9 May 2019

Study Reveals Gap between Nation's Aspirations for Inclusion and Current Capabilities of Early Childhood Professionals


Despite recent progress, human resource and fragmented systems of care remain as key concerns; inclusive practices and mindsets playing catch up with Singapore's ambitions for inclusion

Need to encourage systematic exchange and learning between professionals across “mainstream” and “special education” boundaries


With a national shift towards building a more inclusive society, there is a need to beef up competencies of all early childhood practitioners with the know-how and inclusive pedagogical practices to support children with developmental needs or from social disadvantaged backgrounds more effectively, revealed a study which gathered the perspectives of 35 leaders from the early childhood development sector. 

A systemic review of early childhood teachers' and early intervention teachers' entry requirements, salaries and career development opportunities should be considered in order to improve parity between these two professions, which often draw from a similar manpower pool. This should be bolstered by partnerships and training programmes that merge traditionally separate “mainstream” and “special education” boundaries to produce a new generation of early childhood practitioners who are better prepared and able to work in concert with professionals from other disciplines.


These were two of the findings from Vital Voices for Vital Years 2, a study commissioned by the Lien Foundation to take stock of the early childhood sector and establish what more needs to be done. This qualitative study involved speaking with leaders from a range of disciplines, including education, health and social services. 


Press Release

Vital Voices for Vital Years 2 Study


Supporting Caregivers

The findings of an earlier study by the Lien Foundation, Care Where You Are - Enabling Singaporeans to Age Well in the Community, was cited by NMP Anthea Ong in her motion on caregiving tabled in Parliament. The report is an extensive study that examines the state of formal centre-based and home-based care for seniors in Singapore.

•  CNA - 31 March 2019

Inclusive Arts Festival

PEEKABOO! is an inclusive arts festival boldly reinventing classic hide-and-seek that took place at Rainbow Centre. The festival is a culmination of work over a five-month arts residency programme led by Superhero Me, involving six artists, 20 arts facilitators (or Captains) who were trained to foster inclusion between children of all abilities and the Rainbow Centre community to explore themes of identity and place in the world.

•  The Sunday Times - 10 March 2019

Fighting Muscle Loss

Sarcopenia, or age-related loss of muscle mass and strength, has been associated with frailty and disability. However, strength training can slow or even reverse the decline, improving the functional outcomes of seniors. The Gym Tonic programme, initiated by the Lien Foundation, was cited as one leading community initiative to address this. To date, more than 4,000 seniors have joined the programme. At Bishan Community Club, around 400 are on the waitlist since it opened in late 2018. 

•  Life, The Straits Times - 4 March 2019