appropriate adjustments to staff manning or operating hours,” he added. 

Preschool teachers can do their best to support children when they have regular breaks for personal and professional development throughout the year, and daily, said the Social and Family Development Minister. 

“I strongly urge … operators and centre leaders to guard the breaks during the day for educators, which allows them to have meals, and rest and recharge. This means that they should be free from teaching and caregiving responsibilities,” he added. 

ECDA also aims to roll out a teaching tool at the end of next year, which will guide teachers in designing meaningful learning experiences and facilitate quality interactions with children, said Mr Masagos. 

The agency has been working with the Centre for Research in Child Development at the National Institute of Education to develop the quality teaching tool, he added. 

“We want to continue to support all our educators in honing your craft. We want to help educators bring your expertise and passion to bear in preschools.” 

A quality preschool is one where our children can develop the foundational skills they need for life and grow into healthy and happy individuals, said Mr Masagos.

“To enable this, the whole ecosystem must come together and work in tandem … parents, the community, educators and of course the government.” 

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