24 Sep

For the love of children

First impressions count. Whether you warm to a person or not is very much influenced by the first meeting. The same goes for learning. Early childhood educators play a crucial role in giving young children a positive impression of learning.

A career in Early Childhood Education (ECE) is indeed a truly noble profession. It is most suitable for those who love children and are committed towards giving them the best start in life. They are also responsible for ensuring positive reinforcement in a child’s total development.

Seeing the importance of ECE practitioners and their crucial roles in moulding a child’s future poses the question, what does it take for one to be a qualified ECE pedagogue?

The broadest definition of ECE is the care and education of children from birth through the age of 8. In Malaysia, formal ECE starts as early as 2 ½ years old to 6.

“It is crucial that child educators are equipped with commendable education and experience in educating children. This is simply because they are second to parents in shaping the child, which in turn determines how the child behaves and perceives ideas in the future,” said Lydia Foong, Dean of the Faculty of Education, Social and Health Sciences (FOESHS) in SEGi College Subang Jaya

“SEGi offers industry-driven programmes with contemporary and revolutionary approaches specially to assist aspiring practitioners in tapping the best methods of educating children efficiently,” added Lydia.

She continued, “There is a shortage of qualified early childhood professionals in the childcare and preschool education field locally. Although the numbers of ECE centers within the country are increasing, there aren’t enough individuals who provide professional consultancy and services to cater for expanding demands.”

Quality care refers to the proper care of a child’s development which includes early detection of developmental and behavioural problems. Professionalism is also imperative for practitioners to effectively instil good values and character in children.

SEGi College offers the Master of Education, Bachelor of Early Childhood Education, Diploma in Early Childhood Education and the International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy partnering with Montessori Centre International. SEGi owns St Nicholas Montessori Centres located in Bandar Utama, Subang USJ, Klang, Malacca and Penang.

Upon completion of the Diploma studies, students have the option to articulate into the Bachelor of Early Childhood from the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), Australia. Degree holders may enrol as offshore candidates of the USQ Master of Education programme. USQ is globally recognised as a provider of specialised early childhood programmes.

The Faculty also offers short courses in Creative Arts for Young Children, Child Psychology & Development, Music & Movement for Young Children, Nursery & Pre-School Management and Special Educational Needs.

Apart from that, the Faculty regularly organises conferences, workshops and seminars conducted by renowned speakers or trainers in the industry to provide the latest skills, information and methodologies on a wide variety of ECE topics to educators, nurses and parents.

An upcoming one is the Quality Infant & Toddler Caregiving Workshop on the 25th and 26th of September at SEGi College Subang Jaya. It is conducted by renowned and very experienced early childhood specialist Ms Puspa Sivan. The workshop runs from 9am to 5pm on both days and costs RM380 per person. For more details, contact Ms Carolyn at 013-3508598 or email her at carolyn@segi.edu.my.

“Our programmes are aimed to enable practitioners to assist children in attaining development to their fullest potential. This is by promoting quality early child care and education through advocating for proper education, training and professionalism.

“Our programme syllabus include subjects that deals with understanding child development and how children learn, understanding children’s personality, planning and organizing developmentally appropriate activities, guiding children with difficulties, Early Childhood Pedagogy and psychology of young children to name a few. These subjects help our students to grasp the theories and practice of aiding children in their positive development,” elaborated Lydia.

Detailing further, she said that the career opportunities of ECE graduates are limitless. Among professions that graduates may enter into are early childhood lecturers/educators, teachers, pre-school entrepreneurs, child specialists, camp advisors/consultants, parenting TV hosts, publishers of parenting materials, children toys’ designers, professional nannies and governesses.

On the college’s commitment to serving its students, Lydia asserted that, “Our panel of lecturers do not fall short of expectations as they possess vast experience and are from diverse backgrounds, bringing with them years of knowledge, skill and tricks-of-the-trade to better train students to succeed in the field of child education. They also bring with them the dedication and most importantly, the passion to help their students become successful ECE practitioners,” Lydia asserted.

Among one of the many FOESHS success stories is Chung Mae Fong, who graduated with distinction from the Bachelor of Early Childhood programme, University of Southern Queensland, Australia (USQ).  Chung attributed her success to the excellent professors and lecturers in USQ and SEGi who have given her the extra mileage in their guidance.

“Credit must also be given to my ex-Montessori Course SEGi College lecturers for encouraging me to pursue this degree course. They have always been confident in me and supporting me when I doubted my own ability. Also, I wish to thank the SEGi Administrative staff for being inspiring, motivating and encouraging,” she mentioned in her valedictorian speech.

Chung, who also achieved Distinction for the Diploma in Montessori Early Childhood in 2004, further revealed, “Taking up the course was a natural choice as I wanted to understand the correct and effective way of educating children. I aspire to be a good and knowledgeable lecturer, with the ability to help students/preschool children excel in their studies and life. This internationally-recognised qualification is the stepping stone for me to pursue a teaching career.”

Recalling her experience during her diploma years, Chung smiled as she said, “The child development theory was stimulating, as we acquire a broad scope of knowledge about the growth stages of pre-school children. Montessori early childhood education equips kindergarten and preschool teachers with the ability to anticipate children’s behaviour at different stages. The course gives us a holistic view of the Montessori learning philosophy, curriculum and methodology, as well as health, nutrition, and contemporary and social issues.”

The FOESHS has produced over a thousand graduates over the years, who are serving the children in our country. The Faculty offers an environment with modern infrastructures in which a practical-oriented approach towards academic training nurtures effective and efficient ECE practitioners. FOESHS is constantly developing its students’ skills and understanding of their duties and affective roles in moulding children in unison with global changes and the demands of time.

Coming intake for the Diploma in Early Childhood Education is on 5 October. To find out more about Early Childhood programmes, please call SEGi College Subang Jaya (03-86001888), email to infosj@segi.edu.my or log on to www.segi.edu.my