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Course Overview

Get ready to be a part of Singapore’s next generation of early childhood educators. Conducted by the National Institute of Early Childhood Development (NIEC), in collaboration with Temasek Polytechnic at the NIEC (TP) Campus, this course will equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel as an early childhood educator.


You’ll gain insight into the complexities of child development while mastering the art of curriculum planning. You’ll also learn how to implement your skills in early childhood settings such as preschools. A practice-oriented approach to learning will see you pick up real-time industry experience as you conduct lessons side-by-side trained early childhood professionals. Graduate with the Diploma in Early Childhood Development & Education (ECDE) in the Visual Arts Track when you choose relevant electives^ in your final year.


With your diploma recognised by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), you’ll be all set to enter the workforce upon your graduation.


^Subject to prevailing terms and conditions.

Entry Requirements

To be eligible for consideration for admission, applicants must obtain 26 points or better for the net ELR2B2 aggregate score (i.e. English Language, 2 relevant subjects and best 2 other subjects, including CCA Bonus Points) and meet the minimum entry requirements of this course. CCA cannot be used to meet the minimum entry requirements. The table below shows the local qualifications.


English Language (EL1)


Mathematics (Elementary or Additional)**


Any 3 other subjects (excluding CCA)**

2021 Planned Intake
Net ELR2B2 aggregate range (2021 JAE)
6 - 15


*All applicants with a C5 or C6 in EL in the GCE ‘O’ Level examination are given two years from the point of teacher registration to obtain at least a B4 or a minimum of band 6.5 in the International English Language Testing System (Academic). 

#Students with a D7 in Mathematics may apply for the course provided they have GCE ‘O’ Level passes (1-6) in 5 subjects (including English). 

**The main medium of instruction for these subjects must be in English, except for a language subject. 

ITE Certificate

Higher NITEC in Early Childhood Education with minimum GPA of 3 and above (inclusive of CCA bonus points).

Foreign Qualification

(i) Formal Education in English

  • Completed 10 years of formal education in EL, and
  • Passed state exam in 5 different subjects including a C6 grade in GCE ‘O’ level EL1 or any of the acceptable alternatives*.

(ii) Formal education Not in English

  • Obtained an undergraduate degree with English as the medium of instruction from a state-recognised university.

This also applies to applicants with state-recognised PhD/Master degree with English as the medium of instruction.

Other Requirements

Candidates would need to be certified medically fit for study by a certified medical doctor, and to work with children according to ECDA’s medical requirements for pre-school teachers. 

Please take note that in order to be granted teacher certification status to teach up to Kindergarten levels by Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), new teachers must have a minimum of a B4 grade for EL1.  Mother Tongue (MT) teachers must have at least a B4 grade in MT. Those with a C5 or C6 in EL1/MT are given 2 years from the point of teacher registration to obtain either a B4 or any acceptable alternatives* for EL teachers, and a minimum level 6 in Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) for CL teachers. 

  • Click here for list of acceptable alternatives in place of GCE ‘O’ level English Language. 
  • Click here for list of acceptable alternatives in place of GCE ‘O’ level Chinese Language.

Some dispositions of an Early Childhood educator.

Early Admissions Exercise (EAE)
Joint Admissions Exercise (JAE)
Direct Admission Exercise (DAE)


Part of your training at NIEC will equip you with the skills you need to create quality learning experiences for children in 6 learning areas – 

  • Aesthetics & Creative Expression
  • Discovery of the World
  • Language & Literacy 
  • Motor Skills Development
  • Numeracy
  • Social and Emotional Development

Check out some of the work our students do for 2 of them below! 

What You'll Learn

Build your knowledge with foundational modules such as Child Development and Child Safety, Health & Socio-emotional Well-Being. You get to apply and hone your skills alongside experienced teachers on a weekly basis.

Subject Code Subject Credit Units
GCC1001 Current Issues & Critical Thinking

This subject presents you with a panoramic view of current local and global issues, which may have long term implications for Singapore. You will learn to apply critical thinking tools to examine current issues, support your views with relevant research and up-to-date data, articulate an informed opinion and mature as civic-minded individuals.

GCS1006 Communication & Information Literacy

In this subject, you will learn how to conduct research for relevant information and validate information sources. You will also learn to recognise and avoid plagiarism, and follow standard citation and referencing guidelines when presenting information. In the course of learning, you will be required to plan, prepare and present information appropriately in written and oral form. You will also be taught to consider the Message, Audience, Purpose and Strategy (MAPS) when writing and delivering oral presentations. 

GCS1007 Workplace Communication

In this subject, you will be taught how to conduct effective meetings while applying team communication strategies and the skills for documenting meeting notes. You will be required to write clear emails, using the appropriate format, language, tone and style for an audience. You will also be taught to communicate appropriately in and for an organisation when using various platforms. In all aspects, the principles of applying Message, Audience, Purpose and Strategy (MAPS) will be covered. 

GCS1008 Persuasive Communication

In this subject, you will be taught how to use persuasive language in written documents. You will be required to use information to your advantage to verbally communicate and convince an audience about your idea, product or service. Skills such as persuasive vocabulary, language features, graphical illustrations, tone and style would also be covered. The Message, Audience, Purpose and Strategy (MAPS) will also be applied when engaging in verbal and written communication.

GIN1001 Innovation & Entrepreneurship

The Innovation & Entrepreneurship subject is designed for learners from all disciplines to embrace innovation in either their specialised fields or beyond. You will first learn the Design Thinking framework, where you will develop problem statements and ideate solutions. Next, you will discover the tools for prototyping and innovation, such as 3D printing and laser cutting, at TP’s Makerspace+ facility. Finally, you will acquire commercial awareness through the LEAN Startup framework of idea crystallisation, prototype building, customer testing and validation, refinement of business model canvas, and crowdfunding or crowdsourcing avenues.     

LEA1011 Leadership: Essential Attributes & Practice 1

LEAP 1, 2 and 3 are three fundamental subjects that seek to cultivate in you, the attitude, skills and knowledge for the development of your leadership competencies. This character-based leadership programme enables you to develop your life-skills through establishing personal core values, which will become the foundation for your leadership credibility and influence.

LEA1012 Leadership: Essential Attributes & Practice 2

LEAP 1, 2 and 3 are three fundamental subjects that seek to cultivate in you, the attitude, skills and knowledge for the development of your leadership competencies. This character-based leadership programme enables you to develop your life-skills through establishing personal core values, which will become the foundation for your leadership credibility and influence.

LEA1013 Leadership: Essential Attributes & Practice 3

LEAP 1, 2 and 3 are three fundamental subjects that seek to cultivate in you, the attitude, skills and knowledge for the development of your leadership competencies. This character-based leadership programme enables you to develop your life-skills through establishing personal core values, which will become the foundation for your leadership credibility and influence.

LSW1002 Sports & Wellness

This subject will help you develop both the physical and technical skills in your chosen sports or fitness activities. Through a structured curriculum that facilitates group participation, practice sessions and mini competitions, you will learn to build lifelong skills such as resilience, leadership, communication and teamwork. Physical activity sessions will be supplemented by health-related topics to provide you with a holistic approach to healthy living.

MCR1001 Career Readiness 1

This Career Readiness programme comprises three core subjects - Personal Management, Career Preparation and Career Management. It seeks to help you understand your career interests, values, personality and skills for career success. It also equips you with the necessary skills for seeking and securing jobs, and to develop professional work ethics.

MCR1002 Career Readiness 2

This Career Readiness programme comprises three core subjects – Personal Management, Career Preparation and Career Management. It seeks to help you understand your career interests, values, personality and skills for career success. It also equips you with the necessary skills for seeking and securing jobs, and to develop professional work ethics.

MCR1003 Career Readiness 3

This Career Readiness programme comprises three core subjects – Personal Management, Career Preparation and Career Management. It seeks to help you understand your career interests, values, personality and skills for career success. It also equips you with the necessary skills for seeking and securing jobs, and to develop professional work ethics.

GGS1002 Global Studies

This subject provides essential skills and knowledge to prepare you for an overseas experience. You will examine the elements of culture and learn the key principles of cross-cultural communication. In addition, you will gain an appreciation and awareness of the political, economic, technological and social landscape to function effectively in a global environment.

GGS1003 Managing Diversity at Work*

This subject explores the concepts of identity, diversity and inclusion at the workplace. It examines the relationship between identity and diversity, the benefits and challenges of diversity and the strategies that promote inclusion and inspire collaboration in a diverse workplace. Examples of the elements of diversity covered in this subject include nationality, generation, ethnicity and gender. A one week residential stay is mandatory for this subject.

GGS1004 Global Citizenship & Community Development*

Students will examine the meaning and responsibilities of being a Global Citizen, in order to contribute towards a more equitable and sustainable world.  In addition, students will learn how sustainable solutions can support community development, and, execute and critique a community action plan that addresses the needs of a specific community/cause.

GGS1005 Expressions of Culture*

This subject provides a platform for an understanding of culture and heritage through modes of expression. Students will be introduced to global and local cultures via everyday objects, places and human behaviour seen through time and space. Students will explore issues and challenges in culture and heritage sustainability in community, national and global contexts.

TGL1001 Guided Learning

The subject introduces students to the concepts and process of self-directed learning in a chosen area of inquiry. The process focusses on four stages: planning, performing, monitoring and reflecting. Students get to plan their individual learning project, refine and execute the learning plan, as well as monitor and reflect on their learning progress and project. The learning will be captured and showcased through a curated portfolio. The self-directed learning project will broaden and/or deepen a student’s knowledge and skills.


* Students must choose to take either one of these three subjects or TGL1001 Guided Learning.

Subject Code Subject Credit Units
GED1000 Practicum 1

This practicum is for students to experience the practical aspects of working with young children in early childhood settings with focus on ages three plus and younger. It will support students’ learning in the area of child development, observation of children in various contexts, safety, health, hygiene and nutrition matters and the learning environment for play. Students will be involved in daily routine care and taking on teacher-assistant roles. With observations and documentations students will plan and implement learning experiences for an individual child. Students will also engage in reflective writing on their roles and interactions with children.

GED1101 Child Development 1

This module introduces students to research on brain developments and its implications on children’s growth and learning. Early Years developmental milestones will be discussed with significant emphasis on birth to three years of age. Students will develop an understanding of the philosophy of infant and toddler care and development, and the Early Years Development Framework (EYDF). Theories of child development, with emphasis on Attachment theory, characteristic behaviours, and their implications on play and care-giving practices for families and in the infant care context will be covered. Students will also learn appropriate behaviour guidance and interaction strategies for this age group of children that are informed by observations and documentations.

GED1102 Child Safety, Health & Socio-emotional Wellbeing

This module introduces policies and practices for establishing and maintaining a safe and healthy learning environment for educators and children in the early childhood settings as they relate to the socio-emotional wellbeing of children. Students will understand the importance of nutritional adequacy and balanced meals for children’s optimal growth. They will learn to identify early childhood illnesses and symptoms, and engage in hygienic practices and being able to observe for signs of child abuse and addressing them professionally. Clinical practice will be included for students to learn how to manage the day-to-day care routines and transitions for children from infancy to the preschool years.

GED1103 Aesthetics & Creative Expression

This module introduces students to an array of visual and performing arts and exposures for the appreciation of the creative art forms. In addition, students will be introduced to progressive theories on Arts education to build firm foundations on the key roles the Arts play within early years settings. Theories related to aesthetic and creativity will also be introduced. Students will learn multiple approaches to engage young children in creative-arts expressions that are aesthetically rich and imaginative. Through both theory and experiential sessions, students will encounter the Arts first hand and will design Arts experiences that are developmentally appropriate, meaningful and informed by practice.

GED1201 Child Development 2

This module introduces the major theories in child development and their implications on practices in child-rearing and early care and education. The joint contributions of biology and environment to the various aspects of child development will be explored. Students will deepen their understanding of the holistic development of children through observation, recording and analysis of children’s physical, cognitive, social and emotional growth and development. This understanding will help the student link theory to practice and guide the planning of learning experiences and techniques for behaviour guidance. The six learning domains of the Nurturing Early Learners Framework will also be discussed.

GED1202 Language & Literacy

This module introduces students to the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of literacy development from birth to six years of age including trends and issues within a multicultural and multilingual society. Students will learn to design, organise and evaluate literacy-rich environment that helps facilitate language development; identify suitable prints and other media for reading activities to develop in young children an appreciation for a variety of children’s literature. Students will also plan experiences for diverse learners, facilitate learning using appropriate techniques, assess children’s progress and work with families to enhance children’s language and literacy development towards school readiness.

GED1203 The Professional & Reflective Practitioner

This module explores the various roles of an early childhood educator in working with children, families, other professionals and agencies in the community. A range of professional issues will be examined, including stages of professional development, practitioner competencies, continuing education, advocacy and personal growth plans which are aligned with the current early childhood landscape in Singapore. Students will learn communication and reflective skills and how to manage ethical issues in relation to working with children, colleagues and families taking reference from the Code of Ethics for Early Childhood Professionals by AECES, Students will also be equipped to understand self and reflect on personal preferences and style; interpersonal skills and to enhance personal effectiveness through self-mentoring.

GED1204 InfoComm Technology Essentials

This module develops e-competencies by equipping students with the essentials of InfoComm Technology (ICT) concepts and skills needed to use ICT applications for information research, organisation, collaboration and presentation.

GED1205 Principles & Practices in Early Education

This module provides students with an overview of the historical development of early childhood care and education (ECCE), pedagogical principles and contemporary perspectives. Students will also gain an understanding of the different models of practices internationally including the Rights of the Child (UN-CRC) and how they relate to Singapore. ECCE development in the Singapore landscape, policies (of MSF, MOE and ECDA), curriculum frameworks like the Early Years Development Framework and the Nurturing Early Learners: A Curriculum Framework for Kindergartens in Singapore (NEL Framework), as well as SPARK certification that guide provisions of quality care and education and key stage outcomes will also be included. Play that is central to trends and research in ECCE will be explored in the context of how developmentally, culturally and individually appropriate it is as a mode for learning in young children from infancy to the preschool years.


You will know how to help the child to become a curious learner and a problem solver through the approach of holistic development. Pick up skills in curriculum planning and design and bring them to the next level with field practicum.

Subject Code Subject Credit Units
GED2000 Practicum 2

This practicum is for students to relate to practical aspects of working with children from three plus to six years of age in early childhood settings. Besides taking on teacher-assistant roles, the focus will be on setting up or reviewing the learning corners, engagement and facilitation in small group play and activities, as well as large/whole group teaching. Students will learn to plan a series of structured and unstructured sequential learning experiences for children according to the topic/theme of the practicum centre. The interests, needs and abilities of the group of children, the use of the environment and classroom management are considerations for planning. An integrated approach to the design and implementation of learning experiences that supports the six learning domains of the NEL Framework with the aim of enhancing and challenging children’s desire to explore, experiment and discover in a safe environment will be emphasised. Students will also engage in reflective writing on their roles as a professional early educator and their interactions with children.

GED2101 Effective Learning Environment for Young Children

This module equips students with the principles to design conducive learning environments to support play and learning for children from birth to six-years of age, noting that the conditions in the environment also affect their behaviour. Students will also learn to set up appropriate learning areas to enhance the physical, cognitive and social and emotional development of children. The selection of print and non-print materials, use of technology and the role of the educator will also be covered.

GED2102 Discovery of the World

This module provides an overview of how young children make sense of the world they live in and how they acquire knowledge and concepts. The scope of Science, environment awareness, technology in everyday life and learning, the Social Sciences, and culture and heritage, for children’s inquiry will also be covered. Students will learn to use the Constructivist approach to teaching, engage in field exploration and setting up discovery corners. Teaching techniques that support inquiry and independent learning in children will be covered. In addition, developmentally and culturally appropriate learning goals and experiences for children from birth to six years of age will be addressed.

GED2103 Motor Skills Development

This module equips students with the knowledge and skills to help young children develop perceptual, fine motor and fundamental movement skills consisting of locomotor, non-locomotor and object control skills in a safe environment. Students will learn to observe, plan, implement and facilitate fun, meaningful and age appropriate indoor and outdoor play activities and fundamental movement experiences using an integrated approach to learning.

GED2104 Early Numeracy

This module examines the theoretical framework which underpins young children’s learning of mathematics. Students will be introduced to the principles, knowledge and skills required to plan, implement and evaluate learning experiences that lay the foundations for children to become problem solvers and abstract thinkers. Students will learn to choose developmentally appropriate materials and resources, set up mathematically-rich environment, use teaching techniques to nurture children’s mathematical thinking and assess their learning. The use of technology and integration of numeracy in the other learning domains will also be emphasised.

GED2201 Curriculum Planning & Implementation

This module provides students with the knowledge and skills for planning, implementing and evaluating developmentally appropriate curriculum for children from birth to three and from three plus to six years of age. Students will take reference from the Early Years Development Framework and the NEL Framework to explore the scope and process of integrating learning areas and learning dispositions. Philosophies and beliefs and theoretical underpinnings of how children learn and develop that are fundamental to the meaning of curriculum will be discussed. The supporting environment, the types of learning activities, the role of the educator and different facilitation techniques will also be thoughtfully considered.

GED2202 Socio-Emotional Learning

This module equips students with the theoretical knowledge and pedagogical skills to nurture social-emotional competencies and positive values necessary for character formation in young children. It also addresses the role of teachers, in modelling good character traits, in helping children develop self-awareness and self-management skills for their emotional well-being as well as social competence to build strong interpersonal relationships. Students will also take reference from the six learning dispositions (PRAISE) and use children’s picture books to promote positive values, pro-social behaviour, understanding of self and others and integrate social emotional learning across the curriculum.

GED2203 Working with the Exceptional Child

This module introduces students to various exceptional needs in young children including physical, cognitive, behavioural, emotional and sensory characteristics that make them different. Trends and issues in relation to inclusive practices and policies will be covered. Students will learn about their roles in an inclusive learning environment, design of individualised learning plans and communication with families. Students will also explore community resources and professionals that provide support for children with additional needs.


Deepen your knowledge in your area of interest with electives such as Music & Dance for Young Children or take up modules in the Visual Arts track. Put your skills and knowledge into practice on a six-month internship.

Subject Code Subject Credit Units
GED2204 Family & Community Partnership

This module equips students with the knowledge of family structure and dynamics in Singapore and skills for working and communicating with families, with the understanding of interdependence between schools and families. Various models of family involvement will be explored with a focus on schools working respectfully with diverse family groups and tapping on community resources for the education of young children.

GED3000 Student Internship Programme

This structured programme is designed to link your learning with the real work environment. You will be placed in organisation(s) with opportunities to apply the concepts and skills acquired in the course of your study. Besides reinforcing technical concepts and mastering of skills in areas that you have been trained, the practical training will enable you to build important skills such as problem-solving, communication, teamwork, and to cultivate good attitude and a strong work ethic.


Subject Code Subject Credit Units
GXA3001 2D & 3D Art #*

This subject introduces students to the concept and practice of two and three dimensional representation and expression. In depth studio practice and art critique sessions will allow student the opportunity to acquire sound understanding of the use of art concepts and medium in effective and expressive representation. Additionally, meaningful art making plays and important role in promoting intellectual and emotional development in children and as such, pedagogical issues of facilitating artistic and aesthetic growth for the early years will be addressed.

GXA3002 Digital & New Media #*

This subject will expose students to the foundation of digital and new media practices. Through a combination of studio practice and theory, learners will use new media technologies to develop insights and competencies in expression and representation. Linkages to early year’s classroom practice will be made.

GXA3003 Book Illustration & Design for Children #*

The emphasis of this subject is on the practice and understanding of design and illustration techniques for children’s books. In this subject, students will learn the art of children books design across time and culture in addition, students will have the opportunities to explore and use various classical and contemporary design language, and illustration techniques to unpack the relationship between text and images. Students will be required to develop a series of illustrated works that culminates in a group ‘showcase’ at the conclusion of the course.

GXN3004 Classroom Management & Strategies in Early Childhood Intervention

This subject presents an overview of the teaching and intervention approaches in working with children with different types of special needs. Students will also explore various teaching strategies to support, specific types of special needs children in the preschool setting. Beyond the theoretical aspects, students will also have targeted opportunities to participate in field observations and/or case studies analysis.

GXN3005 Early Intervention & the Inclusive Curriculum

This subject aims to provide students with fundamental knowledge on how to create and organise the early year’s environment to promote physical, intellectual, emotional and social development of children with special needs. Students will have the opportunity to design, implement and evaluate various approaches and strategies of teaching special needs children alongside mainstream learners in an inclusive classroom setting. Both theoretical and practical experiences will form the basis of learning for this subject.

GXT3006 Transcultural Issues & Practices in Early Childhood

This subject examines early childhood care and education (ECCE) approaches, practices and issues in various parts of the world. It includes global trends and educational issues; early years pedagogical models and approaches, policies, philosophies and practices. This subject aims to help students to differentiate between local and global early childhood education, approaches, practices and issues and to appreciate the characteristics of quality early childhood care and education programmes for young children locally and globally. Chief of all, to allow students the opportunity to contextualise global priorities in ECCE within the Singapore context.


*Students can choose to take any two electives from the above, or be part of the Visual Arts (VA) track by taking the three VA electives with #*.

Graduation Requirements
TP Core Subjects
24 credit units
Diploma Subjects - Core Subjects
104 credit units
Diploma Subjects - Elective Subjects
min 8 credit units
Total Credit Units Completed
min 136 credit units

Career Prospects

Graduates from this course can work as early childhood educators or work in children-related industries.

With further studies and training, a wide variety of options are available in the following areas:


  • Child Support and Family Services 
  • Early Intervention, Special Needs Education 
  • Curriculum Development 
  • Play Therapy 
  • Teacher Education

Course Review

Find out what our graduates have to say about this course. 

Course Fees

PET Course Fee


The table below shows the total subsidised fees (inclusive of GST) payable. 

(Age below 40 in the year 2021) 
2021 S$2,987.50 S$6,117.50 S$11,150.70
2020 S$2,977.00 S$6,107.00 S$10,940.20



There are 2 semesters in each Academic YEAR (AY). The billing periods for AY 2021/2022 are:
Semester 1:  19 April 2021 – 17 October 2021 
Semester 2:  18 October 2021 – 17 April 2022

Fees are billed and payable by semester. They are usually payable in June for Semester 1 and December for Semester 2.


View course fees for other intakes, subsidies, grants, bursary and awards at the Fees & Financial matters section. 

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