The pre-school sector in Singapore and Hong Kong (both British colonies in the past) have traditionally been regulated by two different government organizations : kindergartens come under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education(MOE)/Education Bureau (EB) while child care centres are regulated by Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS)/Social Welfare Department (SWD) respectively. Such a system is not unusual in the international landscape of early child care and education (ECCE) where "education" and "care" are seen as separate and hence, regulated by different government agencies. This paper will trace the historical development of teacher education and development in both the former British colonies. However, the focus of the paper will be on recent initiatives which will be discussed within the context of recent policy changes spearheaded by a Steering Committee on Preschool Education (SCPE) in the late 1990s in Singapore, resulting in outcomes such as the establishment of a Preschool Qualification Accreditation Committee (PQAC) and the development of a recommended curriculum framework Nurturing Early Learners (2003). Parallel developments in Hong Kong could be traced within the context of developments leading to a comprehensive education reform that has impacted on early childhood education as well, with similar outcomes, such as the development of A Guide to Pre-primary Curriculum (1996), subsequently revised in 2006. Another important Hong Kong initiative - the Preschool Education Voucher Scheme - deserves mention. These recent initiatives have resulted in a movement towards enhancing teacher quality and professional development. The question remains: Are these initiatives sustainable?
|Publication status||Published - 2010|