For Gladys Ng, owning two Maple Bear schools in Singapore is a dream come true and the pinnacle of a long, meaningful career in early childhood education.
Her passion for working with young children saw her work as a preschool teacher and later becoming a vice-principal of a preschool.
Her trajectory in education was taken to the next level, however, after a casual meeting in November 2013 with Patricia Koh, now director of Maple Bear Singapore. Mrs. Koh first proposed to her the idea of setting up her own childcare centre under the Maple Bear brand.
The rest, as they say, is history: Gladys, her father and several friends joined forces and opened Maple Bear Pasir Panjang in February 2014 and Maple Bear Claymore Connect in August 2015.
Gladys believes strongly in the Maple Bear curriculum which she feels is aligned with her own philosophy towards early childhood education:
“As an educator myself, I have always believed that children’s learning should not be rushed. Maple Bear provides just that; it encourages children to learn through meaningful play experiences, in a relaxing yet nurturing setting,” she says.
Both the Pasir Panjang and Claymore Connect centres have done exceptionally well with their enrolment numbers. With 40% of students coming from expat families, Maple Bear’s bilingual curriculum is particularly attractive for parents.
“The bilingual program is extremely important,” says Gladys, “especially in a multi-racial country like Singapore. Many of our children will soon transition to primary schools where they need to have a strong foundation in both Mandarin and English, as well as a good understanding of diverse cultures.”
Witnessing the real-life results of the bilingual immersion program has been gratifying for Gladys. She recalls one student who started at Maple Bear two years ago speaking only his native German and left this year to start primary school capable of having entire conversations in Mandarin with his Chinese teacher.
Now that’s a success story to make any educator swell with pride!