The Essential Learning Group is a social enterprise dedicated to providing high-quality special education services in Shanghai and the Greater China area.

We are continuously seeking passionate professionals who love working with children in a multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural setting in Asia’s most dynamic international city.

Multi-Cultural Environment

Our staff come from over 17 countries, speak nearly 40 languages and dialects, and include Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Psychologists, Special Education Teachers, Learning Support Specialists, Behavior Specialists, and more.

“Working here is amazing; we come from 80 different cities/countries. We have 30 something different languages in only a 100 or so staff. I have never been in such an international setting, but I find it’s easy to work together.”

– Alice, Program Leader

 

“Among the three program assistants, we have three continents represented.  I learn so much about their countries and they are very accepting of me. “

– Tiffany, Program Assistant

Varied and Stimulating Workplace

The children we work with also come from all over China and the world. Children with mild to severe speech, motor, behavioral or socio-emotional needs are treated through our Clinic, either in our own locations or in their school.

Children and young adults with more severe needs (including Autism, developmental delay, severe learning disabilities, rare disorders, selective mutism and more) attend our full-time program, which incorporates therapy into their daily routine. Our diversity fuels professional growth because our staff work with children with a wide-range of needs.

“Teaching is most effective when you see the chance for an experience to develop, and you have the knowledge to try. That is why this place is great. Even if I don’t have the answer, people around me do. They can suggest things I can think about then model. The brain power in this building is mind boggling and the way it’s facilitated is unique.”

– Regina, Physical Therapist & Sensory Integration Specialist

 

“I learn a lot about my job from my peers. I learn about fine motor skills from the occupational therapy team, I learn more about child development from the psychologists. It’s a great environment to grow in.”

– Amihan, Speech-Language Pathologist

Multi-Disciplinary Approach

Our multi-disciplinary, collaborative approach means that staff work with and learn from each other. In our full-time program, specialists and therapists are part of the team, jointly work on EHCPs, and delivering services within the context of the program. In the Clinic, cases are reviewed and discussed at team meetings. In all areas, we actively work to including different disciplines and perspectives.

“I think ELG is pioneering in so many ways. Some companies are so compartmentalized; people do their job in a box and it doesn’t flow out. I never feel strange popping into somebody else’s room. You don’t need to come up with all the answers on your own.”

– Robin, Program Leader

 

“In most of the world people go to the hospital, they see the doctor, they see the therapist, all individually. But here, the therapist and parents and teachers have a lot of time to interact. It’s really amazing, and almost impossible in other countries.”

– Chantal, Occupational Therapist

Meet Our Staff

Opportunities for Diverse Professional Profiles

Local Chinese Professionals with Advanced Training

We offer unique opportunities for local Chinese professionals who are looking to further their career and experiences.  Whether you are fresh out of school, have overseas or local training, or come with experience, we offer you the chance to further your learning and professional development and work directly with children on a day-to-day basis as part of an international, multi-disciplinary team of specialists.

“I grew up in Changsha, Hunan. My mother is a psychologist in family counseling, my father worked in a bank. I wanted to work with children with special needs since I was 12 or 13. Maybe it was because of my mother, but I’ve never really wanted to do anything else.  Having done some voluntary work with local children I studied educational psychology in Sheffield, England, then got a masters in neuroscience at Burbeck college, London. Apart from some internships this is my first job. At first I was unsure of what to do, as ELG had never had someone in my role before. However I received a lot of feedback and support, and together with the company we really built the role up. I’ve learnt so much since I arrived here.”

– Han, Educational Psychologist

Trailing Spouses

We offer a supportive environment for trailing spouses looking for part time or full time employment.  If you have qualifications and want to explore working, let us know.  We understand that trailing spouses may want to work but have commitments to their family. We provide a flexible, family-friendly environment, taking into consideration your specific situation..

In addition, we provide work permits so you can work legally while in China. We also have a strong administrative support system so you don’t need to worry about scheduling or billing.

“I worked for Nike for 9 years in marketing, but I wound that down when I got married and had a child. When I followed my husband to Guangzhou I was bored, so started this toddler program, which became fairly popular. Soon I was working in an international school, helping with their dance and music. Then I was running it. Now I’m working at ELG. My family are all mocking me, they have always thought I’d be a teacher. But I love my job and am learning so much here.”

– Robin, Program Leader

Professionals Looking for International, Hands-On Experience

There are very few opportunities for special educators and therapists to come to Shanghai and have a meaningful, serious, fully supported work experience. ELG offers competitive salaries and a generous vacation schedule. We also provide work visas and are set up to support foreign staff with the many different needs that may arise during your time in China.

Shanghai is one of the most dynamic, international cities in the world, and many members of our team come work for us to maximize their time spent in China or abroad, learn about new cultures, and expand their professional skills in a nurturing, fun environment. Our strong administrative support system ensures that therapists and specialists have to do less bureaucratic and office work and can focus on the core aspects of their work.

Our team members are part of a supportive community of like-minded specialists who care about helping children. Being part of ELG means contributing and participating in this community in order to help improve the lives of children and families in an increasingly meaningful way.

“I grew up in the Philippines, and became a speech language pathologist by accident; I just randomly chose a course and stuck with it. Only in my fourth year of study did I start to enjoy it, but soon realized how fortunate I am to be able to easily communicate. I finished training in the Philippines and then moved to the U.S. and practiced there for 7 years. I focused on developmental technology, which was really exciting, something I have been able to continue looking at in China.Working in was daunting at first, lots of “Shanghai moments,” but I quickly learnt the rules and appreciate learning the culture it’s a very enriching experience. I’ve learnt so much working here and this place really holds up on an international level.”

– Amihan, Speech-Language Pathologist