(844) 627-8267 | Info@NationalCyberSecurity
(844) 627-8267 | Info@NationalCyberSecurity

Kinderland Woodlands operator fined S$5,000, licence tenure cut; ECDA admits ‘lapse’ in handling of alleged child abuse | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

SINGAPORE — The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) has issued a warning and fined Kinderland a penalty of S$5,000, as well as reduced its licence tenure to six months due to the severity of the recent child mismanagement cases at its Woodlands outlet.

ECDA also admitted that it should have removed the teacher involved in the alleged abuse sooner, as it revealed that investigations uncovered another case of alleged abuse in the same centre.

In a statement on Monday (Sept 4), Mr Tan Chee Wee, chief executive officer of ECDA, said: “We are reviewing our systems and procedures to strengthen this protocol and ensure better oversight of cases under investigation.”

Referring to its own probe on the alleged abuses, the agency said in the statement that timely action was taken to gather the facts and interview various parties, and that its officer assessed that sufficient supervisory measures were put in place by the preschool to mitigate the risk to the safety of the children while investigations were ongoing.

“However, he failed to follow the established protocol that for cases with clear evidence that child safety is endangered, the staff should be immediately removed from classroom duties.

“ECDA acknowledges this lapse in its case-handling procedures. We are reviewing our systems and procedures to strengthen this protocol and ensure better oversight of cases under investigation,” it added.

The other case uncovered by the agency involves a different teacher who used “inappropriate methods” to restrict the movement of a three-year old child under her charge on two separate occasions.

This included pulling the child’s shirt over the back of a chair and securing the child to a chair using straps from an infant chair, in attempts to prevent the child from moving, ECDA said.

A video of a two-year-old child at Kinderland@Woodlands Mart were leaked online after a whistleblower reported the incident to ECDA on Aug 8, depicting breaches of agency’s regulations that prohibits, among other things, force-feeding and hitting a child, the agency added.

The educator in this case has been issued a warning and barred from working in the preschool sector, and is also being investigated by the police for offences under the Children & Young Persons Act.

As for the school principal, ECDA’s investigations showed that she did not exercise adequate supervision over her staff members in their management of children and thus “failed to prevent the use of inappropriate child management methods in the preschool”.

Given this, the agency has cancelled its approval for her to be deployed as a principal in a preschool.

“She has been issued a warning and will be required to attend refresher training on child management strategies. ECDA will consider her suitability as a principal after she has completed refresher training and after a period of two years.”

At the end of six months, ECDA will also not renew the licence if the preschool fails to demonstrate significant improvements in its standard of care to their children.


Addressing the other incident of alleged abuse at Kinderland@Sunshine Place in Chua Chu Kang, ECDA said that the school has placed the teacher involved on a leave of absence, pending the outcome of police investigations.

It also said that it had on June 1 this year received a separate report of child mismanagement from a parent of a two-year-old child who attended the preschool.

In its investigations, ECDA found that two educators admitted to tying the two-year-old child in his chair with straps from an infant seat on several occasions.

From its investigations, the agency said that it was the educators’ intent to get the child to focus on the activity and prevent him from hurting himself and other children.

After investigations, ECDA instructed the centre to immediately stop this practice and ensure that all its educators adopt appropriate methods and work closely with parents to manage the behaviour of each child.


In addition to the above, ECDA has instructed Kinderland Headquarters to conduct an independent review of the child management practices in all its preschools.

The company will be required to report its findings and recommendations to ECDA within three months of Sept 4.

During this period, ECDA will closely monitor all preschools under Kinderland.

It will also conduct more frequent unannounced checks on the schools’ classroom management practices, it added.


Source link

National Cyber Security