Our People

Leong Pik Yin, Director

Pik Yin is a former journalist and communications professional with more than 10 years of industry experience.

As a journalist, she wrote news stories for The Straits Times, as well as features and advertorials for various English dailies. In her years as a communications professional, she worked with local and international media, handled public relations and consumer marketing projects in Southeast Asia, and managed the development of communication collaterals.

Pik Yin was also an adjunct lecturer at Singapore Polytechnic, where she taught media, language and communication modules. She is currently a freelance writer and editorial consultant. She graduated from the National University of Singapore with an arts degree (Dean’s List) and also holds a Master of Arts (Communications) degree.

Jean Sim, Director

jean_sim Jean was a marketing communications practitioner for 15 years before she decided to start her own childcare business in 2002.

She runs an award-winning childcare centre and was nominated for Singapore’s Outstanding Enterprise award in 2012. To date, her centre has provided a balanced, comprehensive and stimulating preschool experience for more than 1,000 children.

Jean is also suitably qualified. In addition to her Master of Arts (Communications) degree, she holds early childhood qualifications (Diploma in Pre-school Education – Teaching and Diploma in Pre-school Education – Leadership). She was also an adjunct lecturer at the Centre for American Education and LaSalle College of the Arts.

Preschool Programmes

Jana Crosby, Consultant

jana_crosbyAn early literacy consultant and reading specialist, Jana has spent more than 18 years working in a variety of classroom settings as a teacher, consultant, coach, trainer and evaluator.

A past president of the Tennessee Reading Association, Jana currently serves as the State Coordinator for the Tennessee Reading Association, an affiliate of the International Literacy Association. She is a member of the association’s Early Literacy Task Force.

Jana currently consults with Early Reading First grants and early childhood centres across the United States and Canada. She is a national trainer for a variety of early childhood curricula and an intervention programme for four-year-olds.  She is a national expert and trainer in the use of the Early Language and Literacy Classroom Observation Pre-K, a best-selling observation tool for schools in the United States.

Jana is a certified Reading Specialist. She holds a Master of Education degree in Reading and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Special Education. She is also certified in elementary and kindergarten education.

Dr Christine Chen, Advisor

Christine_ChenAs founder and president of the Association for Early Childhood Educators, Singapore (AECES), Christine has helped significantly to raise the standard and quality of early childhood education in Singapore.

She has worked with various government committees on early childhood programmes and helped to formulate the accreditation of childcare centres as well as the professional development framework in Singapore. In addition, she has served in several national and international organisations, such as the Association for Childhood Education International.

Christine has conducted numerous workshops and given presentations at forums and conferences all over the world, including the United States, China, Russia, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Christine was given a Public Service Award in 1994 for her contributions to childcare in Singapore and was named Volunteer of the Year in the National Volunteerism & Philanthrophy Awards 2010.

Tina Franchuk, Contributing Writer, Curriculum

Tina_FranchukTina is an early childhood educator with over 10 years of experience in Canada and Taiwan. She started her career as an educator in toddler and preschool classrooms, and subsequently expanded her scope of work to include training and curriculum development. She is an Education Coach for one of Canada’s largest early learning and child care companies.


Primary School Programmes

Joyce Vargese, Consultant

Joyce_VargeseAn experienced communications practitioner and trainer, Joyce has developed numerous language, communication and life skills programmes for schools and corporate clients.

One of Singapore’s pioneer batches of mass communication graduates, Joyce was formerly the Deputy Head of Thames Language School, where she set up partner programmes with Australian universities, trained lecturers and developed programmes for the school.

A TESL graduate and certified Guided Reading trainer, Joyce has coached educators in language teaching skills, trained government officials in writing and speaking skills, and helped students to develop creative thinking, self-motivation and public speaking skills.

Joyce also conducts workshops for families and youths-at-risk. In 2010, the Ministry of Education awarded her as a ‘Partner in Achievement’ for her work.  In addition, she is one of the first in Singapore to groom students under 18 years of age in the Toastmasters Leadership programme. In 2009, she was honored by Toastmasters International for her outstanding contributions and was inducted into its Hall of Fame.