Complete Guide to Diploma in Early Childhood Education in Malaysia
Early childhood education is a branch within the education field that is concerned with the formal teaching and nurturing of young children aged up to eight years old. Some early childhood education also involves infants and toddlers aged up to two years old. In today’s modern and educationally competitive world, early childhood education has become an important aspect in society and it is a compulsory part of education. Because of this the Malaysian government and private institutions are funding the education of young children to meet the demands of parents and the requirements for the entry to primary schools.
A diploma in early childhood education in Malaysia takes up to 2.5 year and it is the quickest pathway to a career in education. The programme is designed for students who are passionate to become educators and play an important role in children development which shape their futures. During the course, students will be prepared to take on any challenges of the teaching profession at kindergartens, pre-school centres and nurseries for both public and private institutions. They will be taught all the knowledge and skills needed to become an educator and to nurture and lead young children through the early years of development.
Students with a diploma in early childhood education in Malaysia can chose their career paths by focusing on the different occupation options within this field.
Fields of Early Childhood Education
||Focuses on the care of young children such as nannies and babysitters who tend to the children’s basic needs whenever the other family members cannot. This include feeding and bathing as well as nurturing and one-on-one formal education. Childcare workers also need to provide emotional support and mental stimulation for the children.
||Concerns with the management of the operation and coordination of a nursery, kindergarten or pre-school centre in both academic and non-academic activities. This includes the wellbeing of the children as well as the staff.
||Professional educators that assist teacher’s in classrooms and other teaching-related positions. The function includes the assistance in primary school classes, examinations, field trip supervision, tutoring and other specialized curriculums.
|Pre-school / Kindergarten Education
||Focuses on basic subjects such as mathematics, science and languages. Children at this stage will be in their early development years so the educators need to help them improve their social, interpersonal and motor skills as well as behaviour.
||The practice of educating children with special needs. This requires the addressing of their individual differences and needs. Teachers in this field need to be prepared and make special arrangement, unique educational plan, and teach in an environment that is comfortable for the children. The children under their care include those with learning, physical and development disabilities, as well as communication, emotional and behavioural disorders. Educators in this field may need additional certifications to handle the children with special cases.
How is Early Childhood Education structured?
How long is the duration of an Early Childhood Education Diploma?
A diploma in early childhood education in Malaysia usually takes 2 years to complete. Depending on the university, however, some courses may take up to 2.5 years including training and internship semester.
What will you study in an Early Childhood Education Diploma?
Children begin to develop themselves intellectually and emotionally in the early years. Early childhood education focuses on teaching and helping children develop their cognitive and learning skills such as thinking and memory. Educators in early childhood also need to focus on other aspects of human beings such as motor skills, emotional growth and behaviour. The diploma will get students through this and teach them the knowledge as well as the skills needed to nurture and care for the children. Some of the subjects taught in this course are:
- Arts and Crafts
- Behaviour Management
- Communication Skills
- Child Development
- Family and Society
- Health, Safety and Nutrition
- Music and Drama
- Physical Education and Sports
- Play & Learning
During the final semester, depending on the university, students may undergo an attachment training with an early childhood education institution such as a nursery or special education centre. This is to ensure a smooth transition for the students to go into the workforce.
Why should you study a Diploma in Early Childhood Education in Malaysia?
- Jobs are in demand: These days, parents are more conscious about their children’s education and with the increase in competitiveness of school admissions, a higher standard of education is set. Teachers in the early childhood education fields are needed now more than ever, be it in kindergartens, nurseries or special childcare centres. There are more and more demands for good teachers to give children the best early education possible.
- Competitive salary: Fresh graduates with diploma in early childhood education in Malaysia make an average of RM2500 a month whereas professionals in the same fields make an average of RM5500 a month. A special education teacher can make up to RM9000 a month.
- Learn essential life skills: You gain the opportunity to learn essential life-long skills in how to build relationships with children and parents. The impact of relationship between educators and community leaders can be essential not only in your career but also personal life. You will also be taught to communicate and work well with parents and other teachers to build the best learning environment for the children. Other skills such as people management, teamwork and problem solving skills will be beneficial in the long run. Furthermore, you will have a noble career where your contributions will be appreciated by parents and their children for years to come.
Is Early Childhood Education your ideal choice?
This diploma is definitely for you if…
- You want to shape the children’s future. Have you ever had an influential teacher who left an impression on you and inspired you to be who you are today? Do you want to inspire students the same way your favourite teacher inspired you? Teachers play a role in molding the future of many students. They are an important aspect of the child’s upbringing.
- You prefer a workplace where you can be mobile and dynamic, interacting with students, doing arts and crafts, playing music and having fun. You like to go for field trips or even be placed in remote areas to teach little children.
- You love engaging with children of all ages. You like the idea of interacting with them and educating them. You find happiness in making children happy and you want to play a role in their early developments.
This diploma might be for you if…
- You want to build your credentials in an education career. You have a passion for teaching and learning. A good place to start your career in education is in early childhood education. You have the opportunity to expand your network, gain leadership skills and develop your potential as an educator.
This diploma might not be for you if…
- You prefer a corporate office job. You want to climb the corporate ladder and be promoted up the ranking. Teachers don’t have this privilege. They teach for the sake of education and they follow the syllabus to educate the students in a formal manner. They do not climb up a corporate ladder and may even teach the same subjects years after years. If this does not sound like something you want to do, then may be this is not for you.
- You want to work without anyone’s control. At some point in a person’s life, they will reach the top, become a supervisor or manager and no longer need to answer to anyone. They will become their own boss. As a teacher, you will still need to adjust your work to match the students’ needs. You have to answer to the parents if there are any problems. You also need to follow the syllabus to make sure the students get the knowledge that they need.
This diploma is certainly not for you if…
- You have no patience to deal with people, especially children. As an early childhood education teacher, you need to deal with pre-school children. This means having to deal with the noise, the mess that they make, and their stubbornness too. Not all children are the same. Some can be more difficult to handle than others. You will also need to adjust the way you work to fit the children’s needs and you have to answer to the parents and make sure you meet their standards in education. A good teacher need to not only be a good educator but also a very patient one to handle every challenges that they face with a calm and collected mind.
Career option with an Early Childhood Education Diploma
Those who hold a diploma in early childhood education in Malaysia can become teachers in kindergartens, nurseries or special childcare centre. Those who want to opt for a career outside of these work settings have the following options:
- Children Curriculum Developer
- Early Childhood Education Lecturer
- Educational Toy / Games Consultant
- School / Pre-School Administrator
- Special Childcare Worker
Entry requirements for this programme
- SPM: Minimum 3 credits
- O Level: Minimum 3 C’s
(entry requirements may differ between universities)