SPARK - Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework

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SPARK - Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework

Postby tankee » Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:32 am

Ministry of Education (MOE) launched the Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework (SPARK) in November 2010 to encourage pre-school providers to strive for greater excellence in the holistic development of children.

SPARK's 5 core values are :
1. Child our Focus
2. Leadership with Vision
3. Professionalism with Impact
4. Partnership for Growth
5. Innovation with Purpose

Accreditation is carried out using the assessment tool called Quality Rating Scale (QRS). This voluntary quality assurance and accreditation framework will provide information to parents to enable them to make informed choices about the kindergartens and childcare centres for their children.

The names of the first batch of pre-school centres which have successfully undergone quality assessment in seven aspects—Leadership, Planning and Administration, Staff Management, Resources, Curriculum, Pedagogy and Health, Hygiene and Safety, was released on 12Sep11.

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Re: SPARK - Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework

Postby tankee » Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:35 am

List of PreSchools Awarded the SPARK Certificate

1. Bedok Methodist Church Kindergarten
2. Calvary Baptist Kindergarten
3. EtonHouse Pre-school Pte Ltd (764 Mountbatten)
4. EtonHouse Pre-school Pte Ltd (Bukit Timah Branch)
5. EtonHouse Pre-school Pte Ltd (Outram)
6. Faith Kindergarten
7. Kinderland Child Care Centre (Woodlands Mart)
8. Kinderland Preschool (Pandan Valley)
9. Kinderland Preschool (Serangoon)
10. Kinderland Preschool (Yio Chu Kang)
11. Learning Vision @ Work Pte Ltd (Biopolis)
12. Learning Vision @ Work Pte Ltd (Changi Airport)
13. Learning Vision @ Work Pte Ltd (Changi Business Park)
14. Learning Vision @ Work Pte Ltd (MOE)
15. Learning Vision @ Work Pte Ltd (NTU)
16. Learning Vision @ Work Pte Ltd (Revenue House)
17. MFC Kindergarten (Newton)
18. My First Skool (Blk 302B Anchorvale Link)
19. My First Skool (Blk 507A Wellington Centre)
20. My First Skool (Bukit Batok East)
21. Odyssey The Global Preschool Pte Ltd
22. Pat's Schoolhouse Pte Ltd (Mt. Emily)
23. Pat's Schoolhouse Pte Ltd (Siglap)
24. PCF Bedok Reservoir-Punggol Blk 414
25. PCF Bishan East Blk 197-115-196
26. PCF Cheng San-Seletar Blk 435
27. PCF Choa Chu Kang Blk 786-787-788-792
28. PCF Chong Pang Blk 309
29. PCF Mountbatten Blk 51
30. PCF Nee Soon Central Blk 646-644
31. PCF Nee Soon East Blk 408
32. PCF Taman Jurong Blk 352-355
33. PCF Tampines West Blk 140-938
34. PCF Teck Ghee Blk 301
35. PCF Teck Ghee Blk 319
36. PCF Teck Ghee Blk 415
37. PCF Toa Payoh Central Blk 157
38. PCF Whampoa Blk 112
39. PCF Woodlands Blk 601
40. PCF Yew Tee Blk 625
41. PCF Yew Tee Blk 690D-690C
42. PCF Yuhua Blk 317
43. Ramakrishna Mission Sarada Kindergarten
44. Seventh-day Adventist Kindergarten
45. Shaws CDLC @ Mountbatten Pte Ltd
46. St James' Church Kindergarten
47. The Ascension Kindergarten
48. The Capstone Kindergarten
49. The Little Skool-House International Pte Ltd (At-Mountbatten-Square)
50. The Little Skool-House International Pte Ltd (At-Sembawang-Place)
51. The Little Skool-House International Pte Ltd (By-The-Crescent)
52. The Little Skool-House International Pte Ltd (By-The-Vista)

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Re: SPARK - Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework

Postby tankee » Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:36 am

<< Reserved for future news >>

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Re: SPARK - Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework

Postby arielle08 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:23 pm

Notice that the list has been updated. ... chools.pdf

Any idea does Spark accredidated means that the childcare is good?

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Re: SPARK - Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework

Postby Xiaodingdang@Work » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:07 pm

I don't find SPARK particularly useful for assessing childcare centres as a whole because:
1. It only looks at the N2, K1 and K2 levels. For one like me who was looking to enrol my child at Playgroup or N1, it doesn't tell me enough.
2. The accreditation when awarded, is valid for three years. Say I enroll my 20 month old in a SPARK-accredited centre, would the accreditation still be valid by the time she reaches N2? Another question, even if my child reaches N2 during the 3-year accreditation period, how much would I value it since three years is a pretty long time. Unless the SPARK administrators conduct checks during the three-year they??
3. It's not mandatory for preschools to apply for SPARK accreditation. I think there should be good preschools out there which did not or have not applied.
4. Childcare centres undergo mcys's license renewal. Those that exceed expectations get their licenses renewed for two years, those that meet expectations are renewed for a year etc. I read from the MCYS website or booklet that the checks are not prearranged with the childcare centre. For me, this says more about the quality of the centre than the pre-arranged SPARK assessment. Also, the license is renewed for six months to two years, shorter than SPARK's three years. But I do wonder what the differences are between the SPARK and MCYS license criteria?
4. SPARK looks at kindergartens and the N2 to K2 levels in childcare centres, so I think it may not cover certain roles that childcare centres play which kindergartens don't? This has me wondering about the specifics of what SPARK
and MCYS license look at.
Hence, I didn't find SPARK crucial when I was searching for a childcare centre. Just my two cents worth.

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Re: SPARK - Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework

Postby Precious2.lee » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:57 pm

It's good to have but not important. Notice some quite well known kindergartens like Nanyang, Newton, Maris Stella etc... are not even accredited. Even so, I think many parents will still queue overnight for NY. (Many PCFs are in the list though... :smile:)

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Re: SPARK - Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework

Postby sembgal » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:33 am

Parents who want to know if their children's preschools-childcare or kindergarten are recognized with quality assurance, should look out for a SPARKS certified school for a peace of mind that their children are in a "qualified" school.
Read ... pre-sc.php

SPARKS is a quality assurance framework aimed at raising the standards of local pre-schools and giving parents an objective guide to the island's pre-schools. SPARK is also a means for pre-schools to benchmark themselves against the best practices in the pre-school sector.

A complete list of up to date SPARKS certified preschools: ... 2Oct13.pdf

If you are unsure your child's kindergarten or childcare is SPARKS certified or not, you should check with the school principal or teacher about your concern. Check with the preschool principal when the school aim to be SPARKS certified in the near future.

Ideally in the future, all preschools in Singapore, regardless of childcare or kindergartens, are expected to be SPARKS certified to raise the standard of preschool education in Singapore.

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Re: SPARK - Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework

Postby loveangelfaerie » Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:06 pm

Anyone have an in-depth detail on difference between SPARK accredited centres and centres without? As in, have sent your child in both before.
Thanks thanks.

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Re: SPARK - Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework

Postby jetsetter » Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:29 pm

SPARK is now under ECDA, not MOE. See updated list as of 11 Dec 2013.

SPARK is like just like ISO9001 and the like, good to have but I believe not every preschool will hv the muscle/resources or determination to attain accreditation; above all, buy-in from tcrs. [NB: My DS' enrichment tcr complained to me abt the kindergarten she left cos of the stringent requirements and extra work they need to do to help the preschool 'Sparkle'.]

It enables the preschool to self-appraise, be appraised by external assessors based on ECDA's criteria, to get their act together by revamping their curriculum, tidy up their documentation, improve their work processes, what hv u. See details.

These are impt cos some ccs (esp those boutique ones in pte landed properties or places of worship) are in their 'cowboy' world and totally disregard industry norms and stds. I know my sibling's previous cc in a pte estate kept asking her to top up exorbitant excursion fees so the tcrs could take the kids out mthly to Snow City, Fire Station, JBP, SSC, etc. All these to kill time cos the curriculum is weak. That cc is of course not SPARK-certified.

Put it this way, if the centre is credible, it shouldn't shy away from being 'audited'. It shd welcome and be open to critique and make improvements to their curriculum. It shd not be averse to the laborious processes of documentation, housekeeping and coming up with SOPs and action plans (which is loathed by free-spirits and disorganised centres).

SPARK also enables the over-complacent mgmt and teachers to find out their blindspots they otherwise didn't uncover before the evaluation. It will 'force' preschool teachers and principals to continually upgrade themselves professionally to stay relevant. [N.B: SPARK-certified preschools will require MOE/MSF-certified P & tcrs and 75% possess min diploma in ECCE to teach.]

Simply put, SPARK keeps the whole team (not whole chain) on their toes, and assure parents that they are vigilant at all times.

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Re: SPARK - Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework

Postby jetsetter » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:34 pm


I've experience in both SPARK- and non-SPARK-certified centres. I didn't realise mine was a "Sparkie" until I clicked on the link. In the "Sparkie", I notice the entire team was highly conscious of the 6 stringent criteria set by ECDA (formerly by MOE):

C1 Leadership
C2 Planning and Administration
C3 Staff Management
C4 Resources
C5 Curriculum
C6 Pedagogy

C1-C3 don't really bother me as a customer, as long as the P doesn't show me black face. Most preschools will meet C4, as long as they display enough readers and CE toys. It's C5 and C6 that you'll begin to notice the significant difference and those are the areas parents should eyeball:

C5.1 Integrated Curriculum and Holistic Development
Language & Literacy
• Read and tell stories daily
• Promote alphabet knowledge, beginning sounds, familiar words daily.
Aesthetic & Creative Expression
• Music activity daily.
• Dance / movement once a week.
Motor Skill Development
• Develop gross motor skills twice a week

C6.1 General Principles for Pedagogy
• Open-ended questions to stimulate thinking.
• Opportunity for children to express opinions and ask questions.
Purposeful Play
• Purposeful play with learning objectives set and tied-in to lessons e.g. Learning Centres.
• With materials / physical environment / people in school (peers, adults) and in community

What's the big deal, you may ask? Many established non-Sparkies do fulfill these. Now, pls double-click on C6.2 Assessment of Children’s Learning and Development which pertains to documentation and clear presentation...

 Document progress and development for 6 learning areas.  Work samples with teacher’s comments  Photographs with teacher’s comments  Checklist  Survey  Anecdotal Record  Variety of documentation methods

These require discipline, concerted effort and full cooperation of the tchr, but not every preschool has tcrs who will go the extra mile to document appraisals and work done meaningfully. The larger preschools maybe, not the smaller players. My Sparkie preschool did this very well.

In my non-Sparkie preschool, they would score well in C1-C4, if they were open for ECDA's assessment. My gripe was with C6. The documentation could hv been improved. I failed to see C6.1, i.e. how "purposeful play" is connected to learning objectives set and tied-in to lessons. I'm ok with photo montages they sent me in a thumbdrive, cos I could put on FB, but photos must come with meaningful captions and clear explanation why the child was doing what he was per the photo. Checklist was also absent, so the parents did not know what to expect and the preschool had the leeway and reserved every right to cancel or amend the curriculum at their free will. Additionally, it was debatable on whether they would meet C5.1 which has this key item: "Read and tell stories daily". Non-Sparkie does not fulfil that for sure. "Music activity daily", while fulfiled by way of song & dance, was not about learning to read musical scores, playing the keyboard or percussion instruments.

Having shared that, please note that being "non-Sparkie" doesn't mean it's no good. Some church kindergartens are very good, but because their tchrs could be church members teaching on a pro-bono basis or O-level holders who hv been teaching for decades, it'll be hard to fulfil C3 on staff qualifications and performance appraisals. It's also not easy to fulfil C4 cos their materials could be donated by members on ad hoc basis. Many of such cozy kindies also lack leadership or mgmt with expertise to carry out the onerous admin processes. Lastly, some of them are really "standalone" kindies, i.e. no other branches in Singapore, so it's just not worthwhile going thru the assessments. BUT, parents don't bother, cos they look for the religious knowledge component only.

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