NTUC childcare centre's licence cut

NTUC childcare centre's licence cut
Acting Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing visited pre-schools in Serangoon on July 18, 2013.

SINGAPORE - The childcare centre involved in an alleged child abuse case has had its licence tenure cut from 24 months to six months.

More inspections will be carried out at the NTUC My First Skool centre in Toa Payoh, and it will have to meet a set of conditions in order to have its licence renewed.

These include having clearer guidelines for reporting incidents involving children under its care. If the centre fails to get its licence renewed, it will have to shut down.

Separately, the authorities may also tighten licensing conditions for the entire childcare sector. Centres may be required to send their teachers for a minimum number of hours of upgrading courses before they can get their licences renewed.

The announcements yesterday came as the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) wrapped up an internal investigation into the case which shocked many parents.

In the incident which happened earlier this month, a teacher was caught on video dragging a three-year-old boy across the floor and pushing him to the ground.

The boy suffered a fractured shin. The 51-year-old teacher has been arrested and sacked. Police investigations are still ongoing.

The internal probe by ECDA found that there was evidence of child mismanagement and lapses in some operations at the centre.

For example, the centre did not report the incident to the authorities within 24 hours as required under existing guidelines.

"Over the next six months, we expect NTUC My First Skool to work closely with ECDA to rectify some of the things they could have done better," Acting Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing said on Thursday, after visiting pre-schools in Serangoon.

"The incident is a reminder of how we need to strengthen our system and the trust (among parents, teachers and childcare operators)."

Woman abuses child at Toa Payoh childcare centre
Click on thumbnail to view (Photos: Internet screengrabs)

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