Photo of Tan Chuan Jin from CNA

According to pre-school teachers state media Today spoke to, many complained about low salaries and having to resort to job hopping to see any pay increase.

Pre-school teacher Nurul Farah, 25, said that her S$1,800 starting salary four years ago was insufficient for the amount of work she has to do. Teacher Tan Hui Ling, 26, said that she would still be earning S$2,350 after six years as compared to her current S$2,800 if she had not job-hopped from teaching in a public pre-school to a private pre-school. Another pre-school teacher with 18 years experience, Caroline Anthony, said that she hope to see entry-level diploma-holders teachers be paid S$3,000 as compared to S$2,200 to S$2,500.

Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan Jin responded paying lip service that salaries have all along been moving up and promised that salaries will go up – without specifying how much:

“As we develop the ecosystem, there will be a lot more different roles and responsibilities that (pre-school teachers) can take up. That allows us to begin to structure career prospects as well, which also means — importantly — that pay also increases…  There is room for wages in the pre-school sector to grow further… The Government would work closely with anchor and partner operators, as well as MOE Kindergartens on (salary increase). While salaries have been rising over the past few years, there is a need for them to move up further. I think we have some degree of ability to influence some of that development. And clearly, if you want to attract talent, you do need to structure that.”