Singapore's Ministry of Manpower said today that more than 1,900 jobs were available in the early childhood sector last month, according to the numbers in its latest jobs situation report. About 85 percent of these were PMET roles such as pre-school teachers, centre leaders and childcare services managers. There were also a small number of traineeships and attachments open.
Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo said during the release of the report that approximately 75 percent of new entrants to the early childhood sector are mid-career workers from other sectors. "The sector actually appreciates people who bring in transferable skills from outside this sector,” she observed.
At present, mid-career job seekers who wish to become early childhood educators can obtain the mandated training and accreditations through a professional conversion program. Those who are interested in ancillary roles such as marketing, human resources, finance, or administration do not need additional certifications, and employers can also receive subsidies for training and development of people in these roles.
The ministry has indicated that it expects the demand for manpower in the sector to increase, driven by a combination of social factors including dual-income families, an increase in the number of working seniors—meaning that grandparents are less likely to be able to support parents with child care—and a potential decrease in the number of foreign domestic helpers as immigration restrictions remain tight amid concerns over imported COVID-19 cases.
Statistics from the Ministry of Family and Social Development indicate that current pre-school enrolment is 180,000 while educators number 21,000. Enrolment is expected to increase by 20,000 in the next two years, hence if the ratio remains constant, and assuming very low attrition rates, at least 2,300-odd more educators will be needed by 2023, alongside management and ancillary roles.