The Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework (SPARK) is a quality assurance framework to assist preschools in Singapore in raising their quality.
SPARK aims to provide recognition and support for pre-school leaders in their efforts to improve teaching and learning, administration and management processes to enhance the holistic development and well-being of young children. It serves as a guide for preschools to understand what they should be striving to achieve and provides a benchmark for preschools to measure themselves against, and establish for themselves the extent of their achievement.
SPARK assessment has been implemented since January 2011. Child care centres and kindergartens may apply for SPARK Assessment and Certification.
Five core values underpin SPARK. They are represented by four petals with a spark at the centre to signify the development of every child being central to pre-school education.
There are four tiers in the Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework (SPARK).
- Tier 1 — Registration and Regulation/Licensing
This tier, which is mandatory for all preschools, ensures that preschools adhere to minimum standards for operation.
- Tier 2 — Self-appraisal
All preschools are strongly encouraged to move to the second tier by practising annual self-evaluation.
- Tier 3 — Quality Rating
At the third tier, preschools may apply for their centre quality to be assessed by external assessors. Preschools that have met the foundational requirements of SPARK may apply for SPARK certification.
- Tier 4 — Accreditation
Accreditation at Tier 4 will differentiate the quality levels of preschools which have met the requirements of SPARK.
Quality Rating Scale
Self-evaluation and assessment of pre-schools under SPARK are carried out using an instrument called the Quality Rating Scale (QRS). The instrument evaluates education programmes in pre-schools that cater to children of 4 to 6 years old.
The five core values that underpin SPARK are embodied in seven criteria that make up the QRS. The criteria are Leadership, Planning and Administration, Staff Management, Resources, Curriculum, Pedagogy, and Health, Hygiene and Safety.
The QRS also offers a systematic approach for preschools to review their structures, processes and outcomes, as presented in the SPARK quality model below.
In the quality model, good leadership drives effective planning, administration and management of staff and resources. These, in turn facilitate the delivery of an engaging curriculum in a safe and secure environment and with the use of effective pedagogies. The structures and processes, in turn enable the outcomes of pre-school education — holistic development, eagerness to learn and child’s well-being — to be achieved.
SPARK Quality Model
Benefits of Participating in SPARK Assessment and Accreditation
- The SPARK logo is an endorsement of the quality of your preschool and programmes.
- Your SPARK certification will guide parents in their selection of preschools.
- The framework provides the public with information on education-related aspects of quality in preschools.
- The SPARK assessment provides an objective evaluation and a realistic picture of your preschool’s strengths and weaknesses.
- The SPARK assessment increases your staff’s awareness and expectations in advancing your preschool’s quality.