The Power of Wellness: Major Early Childhood Education Brands Empower Educators at the 2023 Professional Development Day

The Power of Wellness: Major Early Childhood Education Brands Empower Educators at the 2023 Professional Development Day

3 July 2023 will be marked as a momentous day in the calendar of early childhood education in Singapore. Four leading brands in the sector – Kinderland, ELFA, NurtureStars, and SkoolğKidz – collaborated to host the Professional Development Day (PD Day) 2023 at Singapore Expo’s Hall 2A. Organised by KLC International Institute, the gathering was the largest of its kind since the combined training began in 2017, attracting over 1000 early childhood educators.

The focus of PD Day 2023 was squarely on the wellness of these educators, under the theme “Honouring Our Pillars of Strength: Propelling Excellence Through Supporting Your Wellness and Well-being”. The importance of self-care and dealing with workplace stress for educators in today’s rapidly changing educational landscape was highlighted.

These educators, often facing unprecedented teaching conditions, are crucial in shaping the future generations. Yet, the demanding nature of their roles could sometimes result in decreased personal well-being, a factor that could affect the quality and consistency of education they provide. Therefore, this day was designed to equip them with practical strategies and tools to manage their own wellness while effectively navigating the high-pressure environments they work in.

Dr Carol Loy, Director of Curriculum and Professional Development at Kinderland, ELFA, and NurtureStars, kicked off the event by sharing a sobering insight from an in-house survey conducted in June 2022: 90% of teachers reported an increase in responsibilities and workload following the reopening of schools. It underpinned the relevance of the day’s sessions in cultivating educators’ emotional, physical, and social well-being.

Emphasising this holistic approach, Ms Marion Mony, Director of Programme and Professional Development at SkoolğKidz, introduced the 3Ps approach to well-being — Physical, Psychological and Professional. This encouraged the educators to build healthy habits, meet mental health needs, and seek both personal and professional development.

An array of workshops was conducted throughout the day by experts such as Kevin Wong, Founder and Head Consultant of E3Sports Asia, and Shawn Quck, a certified mental wellness and health coach. These ranged from understanding and managing stress and fatigue, cultivating mental well-being and peer support at workplaces, to debunking diet and food myths. The attendees also got a taste of physical wellness with a high-energy Zumba class.

The PD Day’s impact was evident in the enthusiastic participation of the educators. Reflecting this, Michelle Ang Qiu Yan, Centre Leader of Kinderland Preschool at Ministry of Manpower, expressed gratitude for the event, noting how it empowered her with practical strategies to navigate classroom challenges and look after her own well-being. Her sentiments resonated with the overall feedback from the attendees.

This innovative and much-needed focus on teacher wellness sets an example for the broader educational community. As Mr Seet Lee Kiang, General Manager, Early Childhood Division at Crestar Education Group, pointed out, the event enabled educators to renew relationships, refresh knowledge, and gear up to provide quality student care in an evolving industry.

As one of Singapore’s leading providers of quality infant care and bilingual preschool education, Kinderland continues to demonstrate its commitment to not just nurturing young minds, but also caring for those who shape these minds. It’s a lesson in the importance of wellness we could all take note of.

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