Evaluation of Singaporean Preschool Children’s Development using the East Asia-Pacific Early Child Development Scales

Project Number
OER 35/12 AB

Project Duration
January 2013 - September 2014

Status
Completed

Abstract
The proposed study aims to evaluate the appropriateness of using the East Asia-Pacific Early Child Development Scales (EAPECDS) to reflect what a Singaporean child should know and be able to do between 3 and 6 years of age. The University of Hong Kong Early Childhood Studies Research Team developed an EAPECDS for the Asia-Pacific Region. A common list of indicators was developed based on pilot studies in seven Asia-Pacific countries, namely Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Philippines, Thailand, Vanuatu and Vietnam. The EAPECDS tap into seven important developmental domains of preschool children, including Approaches to Learning, Cognitive Development, Cultural Knowledge and Participation, Language and Emergent Literacy, Motor Development, Health, Hygiene, and Safety, and Socio-Emotional Development.While the EAPECDS is a useful instrument to assess children's level of development, it might not reflect the cultural values, socialization practices and family expectations in Singapore. Hence, it is important to adapt the EAPECDS, taking the linguistic, social and other cultural factors into consideration. A culturally- and developmentally-appropriate child development measure could be used at a population level to determine whether there are inequities in children's learning within countries as a function of factors such as ethnicity and types of preschools. The measure could be utilized to monitor changes in children's early development over time as well as to assess the progress of a country against its policies and programmes. Furthermore, the indicators could be used to create a continuum of learning for preschool children progressing to primary schools. Finally, the findings could be used for comparing children's rates of progress across countries in the region, if desired.

Funding Source
NIE

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