Dr Denise Lai Chua leads and manages CAPE as its Managing Director and Head of Programmes. An experienced early childhood professional, leader and researcher, Denise is skilled in early childhood education, the treatment of children with additional needs (especially autism spectrum disorders), entrepreneurship and organisational development (including non-profit organisations) and leadership development.
Prior to CAPE, Denise founded and led the Wee Care Group Singapore for twenty-one years. Under her watch, the company provided both early childhood and early intervention programmes in Singapore and Indonesia, serving more than a thousand families from around the world. In the 1990s, Wee Care was one of the first centres in Singapore to be fully inclusive of children with special needs.
Denise is a Doctor in Education in early childhood education. She has degrees in Psychology and English (Linguistics) as well. Her areas of professional competence and research interest include the development of play, literacy and numeracy in young children, the sociocultural and socio-political aspects of educational programming and policies, and the behavioural treatment of children with autism.
Denise has also trained and equipped trainee teachers in higher education, serving as an external examiner and curriculum developer in Singapore, and as a professor/lecturer in higher education institutions in Singapore and Hong Kong. She continues to provide pro bono training and consultancy services to numerous community outreach projects throughout Asia, especially Indonesia, India and Cambodia. She is an International Behaviour Analyst® and an experienced Birkman Certified Professional (BCP).
Denise looks forward to connecting with more schools and teachers throughout Asia through her involvement in CAPE.