MSF revokes status of Approved Persons for Sweetlands Childcare Centres

MSF revokes status of Approved Persons for Sweetlands Childcare Centres
PHOTO: Screengrab from http://www.sweetlands.com

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) will revoke the status of two Approved Persons (AP) of all the 11 Sweetlands Childcare centres, according to a statement from the ministry on Thursday.

An Approved Person is the authorised person of a Baby Bonus Approved Institution to make deduction from the Child Development Accounts (CDAs) for the payment of fees.

Mdm Chan Chew Shia and Mr Ho Boon Hong's status as APs will be revoked on October 21, 2015, according to a statement from the MSF.

A recent MSF audit had revealed, among other things, that the pair made unauthorised withdrawals from the Child Development Accounts (CDAs) of several children. The matter had been referred to the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force.

The duo have since submitted their reasons for the unauthorised withdrawals.

With the revocation of the status of APs, children enrolled with the centres after October 20, 2015 will not be able to use their CDAs to pay for the child care fees. Sweetlands Childcare centres are required to apply for a suitable person as a new AP.

However, the Ministry has appointed a Ministry staff as a temporary AP as of October 21 to facilitate the CDA withdrawals for the children who are already enrolled in the centre on or before October 20, so as to minimise disruptions as well as to ensure that the CDA withdrawals are valid.

According to the MSF, the revocation will not affect the child care licenses of the Sweetlands Childcare centres. This means that all centres will continue to operate, as there are no issues in terms of the safety or well-being of the children; and eligible parents can still receive child care subsidies.

candicec@sph.com.sg

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