From 24 to 29 November 2023, three educators from Kinderland joined Crestar Education Group’s Early Childhood study group on an educational exchange in China. They were accompanied by educators from sister brands under the Crestar Education Group, namely NurtureStars, Skool4Kidz, and The Grange International Preschool. This exchange aims for the various preschools to widen their horizons of early childhood education while gaining experience from the global education scene.

On 25 and 26 November, the study group attended the 2023 Reggio Emilia Conference in Shanghai China. Keynote speakers for the conference included Professor Zhu Jiaxiong, Professor and Doctoral Supervisor of the Faculty of Education, East China Normal University. It also included Ms Paola Strozzi, and Ms Marina Mori, experts in the Reggio Emilia approach,

Key pointers from the conference included ensuring a child’s education integrates the cultural and environmental context of the location. It also raised the importance of recognising children’s capacity to express themselves and pedagogical documentation.

From left to right: The study group members from Singapore, Ms Beatriz Chua (Head Teacher, Kinderland), Ms Zhang Yun (Senior Teacher, Kinderland), Ms Wang Weiping (Chinese Curriculum Specialist, Kinderland), Mr Simon Lam(General Manager, China Business Division, Crestar Education Group), Ms Song Anyi (Senior Teacher, NurtureStars), Ms Zhang Aihua (Senior Curriculum Executive, Skool4Kidz), Ms Kwan Yin San (Head Teacher, The Grange International Preschool), at the conference.

Professor Zhu Jiaxiong, Professor and Doctoral Supervisor of the Faculty of Education, East China Normal University.

From left to right: Italian speakers – Ms Marina Mori, Teacher and collaborator of Reggio Children and Ms Paola Strozzi, Pedagogista and collaborator of Reggio Children.

From 27 to 28 November 2023, the study group visited the ELFA Preschool @ Zhuji, China, to observe and learn from practices in the preschool. Unique observations include the usage of technology in pedagogical documentation, and integration of natural resources in activities to spur children’s creativity.

Our Kinderland educators put what they have learnt over the past few days to practice when they returned to Singapore. For example, increased factoring of the differences in race, religion and social backgrounds when crafting lesson plans. They have also expanded the variety of materials and created open and flexible environments to empower creative expression in children.

The educational exchange allowed the Kinderland educators to widen their horizons about early childhood education. It was also an opportunity to enhance the relationships between educators in Kinderland Singapore and other like-minded educators of the Crestar Education Group in China.