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Y.W.C.A. Preschool Y.W.C.A. Preschool

YWCA Preschool @ Bukit Gombak was the proud recipient of the ECDA Innovation Grant Project for their Happy Toilet Hygiene initiative in 2018. This prestigious grant, totalling $1.3k, provided the Centre with the necessary resources and materials to embark on this project.

Under the guidance of the Chinese Teacher Jasmine Ng, the Centre embarked on an ambitious project to educate preschool children on the importance of good toilet hygiene practices. The Happy Toilet Hygiene project achieved remarkable success, and the Centre was awarded the LOO Award under the Individual category in 2021.

Through the collaborative efforts of the dedicated staff and children at YWCA Preschool @ Bukit Gombak, the toilets were transformed into a welcoming and vibrant space, bringing to life a kaleidoscope of colourful artwork. Our experienced teachers trained the preschoolers in effective handwashing techniques, toilet etiquette, and hygiene habits, which proved instrumental in cultivating a culture of cleanliness and well-being.

Children took pride in their roles as toilet LOO Inspectors. They worked diligently to maintain the cleanliness of the toilets to create a positive learning environment for all.

The project profoundly impacted the students, who learned the importance of maintaining a clean environment and how it affects their overall health and well-being. It also fostered collaboration and creativity among the staff and children, creating a supportive and nurturing learning environment.

The Happy Toilets @ Preschool Programme recognised YWCA Preschool @Bukit Gombak’s commitment to promoting good hygiene practices and maintaining a clean environment with a Platinum award for the 3-year Certification and Collaboration in 2022. This achievement underscores the Centre’s commitment to promoting good hygiene practices and maintaining a clean environment.

YWCA Preschool @ Bukit Gombak is proud to have undertaken this important initiative, which has had a lasting impact on the lives of its students as we remain committed to promoting good hygiene practices and maintaining a pristine environment for students to learn and thrive.

The people who kept our toilets cleanFrom little hands to a dedicated cleaning team – teamwork makes the dream work! YWCA Preschool@ Bukit Gombak is grateful for our hardworking children and aunties who work behind the scenes to keep our toilets clean
The unsung heroes who work tirelessly to keep our little ones' spaces spotless and sparkling!The unsung heroes who work tirelessly to keep our little ones’ spaces spotless and sparkling!

 

“The inclusive culture creates good vibes in our preschool environment, and everyone enjoys coming to work.”
—Mdm Ho Mee Khuen, Centre Leader

 

In this month’s Staff Spotlight, we speak to Mdm Ho Mee Khuen, one of our longest-serving staff with YWCA Preschool. Mdm Ho has served YWCA for 40 years and is currently the Centre Leader at YWCA Preschool @ Pasir Ris. We ask her about her journey with YWCA and to share with us her thoughts about the workplace culture and team dynamics.


Q: Tell us about your journey with YWCA Preschool. How did it start, and what is one thing you like about working at YWCA?

A: I started my career as a teacher aide before going through courses, from foundation certificates to a diploma and a degree. I started working at Marine Drive and was transferred to Bedok, and then eventually to Pasir Ris to set up the centre with the Centre Leader. It was at Pasir Ris that I was promoted to Senior Teacher. In September 1999, I was promoted to Centre Leader.

I like the culture in my centre, especially the diversity, teamwork and respect we have for each other. We do not impose our religious beliefs on our colleagues. For instance, when our Muslim colleague is fasting, we empathise and help to conduct physical exercises on her behalf, and we try not to plan field trips during the fasting month. The inclusive culture creates good vibes in our preschool environment, and everyone enjoys coming to work.

 

Q: Of YWCA Preschool’s 4 core values– Compassion, Competence, Confidence, and Respect — which resonate with you the most?

A: Respect.

I believe that mutual respect creates a positive work environment and motivates staff to increase their productivity and collaboration. When the staff feel respected, it boosts their self-esteem, and they will show the same amount of respect for others.

 

Teaching a class of young childrenTeaching a class of young children

 

Q: What are some of the biggest challenges or obstacles you have faced in your role?

A: Manpower management, recruiting teachers and staff.

 

Q:  What is the most exciting thing you are working on right now?

A: Working towards SPARKS re-certification. SPARKS re-certification is essential for our centre as this will enhance our preschool’s image and motivate our staff. 

 

Q:  How do you empower teachers to be leaders and role models for the children?

A: Delegate duties according to the teacher’s capabilities and skills and send teachers for professional development courses. I’ll always remind my teachers to lead by example and show care, love, and concern to the children so they can learn these behaviours from them.

 

Working closely with familiesWorking closely with families

 

Q: How do you build a positive school culture?

A: Listen to the voices of the teachers and encourage and motivate them when needed. Giving staff a flexible schedule for work will enable them to manage their commitments effectively.

To motivate the staff, allow them to work at their own pace while meeting their deadlines and goals. Trust that your staff will do great and try not to micromanage them.

 

Q:  What would you do at YWCA Preschool to ensure team success?

A: I value my team, and I explain how we can work together to ensure everyone is working towards the same goal. It is helpful to set specific goals to ensure everyone understands their role. It is also helpful to break complicated tasks into smaller components and assign staff to complete them according to their strengths. I will schedule regular checks with my staff and discuss their progress and difficulties.

 

Q:  What vision do you have for YWCA Preschool and your students? 

A: My vision for YWCA Preschool is to grow our Inclusive Preschool Programme and empower our children to develop holistically by equipping them with life skills. On top of that, I would also like positively impact each child by making sure all children have the opportunity to learn and grow, reach their potential, and become moral people.

 

Q: In your opinion, what qualities should a good leader possess?

A: A leader should be supportive, encouraging, and able to guide and motivate a team. They should be a role model and delegate tasks to the most appropriate staff based on their strength and knowledge while sharing their expertise and knowledge with their team, giving employees autonomy and ownership over their work.

A good leader is a good communicator, so her team is clear on the goals and will know what exactly is expected from them.   She is also an active listener, open-minded and able to accept ideas and suggestions from her team. She is patient, empathetic and dependable and supports her team emotionally.

A leader is also a trusted person with whom her team can build a meaningful working relationship and share without hesitation.


 

We thank Mdm Ho for her dedication towards her work, her commitment to our organisation and her passion for nurturing young children. We hope that in the years to come, her work will continue to be a blessing towards her colleagues, as well as the children and parents at YWCA Preschool.

 

At YWCA of Singapore, we believe that people are our greatest asset. It is the driving force that keeps our organisation going. Whether you are an educator, a service staff, or a support executive, every employee contributes to fulfilling the YWCA mission of outreach and empowering the lives of others.

Join our YWCA family today! Email us at hr@ywca.org.sg to find out more or click here to apply.

We are proud to share that our Chinese Teacher, Ms Jasmine Ng Siew Kuan from YWCA Preschool @ Bukit Gombak has been awarded with the LOO Awards 2021 (Individual Category)!

The (Let’s Observe Ourselves) LOO Awards recognises the efforts of individuals who have contributed to help Singapore achieve a world recognised standard of restroom cleanliness.

YWCA Preschool Singapore has been participating in the Happy Toilets @ Preschool Projects, collaboratively organised by the Restroom Association (Singapore) and APP Sinarmas since 2018.

As part of this project led by Ms Ng, children were taught on toilet hygiene and given the opportunity to personalise the restrooms with Frozen and Superhero themed decorations to remind them to keep the toilets and themselves clean.

The children also enjoyed participating in a toilet spring cleaning activity and had a Cleaner Aunty’s Appreciation Day to appreciate the hardship of the aunties washing the toilets. This activity also imparted a sense of personal responsibility to our children to maintain the toilet’s cleanliness and cultivate good personal hygiene practices.

Congratulations once again to Ms Ng and her team for this remarkable achievement!

The teachers at YWCA Preschool @ Bedok were very excited about the birth of a baby panda in River Safari! The children had visited Jia Jia and Kia Kia three years back. That week, the Chinese teachers planned and conducted a News Talk activity on this topic. Children recapped their experiences and recalled the diet and habitat of the pandas.

The teachers then engaged the children in making a “baby shower gift” for the pandas. N2 children helped to make “ang ku kueh” out of playdough while K2 children drew and wrote well-wishes cards in Chinese. The younger children painted the corrugated cardboard and made them into “bamboos”.

A representative from River Safari came to pick up the baby shower gift from the centre which will be displayed at the Giant Panda Forest. Do visit the panda family if you are planning a family trip! We would like to wish Jia Jia, Kia Kia and baby abundances of happiness and good health!